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Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]

Manticure

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OK, I realize that military doesn't tolerate any kind of whining or complaining and I have been already shown that on this forum. But I think I keep having this problem of shin splints. My basic training is on September 7th and my question is, in your people's opinion, should I continue running regularly for the next month to prepare my fitness? Or should I completely stop running to let my legs completely heal before basic? The thing is I can only do level 5 of the shuttle run test and I wanted to train really intensively the whole august to get to level 6, but I realized that will only worsen my leg pain and I can't come to basic training with injured shins.
PS: I've been also wondering, what do you wear for running in basic training or WPC? Do you just run in military boots or running shoes? I've had my running shoes for almost a year now, do you think I should buy new ones for basic?
 

Good2Golf

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Maticure, try stationary bike for a while. You can burn a lot of calories and conditions yourself well with spinning. 

I'd suggest taking your shoes in to a Running Room (or similar) store and asking for some advice on shoes...your shoes may not be the best for you, and may be worsening a pre-existing condition.  There is quite a difference in running shoes and what they can help (or hinder) with their designs, and you need to have the right kind of shoe matched with your physiology and running mechanics.  The pros can look at the wear patter of your shoes, your feet shape and geometry and some walking mechanics to determine a shoe that is best suited for you.

Regards
 

medicineman

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To add to what GtG said, if your shoes are over a year old, you should replace them.  Go somewhere like Running Room that looks at your gait and then suggest shoes to fit your running/walking style.  Also, if you're getting shin splints, you need to cut back on the impact some - switch out to cycling and swimming/in pool running.  Gradually go back to running with a walk/run system, gradually decreasing walk to run ratios and do it on something softer like grass if you're running on something solid.  Our physio team in Kingston used to have the exact timings/ratios for this, unfortunately I don't anymore.  Stretch lots after you exercise.  If you're running daily, do a one on one off schedule for a bit too to give the muscles and fascia around them time to recover.

MM
 

Manticure

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OK, I looked up this place around where I live, called Forerunners. I called them and they said they can look at my feet type and all and recommend the best running shoes for my feet. Do you people think that would be good enough?
I will go there tomorrow and buy new running shoes, and see if it makes running easier on my legs.
 

Occam

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If you're not happy with Forerunners, I've had success with my local Sports Experts.  I found an especially knowledgeable salesperson who took lots of time getting my running shoes right with my orthotics, and they told me to try them out (indoors on the treadmill!) for a few days and if they weren't okay, to bring them back.  I bought them, tested them out, and they weren't right.  They took them back no questions asked, and got me fixed up with a really nice pair of Asics runners for ~$130 that are like running on pillows.  I used to go reasonably cheap with running shoes - not anymore.

I think the key is to find salespeople who have been around a while, and aren't just high school kids earning gas money - not that there's anything wrong with that!  ;D
 

Manticure

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Ok I went to that store and the guy there seemed like a professional runner or something and was very helpful. He said my current shoes were definitely not right for my type of shins or ankles because they didn't have support on the anterior side of the shoes or something. So he recommended me to use some different type of shoes and brought 4 different brands to try it out. He said brand doesn't make much difference, and that it's all about the type of the shoe, different brand is just a different feel. After trying all 4 different brands I felt like the ones from New Balance felt the best.
In any case I am not going to run for another few days or weeks until my shins heal completely. Because everyone I talk to, my doctor, people on the web and friends recommend that it's best to completely stop running and let it heal, otherwise it will only damage your muscles and possibly bones more.
In the meantime I'll just do the icing treatments and walking on heels exercise. People say it makes your shins stronger.
 

armychick2009

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I would suggest doing some stretches specifically for shin splints to help ease the severity of them.  I had them last fall but after a few weeks of doing these, it was gone completely. The following links have helped and were recommended by the physiotherapist...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv6ycmOWnq0  (the stretches up to 2:15 I was doing)

This one here, is the one that helped the most...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj2r4VtyRD4&feature=related

Finally, this one...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNsHmC4qgoI&feature=related

Good luck!
 

