W2R2 and shin splints: I completed my my second... - Couch to 5K

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W2R2 and shin splints

rubygloom profile image

I completed my my second run of week 2 tonight but I am sure I have shin splints :( I am going to be so disappointed if I have to stop the programme as I am not having any other struggles at all so far, and have really enjoyed following the podcasts. I have always left a days rest inbetween runs and left 2 days before progressing to week 2. During the first run of week 2 I had some mild aching which I thought was just my muscles getting used to the extra running, but tonight it was much more painful all along the length of both shin bones.

I managed to complete the podcast as I was determined not to let it stop me. Was this a good or bad idea? I have been Googling for the last hour or so and have found some to be of the opinion that you should just keep running and the pain will gradually fade as the muscles strengthen, but have read other things suggesting that continuing to run could lead to the bone fracturing....?

Anyone have any ideas? I have to admit that I didn't get my gait analysed before starting as was worried I would be talked into buying expensive trainers that I can't afford. I did buy some new trainers that I thought would be ok (Reebok Runtone). Also I am running mainly on pavement as there is nowhere else to run within walking distance really (I don't drive) and I wonder whether this has contributed to it..?

Really annoyed that I have picked up an injury already. I already walk my dog for a couple of hours every day at a brisk pace and hoped that it would stand me in good steed, but I guess not!

14 Replies
gingernut49 profile image

I've now completed the three week one walk/runs (third yesterday) and my shins are the sorest part of me. They're definitely not painful but I am aware of them. Hopefully someone wise will answer you. I really want to do this so I'm hoping my shins will get used to the unaccustomed activity. I'm just 63 and haven't run since school but I'm aiming at a half-marathon in September.

rubygloom profile image
rubygloomGraduate in reply to gingernut49

Thanks gingernut49. Hope that your shins haven't got any worse for you. Best of luck for that half marathon! :)

gingernut49 profile image
gingernut49Graduate in reply to rubygloom

Fortunately they haven't got any worse. Two runs done now of week two and they're not too bad - just got to get the old bod used to the unaccustomed exercise. There was a lad walking in front of me when I was 'running' and he was moving quicker than I was!

rubygloom profile image
rubygloomGraduate in reply to gingernut49

Ah well done! Soon onto week 3 then. I was told not to worry about speed and that running is still running no matter how slow which is quite true, and for all that lad knew you had just run 10 miles! :D

I started this programme in the summer and although I have completed a couple of 30 minute runs I still haven't graduated due to colds etc but mainly shin splints. So I'm back to running for 15 minutes and my shins still give me a lot of trouble but I tape them up now which helps a lot and after I've had my run and stretched I stand in a bucket of iced water for a few minutes! Definitely not particularly pleasant but it really does help hugely. I'm certainly no expert and can only speak from my own experiences but I would say that for me week 2 was the start of my problems when I followed Laura's advice to run with my heels striking the ground first. That definitely did not come naturally and I felt my shins sore immediately so I would say just stick to your natural way of running. I ignored the pain for a few weeks but it did get increasingly worse so I had to rest for a few weeks every now and then but that was before the taping and iced water tricks. I saw a physiotherapist and she showed me how to tape up and then I just purchased some kt tape (cheaper version though) from amazon. Hope some of this long-winded answer helps. I know how frustrating it is when you're all fired up to keep to the programme and your body has other ideas! Oh and I should say, I'm still loving running and even though I'm running for shorter times just now it's still a lot better than being the couch dweller I was! Good luck.

rubygloom profile image
rubygloomGraduate in reply to bwings

Thanks bwings. Sorry to hear that shin splints are holding you back on the programme but well done on achieving what you have! 15 minutes sounds pretty good compared to where I have got to. Not sure that I fancy the bucket of iced water, but if needs must!

I'm not aware that my heels strike the ground first. I am just running naturally (to me) but I think I am going to have to go ahead and have my gait analysed next week as I have tried to ignore my shins and hoped that switching to grass would help, but today they screaming at me!

