BCT Tips and Shin Splints

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jojohn246, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. jojohn246

    jojohn246 Member

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    Hey everybody! I was very fortunate this past week to be offered an appointment to USAFA and am now really looking forward to an awesome four years at college and an even better career in the Air Force. However, the one thing that I am not as excited about is BCT. I want it to be an enjoyable experience in terms of learning a lot and making a bunch of great friends, but since April of 2015, I have been plagued by on and off shin splints. I finally relented and went to the doctor back in October and he told me that I should take the rest of the year off from running. These past two weeks I have been trying to start up my running again and I think I went a little too much too fast because I started feeling a little pain, and after talking to the doctor, he said I need 3 more weeks off and then he would start me on a running regiment to be ready by June 30th.

    I'm worried that I either won't be fully healed by the time BCT comes around or that I will be ok for the first bit of BCT and then my problems will resurface. Does anyone know how how prevalent shin splints are at BCT? I don't think that my shin splints would be bad enough for me to quit, but I just don't want to have to deal with that pain in addition to the rigors of BCT. After BCT is over, is there a lot of organized running at the Academy, or is it mainly just PT on your own? I've been cross training because of my swim season and using gym equipment, so I can keep myself good enough cardiovascular shape to pass the PFTs without solely running.

    Also, has anyone else had similar experiences with shin splints, either at or not at the Academy? I'd really like to hear what others have done to get past them and to get on with their running.

    Thanks in advance for anyone's help and to all of those who have also been accepted to the class of 2020, I look forward to seeing you all on June 30th!
     
  2. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    My DD was plagued with shins splints all through high school in track/basketball/volleyball/softball. In other words, no time to rest her legs. I would take her to a physical therapist, bought her special shoes to compensate for her ankles pronating, wrapping her legs, etc. She still got shin splints.

    Then she went to BCT -- never got shin splints again. She thinks its because of the boots. They kept her ankles from pronating (turning in causing the tendons/ligaments to pull her shins).

    Ok, let me get to the point. Try wrapping/stabilizing your ankles. You'll know almost immediately if that's your problem.
     
  3. Joos

    Joos Member

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    Fill up paper cups with water and put them in the freezer. Twice a day, one following your run, rip the paper off so the ice is sticking up. Rub it on your shins mainly focusing on where it hurts for like 7 or 8 minutes per shin. I also have been dealing with chronic shin splints and this is the biggest factor in helping with them.

    Also work on ankle strengthening. Cross your leg and write the abc's with each foot, then do capital letters each morning. Balancing on one foot is also great for ankle strengthening, especially if you do it on one of those flat ball things that are commonly found at gyms (ours are blue and have little spikes on them for grip), do like 3 sets of 30 seconds each foot.
     
  4. Joos

    Joos Member

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    Also go to a running shoe store (runaway shoes, fleet feet) not just a normal shoe store and make sure you have the right shoes for your feet (flat feet, high arch etc. They can help you pick out the right one
     
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  5. RocketDad

    RocketDad Member

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    You may also want to work in some "deep water" "running." You use one of those aqua aerobics class belts to hold you up in the water and "run" in place (more or less) in the deep end of a pool. You will need to wear a heart rate monitor to make sure you are working hard enough.

    I was training for a marathon when I developed a nerve problem in one of my feet and had to get off my feet. I did the deep water running in lieu of real running, took the time off the road running, my foot recovered, and still ran a 3:30 marathon. The deep water running is very, very boring, and people look at you like you're crazy, but it worked well for me.

    I would also invest or make a slant board and stretch a good bit. I have one at home and one at work. You can find them on Amazon and many other places.

    Good luck.
     
  6. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

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    1. Don't worry about the three weeks setting you back as far as preparation. As long as you don't reinjure yourself before I-Day, you will have plenty of time to prepare. It is more important that you take care of yourself and come healthy, than it is to do some insane prep program and get hurt-which would make BCT a lot worse (if the docs even let you come, depending on the injury). Bottom Line: Take your time, heal, and then ease back into preparing, and build up as you can handle it.

    2. Shin Splints happen during BCT to some I'm sure, but there wasn't too much organized running this past summer (at least for my flight). This is totally dependent on your flight so I can't give a good answer....

    3. After BCT the amount of organized running will depend on your squadron training officer. Again, very much squadron dependent. Some squadrons go for ruck sack runs, others just work on push ups etc.

    Take care of your body and you will be fine with BCT. Don't worry about struggling because everyone does at some point.
     
  7. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    Generally speaking, there is not a lot of running after BCT. Of course, training varies by squadron, but most of the running you do will be on your own. This past semester, my squad did very little running (not even weekly), and I don't think that very many squads ran more than 5 mi/week (often less) during mandatory training. For that matter, BCT itself didn't have nearly as much running as I had expected. We did a couple of medium-long runs during 1st BCT (~5 mi each), and Jack's valley does have...quite a bit...of running...:bleh2: (especially on certain days), but if you can press through the <2 weeks in Jack's, you should be just fine. Having said that, I would still suggest trying to get rid of your shin splints beforehand. As you mentioned, you will definitely be more comfortable (if that's even possible in BCT :shake:) without shin splints.

    Good luck and congratulations! :thumb:
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My son suffered greatly from SS before BCT. Even bought some "leg wraps" (hideously ugly black things, which did help) which he wore. Ice ice ice, rest. He never had them after he went to BCT that I know of, or maybe never as severe.
     
  9. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    This.

    Shin splints are tiny little micro-tears in the shins (duh) but they have different locations and different causes. Some people get them on the front of the tibia (anterior shin splints); some people get them in the muscles that attach on the sides or behind the tibia (medial or posterior). It's a classic overuse injury that almost always comes from foot and/or ankle mechanics. The thing is, the ultimate cause and cure depends on whether your foot arches are high or low, and whether you pronate (roll to the inside of the ankle), have a neutral stride, or supinate (roll out). For example, if you have high arches and you are wearing a stabilizing running shoe, that could cause shin splints.

    Most running shoe stores have really cool high-speed cameras that can capture your stride mechanics. The people who work in good running stores can help you choose shoes and possibly things like insoles, compression socks, and wraps that will help you prevent them.
     
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  10. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Proper shoes or orthotic inserts may help.
    If you develop any issues in BCT, the important thing is to let the cadre know at the appropriate time. There is help available, but some basics are too scared/busy/whatever to ask.
     
  11. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    100+ Joos, LongAgoPlebe and Raimius

    Go to a running store and go through the test. It will determine whether or not you are a pronator or supinator. Wearing the right shoe can seem like a miracle in regards to shin splints.
     
  12. jojohn246

    jojohn246 Member

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    Thank you to everyone who relplied,
     
  13. jojohn246

    jojohn246 Member

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    Crud I accidentally hit the reply button haha, but as I was saying, thank you to all who replied to me, the information really helped! I have gotten some new running shoes to help me (my arches collapse when I'm running, so arch support I what I needed). Fortunately I was notified early of my appointment, so I have almost 28 weeks to prepare, which is ample time to rest for 3 weeks then slowly build up to at least 5-6 miles a day. Like you guys suggested, I'll probably be icing my legs a lot for the next few months haha! I know BCT will be tough, and if my problems resurface there, I'm sure I'll be able to deal with it for whatever time is left because It'll all be worth it in the end! If anyone else has any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them, and thanks again to everyone for your help!
     

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