I am a fairly beginner-level runner. I’ve been in and out of periods where I run quite frequently but never have been able to make it past a few milestones which are, for me, markers of a more experienced runner - being able to run 4 + miles and being able to run one mile in under 10 minutes.
Recently, I decided to get my act together and signed up for 10k in July - I know this is a little beyond my ability but I started training about 2 and a half weeks ago and am a pretty active person in general.
I’ve been comfortably increasing speed and distance using a training plan which I like a lot. However, I find I’m having a lot of stiffness around my ankle and lower front shin. This occurs during runs (if I have a walking interval I often struggle to jump back into the run because of stiffness) and usually remains for a few hours after a run, or until I get moving again the morning after. I have attempted to improve my form and made sure to run without headphones in so I know that my feet aren’t hitting too far ahead of me, and to be sure I’m hitting the ground around the front and middle of my foot, and I’ve found I seem to have a relatively light step.
Could this pain just be reflective of my recent increase in frequency? How would one know if soreness could be indicative of a bigger problem?
Thank you for all your help!
Shin and ankle pain can be caused by overuse of tibialis anterior (shin muscle), which can be a result of increasing mileage too quickly and/or running on hills. In addition, if the tendons around the ankle are working to stabilize your ankle with placement during mid-foot strike, you may need to change the stability level of your shoe. It is great that you already started working on running form because heel striking and over striding can cause similar issues.
I would recommend icing your shins and stretching after running. One way to stretch that muscle is to kneel on the ground with the top of your foot flat on the floor and sitting back onto your heels. Lastly, I would make sure you are gradually increasing mileage and speed to avoid other injuries. If injuries/symptoms persist with rest, elevation, and proper training, you may want to see a physical therapist for ankle stabilization exercises and stretches specifically for your needs.