They’re baaaackkk!

I’m referring to my lovely friends, shin splints.

Yesterday, I completed my fourth run on the MCM training plan. It should have been my fifth, but I skipped my long run last Saturday. Yes, you read that correctly. I SKIPPED MY LONG RUN. If there’s ever a run not to miss – it’s that one. So kudos to me for being an idiot so early on in training. All because on Wednesday night I had a killer workout…

Never again. My next workout didn’t happen until Monday because I was so sore. Four consecutive rest days? Not cool.

Anyway, my shins felt slightly achy after my 3 miler on Tuesday night. I stretched and iced afterwards, and felt much better the next morning. Last night, the pain returned. WTF. I’m not sure if it’s just “hey welcome back to running” pain or “hey your bones are breaking in half” pain. I iced again last night for 3 rounds of 20 min each, and then rocked my CEP compression sleeves for an hour while I polluted my brain with RHONY.

Shins were feeling slightly better this morning, but I threw the sleeves on under my jeans today as a preventative measure. I’ll ice again tonight, and rest up for my 5 mile trail run tomorrow.

I noticed yesterday I run pretty weird at slow paces (11:00-12:30 min/mi) and normal at fast [well, fast to me] paces (9:15-10:30 min/mi).  It was just feeling much more natural to run a sub-11 min/mi pace. When running slower, I tend to land on the outside of my foot, then my foot rolls inward, and I push off awkwardly with my toes. I also can’t run in a straight line; I’m seriously all over the treadmill from the right to the left, as if one of my legs is longer than the other. But when running faster, I land mid-foot and normal. This little experiment of mine very well could have contributed to my shin pain, since I don’t usually run fast … ever. Or maybe I should be running faster, to fix my gait/stride? Maybe my stability shoes + green SuperFeet give me too much support, and that’s why I’m having shin pain / landing incorrectly?

I don’t know.

Honestly I’m sick of talking about my damn shins. I research and read articles, I visit running specialty stores, I try new stretches, I buy new shoes.

I don’t know what else to do. If I can’t figure out a solution soon, I think running a full marathon is completely out of the question 🙁

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  1. I run track competitively and while I am SO lucky to never have had shin splints, teammates who have had them say that it’s that motion, out to in, that causes them. What is the MCM training plan training for?

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    • MCM is the full I am training for, Marine Corps Marathon. I’m so jealous of you & your lack of shin splints. Thank you for sharing the insight from your teammates!

  2. Do you warm up enough before you run? If I don’t, that’s when I get shin problems. I can’t just start running. I have to walk for 5 or 10 minutes before any run to get my muscles warm. Maybe try that?

    • I think this is a great idea. I was doing that in the beginning, but recently only a 3-5 minute warm-up. Maybe the shins want more minutes. I’ll give it a shot – thank you!!

  3. Oh blegh, sorry to hear that. Hope they get better!

  4. I dealt with shin splints in the first couple of years of running. The “final” cure went beyond stretching my calves and into strengthening the surrounding support muscles. Take a week (or two) off and do these exercises while you’re bored and depressed about not running:

    Also, I suspect your “weird” stride when you slow down is because you’re slowing down by spending a larger portion your energy propelling yourself upward and less to propel yourself forward. Next time you’re on a treadmill (it’s the perfect place to practice this), try slowing down by maintaining the turnover of your legs, but shortening your stride significantly. You’ll feel funny at first – like you’re taking baby steps, but eventually, it will feel more natural. Pretend you’re walking on eggshells and you don’t want to break them. This will reduce the stress on your body when you run and it’s just more efficient.

  5. Pingback: The One Where Road Runner Sports Made Me Buy All of the Things « Melissa Runs

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