Couch to 5k...Painful Shin Splints !! - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Couch to 5k...Painful Shin Splints !!


Hi i have just started Week 4 of Couch to 5k , did my last Run/Walk on Monday and 2 days later i am still in pain with shin splints and muscle pain in thighs.

I am meant to be running tonight but dont think i even want to attempt it.

I want to carry on with the running as i have lost 18lbs in weight and i am running in conjunction with a low carb diet...

Will i recover from this and any tips on how to prevent this ?



9 Replies

Graeme- I’m no expert but I would go out tonight and see how it goes - I find the walking/ running actually helps relieve the pains and niggles !! Had similar pains early on and still have them at times but it will improve!! Try it and see how it goes you may surprise yourself!!

in reply to OKES


Thanks for the reply,the shin splint question often divides opinion...some say rest ,some say run through it !

Have to say though,the pain seems to be worse today than yesterday...cheers for your reply, i will give it some thought !!


Don't run through pain..but do some stretches for those aching muscles...

in reply to Oldfloss

Thanks will take a look at the link !!

Do not run if in pain!!! Rest up and see how you feel tomorrow.


Don't run through any pain! If you did try and run then the pain may disssapear temporarily but could return worse than it was before..

If it is shin splints, it can usually be treated at home. The following may help relieve the pain and allow your legs to heal:

rest – stop the activity that causes your shin splints for at least two to three weeks; you can then start gradually returning to your normal activities

ice – hold an ice pack against your shins (a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works, too) for around 10 minutes every few hours for the first few days; this helps with pain and swelling

pain relief – take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help relieve the pain if you need to

switch to low-impact activities – using a cross-trainer, cycling, swimming and yoga are good ways to keep fit without putting too much pressure on your shins while they heal

You can start to return to your usual activities over the following few weeks once the pain has gone. Take care to increase your activity level gradually, building up the time you spend running or doing sports.

When to see your GP

It's a good idea to see your GP if your pain doesn't improve despite the treatments mentioned above


I'm in the camp of "shin splits are caused by over-striding". Wait until your legs feel better (1 week??) and then go for a gentle run. Don't try and go too fast, and make every effort to take shorter strides. That's hard to keep up, and so take out your headphones and listen to your running. Try and land your feet as quietly as you can, place them gently on the ground. Quite naturally, you'll be taking shorter steps, and this is going to help avoid shin splits. If you want to run faster, then maintain the short strides, but increase your running cadence (steps per minute). Bit early in your running career to get a target running cadence, but 180 steps per minute is something to aim for.

I'm like a stuck record on this, but the runner/shop assistant who did my first gait analysis told me to run like an assassin, quietly running up behind a victim. Quiet running = gentle foot placement = short stride = no shin splits.


I'm with MarkyD on this.

Slow down, avoid heelstriking, keep footfall under your body, run on grass or treadmill and wear proper running shoes fitted after a gait analysis done at a specialist running shop.

This might help

I had the same in week 6. I rested for a week, bought compression sleeves and got a gait analysis and new trainers. Been fine since with lots of stretches following the runs. I graduated about a month ago. Hope that helps. Obviously I am no expert but that worked for me.

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