HELP! Shin splints

NDHunter

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Apr 14, 2012
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North Dakota
So in January, I decided to sign up for a half marathon on the hope that I'd draw an elk tag this fall and that way I'd be in good shape. Well I drew the tag which is good but the race is this Sunday and now I've got shin splints. I haven't run in the last 10 days and have been icing them daily and taking ibuprofen. Is there anything else I should be doing these last 5 days? This will be my first half marathon so I'm new to running and such. I'm not going to be too pleased though to train for over 4 months and then not be able to run! If anyone has any advice, please share!
 

BigSurArcher

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May 20, 2012
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Ouch. I used to get them when I was playing football. You might try finding a trainer to give you a shin tape job soon, and go for a fun and see how it works. It worked for me, but didn't for others. If it works, you should stay away from running until the big day and do it with the tape job. If you need to do more cardio up until then, maybe try rowing or swimming. It's a tough situation though. On the other hand, it could be something as simple as getting a new pair of shoes or insoles. When I started cycling real heavy my shin splints went away, probably because I got these big muscles built up on the outside of my shins.. Now I can run fine!
 

hflier

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I had these in the Army and they are a bitch. You have to let them heal. It usually helps to take breaks in your training every 2-3 weeks during the time you are ramping up. This will help prevent them. But once you have them you have to let them heal and then start to train again taking it wasy the first few days. Usually once you are over them, they dont come back. It is an early (in your program) over training symptom.
 

dcestnik

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Apr 23, 2012
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Helena, MT
Got a terrible case of these in college. Avoid repetitive stress, use dixie cups filled with ice to rub your shins and work your toes to your knees. We had a tib bar that helped but you could duck walk too.
 

sk1

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i personally wouldn't run the half marathon, but that's just me....if you continue it will get worse and worse and possibly end up in a more serious microfracture. i have had them since high school basketball, and still occasionally get them at 27 when playing alot of ball. the only way to get better is TIME off from what's causing the injury....once healed there are things to try and prevent them such as weight training, proper warm up and then stretching in that order is huge, and also good shoes with proper insoles due to the pronation of your feet one way or another.

you said you are not a runner, make sure you are landing on the mid-foot to front of the foot area in your strides, do not run heel to toe in your strides as this is incorrect. if you try to run outside in bare feet, i promise you wont do it very long heel to toe.

ice and ibuprofen can only get you so far, but are a good aide in recovery, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

i have tried to play basketball for an entire season through shin splints, i start the season able to dunk with ease, and by the end of the season it hurts so bad i can barely touch the rim, and hurts every step.....to me basketball was worth the pain and long recovery, i guess you have to decide if the marathon is worth that or not!

oh also, some compression leg wraps for your shins help a little, i love them, but it's no miracle cure and they are expensive
 

sodak

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Mar 7, 2012
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Lots of calf stretching. Cushioned shoes. I've run 10-milers with horrible shin splints. Usually after 2 or 3 miles my legs felt better (but worse the next day). I would shorten my stride (to facilitate running on the balls of my feet) and try to not "bounce".

Check out Runner's World online. They have several articles about shin splints.

I'm currently working back into my running after some stress fractures in my shins.
 

Backpack Hunter

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Feb 26, 2012
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Some wilderness area, somewhere
My wife tried everything for her shin splints, and ended up running in Five Fingers......no more shin splints. My theory is since she was running with such a thin sole it changed her stride (out of necessity) and cured the problem.
 
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NDHunter

NDHunter

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Apr 14, 2012
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North Dakota
Thanks guys for the input. I'm going to try jogging tomorrow and if they feel good, I think ill try running this weekend. If it hurts though im not going to push it and will sit the race out.
 

Jager

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Apr 25, 2012
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Australia
An issue for sure, running shoes, while comfortable can be the biggest problem here, with under and over pronation, and unsuitable foot strike, this is where ankle, knee, hip and back problems start. Running in Vibram fivefingers will make the world of difference, I hunt in them know too, as long as it is not too cold, obviously. lol Sounds like you have been overtraining too, remember rest is just as important as cracking out the miles.

I wouldn't run the half marathon unless your feeling a lot better by then, shin splints can lead to stress fractures and even more recovery.

Good luck.
 

Arrowslinger

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Jun 10, 2012
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NorCal
Kinda late to this party, but i'd like to add some comments: switching to minimal footwear (vibram type) will not cure any foot or biomechanical issues. They more often than not create problems due to improper use. Instead focus on how you run and your bodies position, a quick look at 'good form running' will get you started in the right direction. Shin splints can be caused by a variety of issues and in this case i'd be willing to bet its due to the new work load (running) and footwear choice.

NDHunter, did you end up doing the half? If you need help trouble shooting footwear and your injuries, feel free to PM me. The above comments and questions are what i deal with on a daily basis in my career -running industry.
 
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