Manticure

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armychick2009 said:
I would suggest doing some stretches specifically for shin splints to help ease the severity of them.  I had them last fall but after a few weeks of doing these, it was gone completely. The following links have helped and were recommended by the physiotherapist...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv6ycmOWnq0  (the stretches up to 2:15 I was doing)

This one here, is the one that helped the most...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj2r4VtyRD4&feature=related

Finally, this one...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNsHmC4qgoI&feature=related

Good luck!
Allright, I am gonna do these too a couple times a day. I've been doing the one from last video all this time.
Crap, I don't have much time to prepare for basic now. I am flying there in a little over 5 weeks, and it will probably take at least half of that to heal my shins.
 

armychick2009

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I didn't stop running but I continued and did these exercises several times throughout the run (or fast walk) if they hurt too much... also, icing it when it aches is a good thing to do. Good luck and hopefully you mend quickly!
 

Manticure

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About a week and a half after getting the shin splints went away. So I slowly started running again 3 days a week.
Now after about 3-5 minutes of running I start to feel kind of heaviness and stiffness in my lower legs. And I know that if I just continue running, I will get the shin splints again, because I know this feeling. I do all kinds of stretches all the time: before and after running and also in the breaks in between running.
But after running I almost don't feel any pain or stiffness. The only time I can feel it is if I push with my fingers on those lines in between the bone and shin muscles, but just barely, not nearly as much as 2 weeks ago.
This is very annoying because now the bottleneck of running for me is my legs. Of course I don't get exhausted at all after 5 minutes of jogging. So now all I can do is try to run as much as I can without hurting my legs so that eventually I'll be able to run as much as to actually make myself exhausted.
Seems like being sent to WPC is inevitable for me. The only other thing I could do is simply ignore my legs and run as much as possible to improve my cardio, but that would be foolish because then I'd come to BMQ with possibly even more serious leg injury on the first day.
I've been doing running on and off since about a year ago but only started seriously doing it around April. Ever since then I've been doing the running schedule attached here. I started from day 1 but never got farther than week 5. My best was jogging 2 miles in 20 mins but now I can't get even get close to that because of my legs.
 

Joani

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Hi, Manticure,

I know what you mean about stiffness in your lower legs while running. I've never been sure what that is, but in my own experience, I found that pushing through it (not even stopping to stretch it out, which doesn't seem to help) and concentrating on something else (music, scenery, how funny I look if I'm on a treadmill in front of the mirror) makes it abate after a bit.

However, if you're sure you'll get shin-splints doing this, then continue doing the stretches as Armychick mentions and maybe work in slowly.

I went from not being able to run to the bus stop to playing Ultimate Frisbee to running half-marathons. You can definitely do it too!

Cheers,
Joani

 

PMedMoe

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Kratos said:
You'd think they would PM you.

With all that they arleady do here (deleting, merging, etc), they don't have the time to PM each and every person affected.  They are all volunteers and they have a reall life, too.
 

Manticure

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Ok in the last few weeks since my last post I started doing regular exercises for my shins. Draw alphabet with each foot twice a day. Walk on heels twice a day. And 2 sets of the exercise where you stand on your toes and then raise and lower your heels repeatedly. I have to say all these exercises helped my running quite a bit. I can even notice my lower leg muscles bigger now! So yeah if anyone else has trouble with lower legs when running. Those exercises should help a ton.
On the other hand though, the pain in my anterior shins is still there. Not nearly as much as before but I can still feel it become a bit worse every time after running, but on the next day it's almost gone again. I don't want to stop completely running now because BMQ is in a little more than a week. Today I ran the shuttle test and surprisingly I ran 5.5 for the first time and I think I could actually do 6. But the thing is, once I got to 5, I was quite surprised how I am not that exhausted yet so I decided to go for 5.5 and the thought about level 6 didn't even pop in my head so I just stopped at 5.5 but I was extremely exhausted then.
 

Private

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For new recruits who have not done much running before- GET YOURSELF A GOOD PAIR OF SHOES.

This can make all the difference in your training, from increasing your times to preventing shin splints.

If you're from Edmonton a good place to go is Fast Trax run/ski shop.

A professional will have you run on a treadmill in store and watch your gait, among other things and determine the right shoes for you.

I didn't realize all the things factored in to determine what shoes are good for you...

Most of the staff are regular marathon runners (Death race, Lost souls etc.) not just random shoe salesman so they know what they're talking about.

Here's a link to their website:
http://www.fasttraxskishop.com/

TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET
 

jemcgrg

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I just wanted to thank everyone for this information. One of my biggest worries about basic is just not being well enough prepared. This has given me some good perspective and also put my mind at ease a bit.
 
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