Shin Splints, Please Help

 I leave for boot camp (joined the army) in about 5 weeks and have been working my ass off for the last few months to make sure I am in as good as shape as possible, been running 6 miles a day and doing sprints as well as pushups, pullups all that jazz....

my problem now is for the last week or so when I do my long run after about 2 miles my shins are literally on FIRE and I am having to stop running and can really only do sprints now without too much pain...

I just started icing them yesterday so i am doing that but my main question is what else can I do to get my cardio besides swimming and biking with access to neither.

I saw some stuff online that said I need to rest my shins for 3 weeks but if I do that I am going to lose ALOT of cardio which I dont feel I can afford to do so by still wind sprints and NOT doing the long distance run will my shins get the necessary resting time they need (seeing as how wind sprints dont make my shins hurt)??

Also what about doing jumping jacks or using a jump rope? miniscul (sp) I know but how will doing those and NOT running affect the resting of my shins so that I can hopefully take a week or so off without running and be able to get my routine going again before I leave?

thanks for the help.


Dude, while I admire you for wanting to be in the best shape you can be for boot camp, you don't need to be in your absolute top physical shape.  6 miles per day in addition to doing sprints sounds like it's too much unless you worked up to that over MONTHS.

You could be the top triathlete in the WORLD, be able to crank out 500 pushups and 100 pullups and you're still gonna get your ass kicked at boot camp, more or less.  They're just gonna work you until you hit the failure point.  It may come sooner for you than others, or it may come later. But you'll hit that wall eventually and they'll want you to try and push thru it. 

Shin splints can be any number of conditions. It could just be inflammation of the calf muscles, but it could also be stress fractures, which take months and months to heal completetly.  You need to throttle WAY back on the running.  I would take AT LEAST a week off (with ICE and ADVIL a couple times/day), then test them out and see how they feel.  Do NOT run until they're 'on fire' again as you'll just end right back where you are now.  You need to aggravate them as little as possible.  If after a week you can do some sprints and they don't hurt, then great.  Do that.  Just DON'T OVERDO IT.

A little trick that a physical therapist taught me. . .ice them right before you go to bed.  Seems to be more effective at reducing inflammation that way.

Bottom line, you don't need to be olympic level to go to boot camp.

Rest it until its COMPLETELY healed. I didnt and ended up getting a stress fracture in my shin bone. Guess how long that takes to heal

I think there's debate about whether the 'good' kind of shin splints will or won't lead to stress fractures.  I think the symptoms of stress fractures are pain even if you're resting, and very tender to the touch, like when you press on your shin.  If you have that, you better go talk to the recruiter and get a medical delay.

I posted this on the other forum as well but for what its worth here are my suggestions. I'm not much of a runner, but I do a bit for fitness, I used to find as well after a couple of miles my shins would really start to burn, and the pain could last for days. The best thing I did was to stop running on concrete, this is absolutely the worst surface to run on. Try to run only on grass or dirt. Not sure if in the army you need to run on concrete or not? I suspect most of the training is on more natural surfaces.

I think part of my problem was that my calves were too strong. If you are doing any form of weight training that is strengthening the calf muscles stop doing it.

Start strengthening the muscles on the front of the shin. I used to do this by sitting on a sturdy table where my legs would hang free, and then hanging from my feet a strong bucket with some weights in it, and then lifted my feet up and down. I also tried using a bit of rope tied in a loop with some weights on it and hanging that off my feet, and doing the same thing. Both methods were a bit awkward, but did help in strengthening those muscles.

Honestly I would give your shins a chance to heal before entering the army. Try only running every third day, if they feel OK, try every second day. Do other forms of cardio like swimming, cycling, rowing and so forth, on the days you aren't running. I doubt you will lose any cardio. If you look at triathletes they are extremely fit, but often don't run more than a few times a week, with a lot of cycling and swimming on the other days. It doesn't matter if you suck at swimming, that will just make it tougher and challenge your cardio more.

I don't think skipping or jumping jacks are a good idea. Too high impact.

Stop fucking running NOW! You go to basic like that you will hate life. When you start running again, do 2 mile runs for time. Why would you need to run 6 miles anyway, unless you are 11b you ain't gonna run that far in basic no how.Let me let you in on something, if you are not totally healed when you go, the amount of time you spend on your feet marching etc in addition to the running you will be a broke dick fucker.You don't want to be that guy that is a non-marcher, ridin in the truck, soft shoe profile wearing sneakers when everyone else is in boots broke individual.Let that shit heal.

going into boot camp in awesome shape you will come out in worse shape...they try to get everyone on the same plane

rest your damn feet, shin splints are an overuse injury. also examine your form and technique, when running you want to be off your heel and as much on the balls of your feet as possible