Break from running

16 messages
22/11/2011 at 15:55

Just a general question - does it do any harm to take a break from a running schedule?

I generally suffer from shin splints on the inner side of my legs ( spent a fortune trying to resolve)..but lately ive been taking my training really steady and adding less than 10% a week to my total mileage also with a lot of stretching and and ice packs ive been managing 3 runs a week for a while now. I hadnt done 3 runs a week due to shiin splints for years but then again i did used to push the 10% a week.

Last week i did 3  7 milers but my legs felt really tired all week  and the shin splint has flaired up, not badly but lie a dull ache in the background - so this is why im thinking of resting this week.

should i next week continue at the same mileage or drop it down agin and build up to keep my legs going??

By the way im 40  - 6 foot 4 and 16 stone...i know im a big lad for long distance but im trying to get down to 15 stone before xmas just to see how much easier it is on my legs.

22/11/2011 at 16:42
If you "generally suffer from shin splints" you need to address something quite significant.
22/11/2011 at 16:45

 ive spent a fortune on podiatrist on custom made orthotics.....the last podiatrist said there is nothing more he could do for me.....so what do you do

 as i said im 6 foot 4 and 16 stone but i look quite slim for my height...and so im not your perfect runners size and weight.

22/11/2011 at 17:36

Have you done anything other than orthotics?  There could be other issues going on - might be worth getting muscle strength/flexibility/balance looked at, not to mention joint mobility in your foot/ankle/knee/hip/pelvis, and your actual running gait...  Problems with any of these can lead to "shin splints" whether this is tibial stress syndrome or compartment syndrome; podiatry can be fantastic but some podiatrists just focus on your feet when there may also be problems elsewhere.

In any case, if the issue is tibial stress syndrome,  i.e. stress on the inside of your shin bone, then rest is quite important to let the bone heal.  This is not a condition to run through, as it can potentially develop into a stress fracture.  And when you do take a break, drop your mileage when you come back, and only run when the bone is pain free.  Tibial stress syndrome is very much a situation where you should stop if it hurts.

22/11/2011 at 17:58

thanks  nellmead

 Where would i get my foot/ankle / knee / hip / pelvis - joint mobility looked at

ive seen 4 different podiatrist - i have 2 dfferent set of orthotics at £200 each

also all diagnosed a leg length discrepancy...

to be honest im fed up with all...just wanna run!!!!

my doctor told me to find a podiatrist myself.....sigh!!!

22/11/2011 at 18:01

A physio or an osteopath who specialises in sports and training injuries.

I'd suggest picking someone who has military experience, as we have loads of practice with shin splints; but that's my background so I would say that wouldn't I

Where are you based?  I might be able to recommend someone.

22/11/2011 at 19:01
Hiya Want, make sure your doing some core work sessions aswell as running.Weak core muscles can lead to poor form which puts pressure on a particular area,in your case your shins.I'd bet you a strong mid section might just help.As for your question on mileage just do as many miles as you can pain free.Some reduction is inevitable when injured but don't let your fitness go altogether,get on yr bike if need be.
22/11/2011 at 20:08

nellmead - im in wigan in the north west.

black country boy - can you recommend some core work sessions? im not currently a member of a gym but really want to try everything possible.

22/11/2011 at 21:19

nellmead - ive just looked at your website

 if its relevant - i work for a company in high wycombe and come down every few months - stopping in marlow or cookham

22/11/2011 at 21:24
Don't need a gym m8,just a bit space.Check ot the site the site here under the search or search You Tube and cherry pick the exercises you like.'The Plank' is a great exercise for the abs but if you can get a kettlebell and do some swings(You Tube search Kettlebell swings) it is a brilliant exercise for your lower back and glutes.Best of luck with that m8.
22/11/2011 at 21:46

black county boy

ill look into it...thanks matey

22/11/2011 at 22:40

Wantefc - the best physio I know in your area is Kay Bradley-Higgins (kay-bradley-higgins.co.uk) but you're welcome to pop in and see me next time you're down, if you're not sorted by then.

Agree with Black Country Boy on gyms - unnecessary in general, and avoid machine-based exercises if at all possible - but I would suggest having the odd technique lesson on kettlebells if you're going to try them, as I know from experience how easy it is to get it wrong and either start muscling instead of swinging, or just get injured. Easyfit in Preston isn't far from you and there are some good lads there who could show you some stuff to do in your own time and space if you're not sure.

