Struggling with shins

Before I started the couch to 5k programme I stupidly thought I could just start running, rubbish technique, rubbish warm up and rubbish footwear. Ended up with what I think was shin splints.

So I rested fully for a few weeks, went to a running shop and invested in fantastic running shoes, started warming up properly and started the couch to 5k app. I've struggled with a tight feeling in my shins and front lower leg muscles through most of the run until the last 5-10 mins.

I've been doing really well and am on wk9 run 3 so just about to graduate! Only thing is the past week or so my shins have been aching (not agonising pain like it was before) more than usual through out the whole run.

Has anyone got any advice and also some stretches that are good for this?


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9 Replies

  • Well done getting to graduation!

    I get tight calves and sometimes feel niggles in shins. There are stretches for strengthening the legs on the pinned posts, quite simply stretch everything to do with the legs.. here's a link that may help..😊

  • Foam roller


    Some ideas are doing so well, and nearly there... rolling can really, really help too because you want to go on running pain free:)

  • Fab thanks all :)

  • Snap! I had shin splints around week 4/5 and had to take some time out. Now, if I've run a lot of tarmac, I get pain too - not like before, much lower level, but it's uncomfortable - but more achy than pain. Three things that really help me. Spinning - not sure why but I'm not the only one! Treadmill. I try to run at least one of my three weekly runs on a treadmill - really I should do two. For the other run I run outside but try not to do it 100% on tarmac. The last thing - and for me the most important - is stretching. When your calves get tight the discomfort is worse. I take a long time to stretch after a run - sometimes as much as 15 minutes using a resistance band. Uneven surfaces, bad cambers and a lot of downhill also make things worse for me. Aches are ok and to be expected to some degree - pain is not and shouldn't be ignored. I learned that the hard way!

  • In addition to stretching and strengthening the calves, also strengthen your anterior tibialis and extensor muscles.

    Simply keep heels in contact with the ground and proceed to raise the toes towards the shins (dorsi-flexion), holding the movement, before relaxing the feet. Initially perform 2-3 sets of 10 reps, increasing their frequency throughout the day as you become more accustomed.

    Performing plantar flexion exercises, such as pointing the toes and holding the movement will also stretch the muscles in the front of your legs.

  • I've had similar problems recently and hopefully have solved them through rest, new shoes & exercises. I have yet to try a foam roller but have heard so much about how good they are will get one soon. I have just bought some compression guards - think 80s leg warmers but spandex! RebeccaSK wanted to know how they were so: Rebecca02ukThey worked a treat on my last 5k run & I also wore them for a long walk at the weekend. They help reduce any impact on the shins & are surprisingly comfortable. Mine were about £7 on Amazon but you can also get compression socks & tights - perhaps better for winter.

  • I must wear mine - I just get sooooo hot as it is! But, after a tiny run this evening, my shins are hurting so I need to put on my big girl panties and get on with it! Great to hear they helped. The foam roller is pure torture - but it does help!

  • I was a bit warm! I felt like an extra from Xanadu the movie minus the roller skates. Probably looked a bit crazy in leg 'attire' with shorts, luminous vest, colourful sports bra & beetroot head to match!!

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