Best of luck to you too :)

Soozz profile image

Firstly, well done for getting started and onto w2! And it sounds like you're enjoying it, which is good motivation! Sorry to hear about the shin pain though. I did the whole programme and then got shi splints about 4 weeks later - and they took quite a while (6 weeks) to clear. HOWEVER, there is hope! I am to back to running and I do lots of stretches after running (and warm up really well before) and the old shin splints seem to be OK. Maybe on your non-run days you might do some other exercises to strengthen those calf muscles? R (est),I(ce), C (ompression) and E (levation) is the treatment of choice and certainly works, but I can understand you not wanting to rest from running at this stage! Not sure what to advise...but Good Luck and hope they improve. Lets know how it goes.

rubygloom profile image
rubygloomGraduate in reply to Soozz

Thanks Soozz. Yes I am enjoying it :) Very surprised that you developed shin splints after completing the whole programme! Had you changed your footwear or running surface etc? The only warm up I have been doing before each podcast is the brisk 5 minute walk as I read conflicting views on stretching beforehand. I've also only been doing the 5 minute walk at the end, no stretches or anything as I wasn't sure that I had to (not sure if that sounds stupid now that I think about it(!) but I thought that the podcasts were meant to be a "complete" programme. What stretches do you recommend?

Soozz profile image
SoozzGraduate in reply to rubygloom

Stand on the edge of a step and lower and raise your heels. Do calf raises while you're washing up! Lunges, keeping your heel in contact with the floor. Toe-taps while you're sitting down. ( I got these all off the Internet ).

I think I got the shin splints through nt warming up well on a very cold morning and then setting off too fast because I was cold - be warned!! I didn't do any warm-down stretches until I developed the shin splints, but think once you're onto the longer runs it's a good idea.

Hope you get it sorted. I do think gait analysis and investing in some proper running shoes is a good idea too. Best of luck.

rubygloom profile image
rubygloomGraduate in reply to Soozz

Thanks - I will make a note of those! Hoping to get my gait analysis done at the beginning of next week. Wish I had got it done in the first place now as I bought new trainers before starting C25K so have wasted £35 if I need to buy another pair better suited to my feet - nevermind, we live and learn I suppose!

greenlegs profile image

Try taking smaller steps, NOT landing on your heels (ignore the podcast advice - I haven't yet heard anyone that finds it comfortable, and have read loads of advice for avoiding pain/injury that recommends midfoot landing, directly below your centre of gravity, not stretching out in front of you). Landing on your heels makes your body weight jar your lower legs, and is tough on knees too.

I've got to week 4 without (touch wood) any real aches other than back ache (which was probably from dozing on long car journeys) - I run slowly too, as it's all very new for my body. And I'm mostly enjoying it.

Hope some of that is helpful.

rubygloom profile image
rubygloomGraduate in reply to greenlegs

Thanks greenlegs. Well done on reaching week 4!

rubygloom profile image

Thanks for the replies and suggestions guys. I switched to grass for the last run of week 2 on Wednesday hoping that it would mean that I could keep going with the programme. The grass area here is not ideal as it is very muddy, covered in dog poo (not good in the dark!) and not very big which meant that I went up and down the same stretch about 8 times over but I decided it would still be better than not being able to continue.

It went ok. I completed the podcast and yes my shins hurt more than they did when I set off, but not as much as when I got back from the previous run on pavement. Went out today and completed run 1 of week 3 (on grass again) but by golly my shins are in absolute agony :( I completed the podcast as can't bear the thought of failing part way through one of them, but really don't think I am going to be able to do Mondays. I made sure I was only taking short steps and went slower than I have been, although I wasn't exactly road runner to begin with! I'm wondering if I'm going to have to give them a long period of not running to try to let them sort themselves out (really don't want to have to stop for as long as 6 weeks though!).

I'm not aware that I'm landing on my heels at all. I just carried on running as I had been when Laura suggested that (not sure that my natural running is technically correct either though!). I'm wondering if perhaps I will go and get my gait analysed afterall as I can't carry on as I am. Looking at my old trainers and boots I can see that they are worn out very unevenly so I think I over pronate quite badly (think that is the correct term!?). Are there any particular trainers people have been recommended for this problem?


I'm at the same point as you and suffering sore shins. Talking to the runners at work it is a newbie thing and should ease with practice. Something they said might work is to make sure you stretch your calves post run and try pointing your toes up hold for 10 seconds ish and relax repeat 3 or so times. Stretches the front or your calf. It does seem to ease mine.

Let me know if it helps


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