Shin Issues

  • Creator
  • #20992

    I recently read through the book with the intention of creating a more structured plan going into the summer and fall. However, I’ve been having shin issues and I was wondering what the best way to modify my training while addressing these issues is.

    A little background on myself- I ran competitively in University, with peak mileage at 80 MPW, but have spent the last five years training on and off. I’ve never had reoccurring shin issues before despite sometimes jumping into training probably too quickly. It’s been hard for me to tell how much to back off or modify my training with no baseline knowledge of what “shin splints” pain is like.

    This year I’ve actually had a very slow and patient build up, running on average 4-5x weekly and building up to 35-40 MPW 4 months in. Ideally I wanted to create a training plan using TFTUA principles to be able to run 50-60 MPW with appropriate zone specific work-outs to do some long mountain routes in 3-4 months.

    About three weeks ago, I started having an aching/burning sensation in my right shin, mid tibia. Oddly enough most of this pain occurs when I’m not running. I don’t seem to have symptoms of a more serious injury (no shin hotspots when pressing, pain when going, etc). I took a week off and halfway through all pain stopped, but after a few days running again it’s back (maybe at lower intensity).

    I’ve been incorporating a lot more rolling, massage, lower leg strengthening exercises, and ice in the last few weeks.

    The pain is quite mild, maybe 3.5/10 and nothing that makes me feel the need to stop during a run.

    Any thoughts on:
    Is this fairly normal for shin pain (especially the sedentary pain)
    Should I take more full rest?
    Or, can I maintain training in a modified way? Is lowering mileage best, or should I hold mileage with continued aggressive treatment for a few weeks to see what happens. I don’t really want to start incorporating Z3/Z4 work outs if it’s going to jeapordize the rest of the year.
    Currently, I’ve been training 6-7 days/week, but each day is fairly short. Would I be better off training 3-4 times a week and have each day be a longer session? This would allow me to take more full rest days but maintain over-all volume.

    I’m trying to reign in the desire to train through a minor injury before it becomes something serious. Having trained at a high level before it’s easy to be tempted into striving for that high again. I’m guessing after five years of training my muscular endurance is lacking and is struggling to keep up.

    Apologies for the wall of text, I figured I’d be thorough with details from the get-go.

Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Participant
    djcrusoe0929 on #21016


    That is a bummer about your shin issue. You did an awesome job detailing what has bothering you but I have some more clarifying questions, if you are game to answer them.

    1. Is your aching and burning at mid shin to the inside or outside of the shin bone?
    2. How large of size is the area? Does it run vertically along the shin?
    3. Is the discomfort constant doesn’t change with activity, constant but changes with activity, or comes and goes?
    4. Does the pain change through the day from morning to afternoon to evening?
    5. What activities are more aggravating than others? What things are you doing that help it feel better

    Other things I was wondering about? How is the style of shoe you are wearing now compared to when you were running at University (thinking about heel to toe drop)? How has your body changed since your time with peak mileage (body weight or other factors)?

    Have you cycled or used the elliptical in the past? Or do these make your symptoms worse? These could be viable options to continue to get zone 1 training in. They may not be as optimal, but definitely better than training.

    Best Wishes,

    I haven’t really posted much on here. Just as a FYI I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy near Seattle and I just finished up reading Training For The New Alpinism

    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #21158

    I’ll echo Dan in that this is quite interesting giving rise to a bunch of questions on our part! Medial tibial pain usually can be traced back to training errors, poor footwear, ankle mobility limitations, and too much or too little foot movement. Your previous background would seem to inoculate you to many of the typical causes of shin pain. The kicker is sedentary pain. There may be another component in play here. Pain outside of activity, or with other unusual characteristics might have a neural component. Excessive sitting limiting back mobility can certainly tighten up the posterior chain giving way to increased demands on the foot/shin complex during sport movements. Who knew shin pain could be so complicated!! My general recommendation is to focus on lower extremity strength, and for your volume supplement other aerobic pain free exercises, and progress running only as tolerated.

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