23/11/2011 at 03:46

Just a note in reference to the recurrant shinsplints and if it harms your training to rest:

Its not really a question of if it harms your training, shinsplints wont go away unless you rest them. By all means take up other forms of exercise to keep your cardiovascular side up, things like rowing, swimming, cycling and also keep your mobility up with stretching and etc but in terms of repair, I'm sure no one needs to explain what shin splints are so I wont bore you with the description, its pain due to injury. If you don't rest, you wont be able to repair and worse, the tear will get worse, it gets worse and it not only takes longer to repair, it also can risk becoming much worse and becoming something which causes a great deal more pain. Please please rest!

When you have recovered enough to not feel immediate pain when pressing on the area, I'd suggest going for a sports massage for your calves, (posterior rather then on the area which is in recovery!) just to help boost the recovery (just because you can press on the injury and not feel pain it doesn't mean the injury has gone). Its then another few weeks and your in a better place to start again.

If you feel ANY pain when restarting stop STRAIGHT AWAY and rest and repeat the above until your back on track and again, if it comes back repeat but take longer. It will take a long time because your legs don't get the same circulation as other organs more central to your torso which is why its so important to keep the circulation going and also to make sure your nutrition is adequate. Proteins basicly (meat, fish, eggs, dairy, if your a veggie then don't forget to eat complete proteins, nuts are an incomplete protein and need to be eaten with pulses which are also incomplete but when eaten together form a complete protein, google complete proteins for more info). But rest is really the only thing that works for shinsplints. Its not easy and can feel like forever but it does pay off and being able to run pain free at the end of it, you'll thank yourself trust me!

23/11/2011 at 13:45

Jenn thanks for taking time for such a detailed reply.....

 im almost resigned to having to live with and manage my shinsplints as i said on my original post its more of a dull ache at the moment ...they do hurt after every run but settles down quickly with icing.

i dont know what else to do as something is causing it but no matter how much i rest and whoever ive thrown money at ive never stopped getting shin splints.....i do however feel that if i could shift another stone its got to be easier on my legs .Also i realise i have to supplement my running with other forms of exercise as all i do is run at the moment

23/11/2011 at 15:39
I'm 5ft 5in and less than 9 stone, so that sort of makes me a distance runner. I was ok on a bike but to be really good in a flat time trial you need to be big. Any sport in which you need momentum will be your forte. Swimming, rowing, cycle time trials and downhill ski-ing. Size like yours will be an advantage.
24/11/2011 at 05:06
Wantefc wrote (see)

Jenn thanks for taking time for such a detailed reply.....

 im almost resigned to having to live with and manage my shinsplints as i said on my original post its more of a dull ache at the moment ...they do hurt after every run but settles down quickly with icing.

i dont know what else to do as something is causing it but no matter how much i rest and whoever ive thrown money at ive never stopped getting shin splints.....i do however feel that if i could shift another stone its got to be easier on my legs .Also i realise i have to supplement my running with other forms of exercise as all i do is run at the moment


I'm just wondering how much they have been looked into?

Reason being, I thought I had recurrent shin splints. I tried to run through them, my GP requested an X-Ray to check for breaks and as there were none I rather embarrassed, never went back. I was sent to a physio who told me to do stupid things which did not work like hop to bring on the pain and then rest so I could build up the muscle. I hurt from the first hop which hurt for a week but as time was short, he just hinted at me being a bit pathetic, pain was not all bad and to keep going through it. I kept trying to run, eventually I couldn't even walk without limping and had to stop.

 To cut a long story short I went to my GP as I did my own research and was convinced all I needed was orthotics and the pain would go away. She sent me to an orthopedic doctor (thats food man to you and me) and he ran a few scans to rule anything bad out....it showed I had a tibial stress fracture! I would have never guessed and it was the reason for all the pain all along. Apparently these would never show on an xray as the image created is too small (think computer screen) a stress fracture is a hairline fracture and if not clipped at the right angle would be neigh impossible to capture. They had xrayed me front on, the SF was on the side of my leg.

It was not assumed I had this and it was only done to rule things out. I would have kept running and assumed I ws just doing something wrong had I not had that scan. It did hurt to press but it also hurt to walk, the physio I saw the second time round had pressed on it and said as I wasn't clinging to the celing it was not at all a SF (exactly 5 days before the bone scan which says "very definitely" otherwise). I either have a high pain threshold or (as I think) I programmed myself to not say ouch when things hurt and had learned to "breathe through it".

Have you had any checks? I had to get an X-Ray, then MRI then a nuclear bone scan. Not cheap for the NHS and not in anything less then a few months but definitely worth asking or I'd have run through that and possibly worsened things beyond repair.


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