I'm not a small guy, about 220 5'10" but I'm thick, people assume I'm around 200. Anyway, I have been running lately, short distances for starters about 1/3 mile off and on. But I notice that it's not my stamina that limits my distance but my shin muscles? I start to cramp up badly in the shin, specifically my left leg. I thought this would be temporary, but it's continued for a couple weeks now.
Anyone had this happen? How did you overcome?
03-20-2008, 08:11 AM #1
Running - Muscle cramps in shins?
03-20-2008, 08:14 AM #2
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03-20-2008, 08:18 AM #3
yeah. They are called shin splints..recently started my cutting phase so I am doing cardio again now and for the first week or two I had horrible shin splints and could only jog for a few minutes then had to slow down for awhile before they would go away.
Basically make sure your lifting legs, especially calf exercises. Use the RICER technique everytime after cardio. Get some good leg and calf stretches after you do a short warmup on the treadmill or however your doing your cardio.
They will go away once after some time, so just keep grinding away and make sure you give your legs some rest also. Say 1 day of cardio then RICER after, day off, day on until you can go without any pain.
03-20-2008, 08:26 AM #4
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03-20-2008, 08:28 AM #5
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I know what you mean...these are different from shin splints (which Ive also had), it's the muscle on the front of the leg cramping. Stretching first and starting out slowly helps, but I know once that muscle cramps they wil not go away without some rest. I literally cannot move my ankle and the foot flops around.MattC.
20 rep squats ftw
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03-20-2008, 08:28 AM #6
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03-20-2008, 08:35 AM #7
03-20-2008, 09:00 AM #8
So, improved fitness will make cramps less likely, but you can remove em yourself with good workout prep. I'm 5'10, 160 and I still get em if I overwork the muscles without a proper warmup.
Rest is generally good, yes. But it's not a cramp cure. Also, if you get cramp pain, you should drink some fluids again and stretch, you can work through it. That's cramp though, your pains might be something more sinister, so be cautious.
03-20-2008, 09:25 AM #9
03-20-2008, 09:42 AM #10
03-20-2008, 11:06 AM #11
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Stretch out your calves for relief, find a curb or something you can stand on and let the calves stretch out like on the down position of a calf raise. Stretch with your heels facing straight back, then angled inward, then again with them aiming outward.
When you run, you're pushing off with your toes which puts stress on the calves. When the calves tighten up, it puts stress on the tibialis anterior (the muscle on the front of the shin) and since the calves are usually way more powerful than the tibialis anterior, you get a world of hurt.
Stretching and warming up properly will help, by the way you can not stretch a cold muscle, you must warm up first, but conditioning that muscle on the front (or not pushing off the toes so much) to even out the muscle imbalance will go further to actually fix the problem. You can do reverse calf raises where instead of standing on your toes and raising the heels, you stand on your heels and rock back to raise your toes. You can also do seated toe raises, pulling your toes(and the rest of the foot) up as high as you can and holding, then repeat. Or do the same thing and find a way to hang a weight from your toes to strengthen the muscle.
In the meantime, when you run try to focus more on pushing off with the ball of your foot, not so much the toes. You might even imagine yourself pushing off from the heel, which I know is nearly impossible when running but by imagining it happening that way, you can alter which muscles get used. I do a lot of inline skating where pushing off the toes is a common problem, and not the proper way, but focusing on driving power from the heels helps the skater to get a proper push which applies equal pressure to the whole foot. This technique might help in running.. or maybe not.. it's worth a shot though. Also it could be your whole body's form while running. If you're all leaning forward while running, the soleus, another powerful muscle in the back of the leg, is doing double duty trying to keep you from falling on your face, which puts even more strain on the tibialis anterior. If you notice yourself leaning forward, try to consciously straighten yourself up to a more upright posture.