Excercises to help with Shin Splints? - Couch to 5K

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Excercises to help with Shin Splints?


I have been doing the c25k plan for about two months now. I'm only on week five though as I keep having to rest for a few weeks due to illnes and injury. The last time I ran was a week ago but I keep getting shin splints now that i'm running a bit further. I know that it will probably be helped if get a better insole in my trainers but at the minute (with Christmas coming up) I haven't got any money to buy them yet. Is there any exercises/stretches that I could do to help reduce the risk of getting shin splints as I don't want to keep having to take breaks from the plan because of them.

10 Replies

Firstly make sure the diagnosis is right - our health board have set up a self referral walk in physio service so you might have that too?

I havent had anything like this myself (touches wood) but found lots of stuff on t'internet including this


Most advice seems to say NOT to run with them - sorry this isnt what you want to hear :-(

in reply to Deryn61

Thanks for the advice. I've looked at the site regarding Shin Splints and it does look like that's what I have got. I have rested for a week so far but it looks like I'll have to take another week off to make sure they've gone completely :-(

Before I started this program I never thought that i'd be wanting to go out for a run, which is why it is so frustrating now that I do but can't.

I had the same problem, which had been going on for months, where I would build up my distance, only to suffer from shin splints and go all the way back to the begining again.

The solution for me was to change the way I run. The problem may be caused by the way you are landing on your feet. You may find you need to shift your weight to landing on the front of your foot rather than the heel. When you land on your heel, the shock travels straight up your shin, causing damage, if you land on the front of your foot, it softens the impact acting as a shock absorber.

Try this, lean forwards from the hips, your tendency will be to fall forwards, step into the fall on your toesand just keep moving forwards at a gentle run. You are looking to land on your toes with your foot below the centre of your hips. Your steps will be shorter and more frequent.

This will feel very strange at first and took quite a few goes before it came together but it certainly worked for me. I used to struggle to do 5k on a regular basis but can now mange 10k runs without any long term problems. Very important though is to let it all heal properly before you try again. Good luck.

in reply to bugdev03

Thanks. I'll definately give the different running technique a try. It would be great if I can do more than two weeks at a time. Luckily last time I had to take 2 weeks off I was able to pick back up from the week that I finished with so I didn't lose to much ground.

I'm always in a dilemma when I start back again though as to whether I start from the week I finished with or drop back a week. As I can usually only get through 2 weeks without injury, dropping back a week always makes me feel I'm not getting anywhere.


If you search "shins can we fix them" you might still find an old post of mine where I detail my regimes for shin splints, I get them on and off and go back to the routines each time.

in reply to Greg_M

Thanks Greg, I didn't realise there were so many different stretches that I could do to help. I've rested for just over a week now and they feel like they've gone (for now) so I'm going to go out for a light run tonight to see if they have and I'll try out those stretches today to see if they help.

Well, I did it. I took the pace a lot steadier than usual, did the stretches throughout the day before I ran and managed to complete w5r2 without any pain! :-)

I did try to lean forwards into my run but that started to give me a pain in my shins so went back to my normal running style but a calmer pace. I was quite suprised how easy it felt doing the 8 minute runs though after spending over a week resting.

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