Help with Running
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  1. #1

    Help with Running

    I know it says im only a friend. The truth is i have been to MEPS and the docs are being... well MEPS docs (anyone who has had trouble with them knows what i mean). Hopefully it all gets cleared up soon so i can be sworn in. Anyway, this past year i took a strength class at my high school. When you start the class you start doing the exercises you will do for the rest of the semester. Because i didnt work myself up to the standard required, and i developed shin splints. I need to get started running, how do i start running and work up to the requirements of the Marines, and not develop shin splints?

  2. #2
    There are exercises you can do to help with shin splints. If you do a basic google search, you'll find some good results. The one I used to do is lay in bed with your feet pointed up, and draw the alphabet with each big toe. It works out all the tendons and ligaments that are causing your splints.

    As far as building your running base up, just go run. Sounds simple, because it is.

  3. #3
    thank you sir

  4. #4
    They aren't shin splints. Google it. Shin splint is an injury that involves a rupture of the sheath around muscle, in simple terms, or may involve minute fractures. What you are experiencing is discomfort in the shin area most likely caused by lack of proper warm-up, no drills, no strength work, new to running, sucky running form, and a very common cause: inadequate shoes.

    The alphabet with the big toe is a good exercise. Physical therapists prescribe this exercise for rehabilitation. There have been numerous posts on this site about running, drills, warm-ups, and programs. thing you can do is go to a real running shoe store, not some generic sports shop, and talk to a salesperson about getting proper running shoes. Also, you might invest in Superfeet insoles. Then google "drills for runners." There are a lot of links. Here is one You don't necessarily need running flats to do these. Don't do static stretching before you run. It doesn't help. Do it when you are done running.

    Running form: Just go to this site and look at what it should be.

    Now, how to get started? Number one. You gotta do it. But number two, you are probably not a runner and have little experience. So you go out and run, get a little pain and quit. Google "running program" or "beginning running program" There are a ton of good running programs on the net. But for somebody like you who has to get his body used to running, I recommend this one:,00.html

    It involves walking and running progression and builds up over 8 weeks until you can run for 30 minutes. If you can do that, then you can start a beginners 5k running program like this: or this: or if you want something a bit more aggressive to improve times, try this:

    When you finish ANY and ALL running session, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do Crazy Feet. This will help prevent shin pain big time.

    Crazy Feet:

    Walk on toes for 20 meters, turn around.
    Walk back on toes, only point toes in. Turn around.
    Walk back on toes, only point toes out. Turn around.
    Walk back on heels. Turn around
    Walk on heels, toes pointed in. Turn around.
    Walk on heels , toes pointed out. turn around.
    Skip on toes, toes straight, turn around, skip back toes in, turn around, skip back, toes out. place hop on toes about 25 hops with toes straight. Hop on toes, toes in, 25 hops. Hop on toes, toes out, 25 hops.

    Get started.

  5. #5
    MOS4429 has already said this, but I'll repost: Stretch and Warm Up before you run! That is important.

    The Marines had us doing our Daily Seven before our runs, and I always thought it was stupid.

    When I got out, I just went running, but after 6 months or so, something would always blow out (shin splints, knee joint bruises, Charlie horses, etc.).

    In the last 3 years, I've started spending almost as much time doing my warm-ups as I do on the actual run. That warm-up consists of the "daily seven", but these days I do three (3) sets nice and slow before I take off.

    I have not had a single injury since I started warming up.

    The video clip is a little silly with a group of YMCA "wanna-be"s, but it gets the point across.

    Joe Pool, Senior Applications Developer
    USMC Dates: 880823 - 920823; Final Rank: E-4
    PvtShane: "Marines have a high standard, you'll meet it, you have no choice in the matter."
    Avoid Sears Home Improvement!

  6. #6
    Actually Jp2USMC, that is the opposite of what I said. I specifically said do not do static stretching before you run. That is old school. Stretching muscles, tendons, ligaments before a run can actually promote injury. You want your tendons and muscles to react to the impact on the ground. If you stretch them out, like stretching out a rubber band, they lose their elasticity, lose rebound, and are less responsive.

    Unfortunately, the military has not caught up to this, and they are still doing stretches and teaching old school. In fact, when it comes to running form, I read an article by the Air Force where they specifically teach the foot should land on the heel and roll up to the toe. That is idiotic and an excellent way to get an achilles injury. In the olden days, there were far few injuries. That's because most people landed on the mid foot to toe area, and the shoes were far less padded. Thus they developed strong tendons and ligaments. Then in the 60's, Coach Bowerman from Oregon started teaching heel strike first with the idea you could elongate the stride. BUT...injuries increased. Bowerman was instrumental with Nike in developing the modern running shoe with a heck of a lot of heel padding. Since that time running injuries have greatly increased.

    An excellent read is "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.

    A more relevant warm-up consists of dynamic drills that are specific to the muscles, joints and ligaments used in running. Unfortunately, the Daily Seven are general calisthenics and while they may increase heart rate, they are not specific to running and I would not recommend them, even though the Marine Corps may use those. Sidestradle hops, bends and thrusts, pushups, etc. do nothing for runners.

    Sara Hall explains it well in this video:

    Check out this site:

    He has some excellent videos, including foot and ankle routine, which will really help prevent lower leg pain. Coach Johnson's complete page of videos is at

    If a person wants to do the Daily Seven just for some strength work, not relevant to running, it won't hurt, and just like if a person likes to stretch, then the best time to do so is after your run.

  7. #7
    Well, I'm wrong.

    But, crap! She takes an Ice Bath afterwards! Screw that!

    Maybe I've been lucky, then. I've had no injuries since I started doing warm-ups before a run. Before, my warm-ups consisted of bending over to tie my shoes.

    Joe Pool, Senior Applications Developer
    USMC Dates: 880823 - 920823; Final Rank: E-4
    PvtShane: "Marines have a high standard, you'll meet it, you have no choice in the matter."
    Avoid Sears Home Improvement!

  8. #8
    Hey, better than mine. My warmup was bending over and farting.

    But on the ice bath thing, those are great! I frequently have my kids take ice baths, and when we run near the lake in the late fall, winter, and spring months, have them stand mid-thigh in the cold water for 15-20 minutes.

    When doing an ice bath, it's not like solid ice. You fill the tub with cold water, add in a couple big bags, and sit in it for 15-20 minutes, but you can wear a sweat shirt. We had a girl about three, four years ago whose father misunderstood and went and bout five 20-lbs bags of ice, dumped it all in the tub, added cold water, and had her sit for 20 minutes. Poor kid almost froze to death! Gave everybody a good laugh, though.

  9. #9
    thanks for the advice MOS4429, i have heard good things about the superfeet insoles and have been wanting to try them. and also thanks for all the workout advice.
    thank you Sir

  10. #10
    You're welcome, tfm. Hopefully you will be able to take it all in, look at the videos, different programs and devise your own program that involves warm-up drills, some quick feet drills, few strides, your run, and crazy feet.

    I was one of those who got horrid shin pain and on the outside would develop these spongy bumps. I used to stop in the middle of the run, pull my foot up and pull my foot up until it almost broke. This stretched that outside muscle and brought relief. Then I could run another mile until I had to do it again.

    When I went to Fleet Feet, got the shoe they recommended, incorporated in crazy feet, the pain nearly left. I would have liked to add in that ankle routine but didn't have it.

    Keep up the work, strength class, etc. and good luck. BTW, sounds like you are still in HS, and if so, though it is kinda late to do so, but joining the cross-country team would be an excellent way to get better at running.

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