And the doctors says: “You have to quit running”

Damn doctor! Good think I understood it was just a nightmare few moments before open my eyes, when I felt that sharp pain in my legs. “Great! – I thought – Another day where my body fails me miserably”.


I have been running for about three months now, toward my goal of taking part (I mean finishing) of my first 10k race this summer.

Everything went great so far – with normal lack of motivation, and ever reaching my first running high, which scared me quite a bit – and I am (was) approaching my first 50 minutes run.

Then, pain. I mean…. PAIN!

Shin splints” my husband told me about two months ago. It didn’t really mean anything for me, and since it wasn’t too bad I did not pay too much attention to it. I thought it was normal since I have never run before, and it was just my body trying to adjust.

I ran through it, only two or three times I took a day off, keeping running pretty much every other day.

But the pain, I mean PAIN – I have to pay respect to it – got more persistent. It decided to stay with me even during my days off, and  during the night, until it got everything I had.

It has been a week now without running, and the pain didn’t stop. I have hard time even walking and going down the stairs is a torture!

I try the ice, messages. I don’t know what else to do.

I am afraid I won’t be able to run the way I want to and I’m praying that rest will be the best medicine.

Also, since I’m not that trained, I think that when I will start running again I will have to start almost from the begin. All my hard work, all my sweat, all my energy and motivation…… I can’t believe it!

I’m commit to this, and I thought it was all in my hands. I thought I was going to be the key of my own success, and now…..

I have never thought I was going to miss running like this, especially since I’m running on the treadmill, due weather condition (Canadian winter).

What do I do?

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18 responses to “And the doctors says: “You have to quit running””

  1. becelisa says :

    take the time down that your body needs but find ways to maintain your cardio. bike, swim and if you can stand the boredom of it, deep water run (you can google it if you’re not sure what i’m talking about). when you start back make 100 percent SURE you have the right shoes for your running style. your shoe can make all the difference in injury prevention. i know it sucks but you’ll get through this.

  2. anunherdedturtle says :

    I agree with what becelisa said. This is the 4th time I’ve started up running in the last 5 years, each time I was derailed by something. This time I proceeded slowly even when I felt like pushing and I found out that I had been using the wrong shoes for my foot/gait. The other thing I did was look into Chi Running. It takes a while to get a feel for it, I’m still struggling but it is making a difference. And I bought a foam roller that has helped release the tension in my calves along with some calf stretches. This has helped my shin splints, they are very mild now.
    Listen to your body. When you start back you’ll have the added confidence in knowing you can do it and the memory of a runner’s high. Good luck!

  3. Circe says :

    I’m very sorry to hear this, but all of the other advice is right. I threw my back out a couple of years ago and the doctor told me I’d never run again, but I took it slowly, I keep my shoes up-to-date and I’ve had good success since that time. The only other thing I would recommend is to look at your walking shoes. Maybe if you change to a more supportive shoe for even regular walks (to the subway, to work, etc) it might help reduce the pain and get you out there a little faster.

    all the best

  4. gianni Lovato says :

    I beg you (for your own good): listen to your body and don’t give in to pride or stubborness. I went thru the same thing when I started jogging maaaaaany moons ago.
    At the time I felt like a wimp, but eventually found other ways of staying in shape. I am now 68 and still have my knees intact. I am almost positive this would not be the case if I had pushed myself unreasonably.
    You know that I am not proposing you become a couch potato, right?
    Meanwhile, to take some of your mind off this for a while, check my next few twitts to you.
    Good luck and be a healthy “Sardina”

  5. heidit says :

    I suffered from shin splints for a long time. The first rule is that you have to give yourself adequate time to recover and get yourself back into it slowly. During the time off, try other activities such as swimming and take ibuprofen/use ice to help with the pain if you can. Calf stretches and hamstring stretches also help.

    The other advice that I can give you is to make sure you are very well warmed up before running–you may need longer than other people normally take for a warm up to ensure your legs are properly prepared to run. If you are training harder than your body is used to, you may have to get back into things slowly–don’t run for quite as long as you have been. In other words, progress slowly–don’t be too aggressive in your running program and don’t increase the intensity or duration of your running program by more than 10 percent per week: overuse can cause shin splints.

    Make sure your shoes are in good condition and absorb shock well. If your shoes are worn out, you need new ones, even if the tops appear to be okay.

    If it is really painful still, you may have to see a doctor. There’s a chance you have a stress fracture and running will only make that worse.

    Good luck. I hope this helps.

    • ElenaSC says :

      Thanks! Evrybody is always so helpful. I definitely going to check my shoes, lots of people mentioned that.
      However I still don’t have idea about how long I am supposed to wait before running again once I am pain free!

      • heidit says :

        My understanding is you are supposed to wait at least a week after the pain goes away before you try running again, and then you’re not supposed to run at your max. Rather, you have to ease back into it slowly or you run the risk of re-injuring yourself.

  6. Sydney says :

    If you go to a specialty running store (think mom and pop, not footlocker) they can watch you run and recommend footwear for your particular gate. They are miracle workers, I’m telling ya!

    Stretching your calves is super important, but so is strengthening the muscles on the front of your leg. Some good exercises are writing the alphabet on the ground with your feet and walking backwards.

    The inflammation will go down over time, motrin and ice both help. Keep doing cardio, walking etc if you can stand it and let your body heal for a while. You should be able to run again if you take it slow.

  7. Aidyl says :

    Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I have complete sympathy for you.
    Also, you might have gone beyond your body’s limit. When you excercise, it’s ALWAYS important to listen to your body. Try just resting, and when you feel ready to get back on your feet, take a little walk. Hope it helps! :-)

  8. Becky Sue says :

    So sorry you are suffering! I’ve never experienced shin splints so I don’t have any useful advice. I agree with others when they say to listen to your body and not push yourself though it so hard! Best of luck!

  9. Jens says :

    Hi Elena,
    I recommend you to read “Born to run” by Christopher McDougall. http://www.amazon.com/Born-Run-Hidden-Superathletes-Greatest/dp/0307266303/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298644834&sr=8-1

    Gute Besserung!

    Jens

  10. KJP287 says :

    Shin splints are the worst – I finally got an answer to reducing the pain after I was told I also suffer from ITB syndrome (runner’s knee). Best thing to do is get new shoes (as everyone has already said), do calf stretches (as shin splints come from under developed muscles). Also see an osteopath, they have a lot of knowledge on shin splints and ways to appraoch active reocery, rather than sitting around!

    Active recovery is the ebst thing I ever did for my ITB and shin splints!

    Goodluck with your goal!!!!

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