Week 2: Postponed :(

Week 2: Postponed :(

So I posted yesterday that I was having trouble with shin splints. The pain, despite elevating/icing/resting has actually gotten worse and walking to and from work was very tricky.

I did go get fitted for new shoes at a place that did gait analysis. One thing that stuck out though was the shoe fitter testing the flexibility of my calf.

Her: "So just pop your foot on my knee and I'm going to stretch it."

Me: "Ok, sorry about the cat socks."

She attempts to flex my foot, cupping the heel and tilting the ball towards my shin. She frowns.

"Hmm, just relax"

"I am."

She tries again.

"Wow, your calves are unbelievably tight - this could be why you got shin splints. You should take some time to get your legs muscles stronger and limber before running again."

So... on the one hand I really, really don't want to stop. But on the other I've had shin splints so bad in the past that my legs got all bumpy and I couldn't walk.

From the title of this post you can already tell that concern trumped pride. I'm going to switch to swimming/cycling for the next week and stretch carefully everyday after a short walk.

I'm also wearing my new supportive running shoes to walk to work, just in case.

It's all very unfortunate timing as I'll be traveling for work for the rest of June come the weekend. It will be a real test on my resolve. Hopefully there is a gym in the hotels I'm staying at: running was just such a convenient option!!

This feels like a major set-back but I will try and see it as an opportunity to lay more groundwork: static strength exercises like squats, and stretches to begin again soon.

I'm also going to keep posting here about the progress I make with the cross-training and stretching and how it affects the shin splits. I apologise that these posts are not explicitly about C25K but they help me feel accountable.

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13 Replies

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  • I had the same the first couple of weeks, almost to the point I couldn't run and had to put ice in my shins. I got into a habit of regularly stretching my calf muscles throughout the day, this plus decent shoes did the trick for me and now I'm splint free 🙂

  • That's promising - hopefully this works for me too!

  • Best wishes

  • Although I don't wear my running shoes for anything else, I think they make me walk better (during warm-ups/-downs) than my non-running shoes, even with orthotics in the latter. I'll be interested to hear how you get on with wearing yours to work.

  • I get tight calves, today I limbered up, jumped on my stat bike spinning for upto 25mins, then gave the calves and hamstrings a good stretch and legs felt much better afterwards.. you could try a foam roller as well..

  • That's rather sad, but I look forward to hearing how you get on - good luck 😊

  • Sorry to hear this . Yes please keep posting , so we can support you on your journey back.

    Hope you feel better soon xxx

  • I know what you mean about bumpy shin! My physio told me that running is all in the calves, and they have to be strong. My treatment for the dreaded shin splints was purely strengthening exercises for them. I couldn't run. I could barely walk some days 😞

    I had to ice mine a lot as I found it really helped, got strong painkillers from the doc, and when the inflammation was easier I started the physio. I made my own anti inflammatory smoothies. Not sure they worked but they were tasty and I felt as if I was helping myself

    You need to run very slowly when doing the programme and progress only very carefully, a bit at a time whilst having your rest days. Swimming might be ok as a cross training exercise

    Good luck. I hope you feel better soon

  • Thanks for your message! If you have any calf-strengthening exercises you'd recommend, I'd love to hear them.

    It certainly is frustrating as I didn't feel like I was going very hard at all. I was out of breath but I wasn't pushing it and I was running in time to the music and using that to set the pace. But I think you're right - if the underlying strength and flexibility can't support the weight, that isn't any good.

  • I have read that swimmers are more prone to shin splints due to landing flat footed. I am not sure how true this is (fingers crossed none yet, although had in the past after a lot of walking). So if you are swimming a lot (seacaow suggests you might be), perhaps mention that to the person doing your gait analysis.

  • Sorry to read this, but the running thing is, hopefully, for life and will wait until you're ready to return. As davelinks suggests, try a foam roller to iron out those tight calves and get into the habit of using it every day. Or use a rolling pin in the meantime. Sit in a chair and roll the pin up and down your calves.

    A good stretch is to put one foot half way on a low step and the other foot a little behind then lean forwards. Wear flat heeled shoes to do this as it gives a better grip and anything with a heel won't give as good a stretch.

    If you can, a sports massage will work wonders on those tight calves 😖

  • You have to go very slowly. No need for fast running on C25k. The bumps along your shin might need you need to rest

    Foam rolling is a complete no no if there is pain and inflammation. Time for that oncce the pain subsides with rest, ice and analgesia. If it is really bad you should the doc!

    I will dig out my physio sheets but basically it was foot lifts, heel drops with calf raises but I can tell you in more detail later. Just off out with the dog 🙂

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