Timberly George Blogs Answers to Aches & Pains Questions

Barb K asked:

Wow, this week was a huge jump for me.  I really noticed the increase in distance and duration.  I did InTraining 2 years ago for the first time and remember having quite a lot of pain in my ankles and shins for the first couple of months.  I purchased good shoes which made a big difference and I focused a lot on stretching and strengthening my legs, which helped.  This year, training has been easier for the most part … except for this week!  The old familiar pain is back with a vengence.  What’s interesting is I don’t have pain while I’m running, but rather when I switch to walking.  It’s so frustrating … I have so much pain in my ankles and shins while I’m walking that my feet slap the ground with each step.  When I start running again, after the 1 minute of walking, the pain goes away.  I’m not sure what to do.  I make sure that I do a lot of stretching before and after my runs and I haven’t missed any runs.  The only thing I can think of is doing more walking to build up my walking muscles.  I’m wondering if my problem is common for beginners?  Any suggestions?

Timberly says:

That is an interesting question, Barb.  Do you get any pain when you walk at any other times, outside of the run/walk workouts?  If not, I’m wondering if you are just walking too aggressively on those rest breaks.  Try allowing yourself to really relax and recover and and don’t force the walking too much.  It’s possible you’re working too hard during the run segment as well and maybe tiring yourself (your shins and ankles!) out which is why you end up slapping the ground with each step.

You might be right in needing to strengthen your walking muscles though as well.  You can do some ankle and shin strengthening with elastic resistance bands to help.  Practice walking on your heels and then on your toes, about 30 steps of each, 2-3 sets, can also strengthen those muscles. 

Try some of those tips!  If the pain persists and starts interfering with walking outside of your workouts, be sure to get it checked out.


Timberly George BScPT BScKin

Registered Sport Physiotherapist

City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinics

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