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Cycling - is it helping?

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This year I am slowly working on increasing my running distance. I have been a little injury prone so have taylored my traning plan to include lots of different activities to reduce the strain on my legs from too much running.

The last 6 weeks I have been cycling to work 2 or 3 times per week, It takes me around 10 minutes and is about 4km (with a couple of not too massive hills) The only problem is that I dont think this is helping my shin splints. I am currently only running once a week and only increasing by maybe half a kilometer a week. My left shin has been feeling a bit niggly (not full on painful, but I am aware that it feels 'different' and achy). My running trainers are still relatively new so I dont think it is that. The only thing I can put it down to is the cycling.

Has this affected anyone else? I thought cycling was going to be an option that would not aggrevate this, but maybe I was wrong, or have a just started doing too much too soon? (I have never been a massive cycler in the past to be honest)

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions!

Posted 09.02.13, 6:53am

I'd be surprised if the cycling is causing shin splints, it's usually impact that triggers them and cycling is a low-impact workout. Cycling is probably not causing the shin splints, but it might be aggravating them a bit by working them and not fully allowing them to heal.

Are you trying to do a very steady progression, or do you have a goal in mind (like a particular race or a marathon?). You might find that you're running less to help alleviate the stress on your legs, but in return you might actually be doing more exercise than you need to. I notice you're only running once a week, so your body isn't being conditioned strictly to running, even if you are conditioning your cardiovascular system and to some extent your muscles by other forms of exercise. To me, you're increasing that running distance a little each week without the little runs in between that help to strengthen the relevent muscles. Half a kilometer is quite a big increase considering you're running once a week.

If you're injury prone, just take it right back to basics and progress really slowly. If you aren't aiming for a particular goal, it doesn't matter that it took you 4 months to reach 5k (for example). All that matters is that you persevere and get there eventually.

Posted 09.02.13, 11:05am

Thanks for the advice. I have planned to run a half marathon at the end of August. I know it wont be fast and plan to run/walk. I just want to finish, but ultimately, this is where the training is leading. I am currnetly running around 4.5k slowly but comfortably (with the odd shin niggle) I have run 12k last year, but have had a bit of time off.

So, with regards to the cycling I think I will drop down to once or twice a week, and leave a bit earlier so it is more leisurely.

I was scared to over train, but if a mid-week run is recommended I can incorporate this in easily. How far would you recommend? My biggest fear is injury and I will be pretty annoyed if shin splints stops me reaching my goal.

Also, I want to get to the physio and have an occasional rub down (tight calves). Is it better to do this before or after a 'long' run.

Sorry for so many questions, but I really apreciate the advice from people who are more experinced than me!

Posted 11.02.13, 2:04am

Well, August is 6 months away so I don't think it's an unreasonable target to be aiming for.

I'm not an experienced runner and running isn't really my thing, distance-wise I would probably aim for half the distance I'd do at weekends, but vary it up with intervals / fartlek training.

I would get my calves done after a long run.

It might be worth PM-ing somebody like Rob Barber, he's a runner himself and PT so he would be able to give you some good advice and tips Smile

Posted 11.02.13, 9:32am

Do massages after a run hurt? But is it kind of a 'nice pain' 'cause you know it's doing you good?

Posted 12.02.13, 1:56pm

Never had a problem myself, fibromyalgia can make my muscles sensitive so it doesn't make a huge difference if I have a massage before / after exercise. I wouldn't go if I had major DOMS, I'd wait until that stiffness eased and just keep up with stretches for a few days.

It also depends on the masseuse/masseur! A massage should never really hurt. It might be a bit tender on a particularly tight spot but it shouldn't be anything more than a very mild discomfort. A knot can often be gently worked and loosened more effectively than hard pressure and firm massage. Actually, massage that hurts often makes you tense up... so it's counter productive.

Posted 12.02.13, 7:07pm

That's a good point, you're right. I have a particularly tender spot on my lower back (I think it's sore because I've slipped and landed on it a few times!) and when the masseuse tried to work out the tension I went a bit dizzy from the pain!

Posted 13.02.13, 3:42pm

Cycling is really helpful as it totally circulates blood to all parts of body.

Every human do cycling and mainly politicians such as BArack obama and Bill Clinton prefer it because of lot of advantages. So remain with cycling and save environment by saving natural resources and money with healthy body.

 

Posted 14.02.13, 9:24am

I gave in and decided to put my mind at rest and go and see a physio. She confirmed the advice given to me on here that running once per week was not sufficient, and recommneded, I run 2 or 3 times during the week, but only for around 10 - 15 minutes, just to keep things ticking over, and to build my legs up without over doing it. She also put some tingly electrodes and some ultra sound thingy on my shin while I was there. Supposed to help!

She mentione accupuncture if I still feel like it is bothering me, so we'll see. At least she said i did the right thing coming to her before it got any worse.

Anyone on here had acupuncture? Did it work?

Oh, and she said the cycling should be fine, but just to make sure I do have rest days and not to overdo it.

Posted 17.02.13, 12:25pm

Quoted from helen_g:

I gave in and decided to put my mind at rest and go and see a physio. She confirmed the advice given to me on here that running once per week was not sufficient, and recommneded, I run 2 or 3 times during the week, but only for around 10 - 15 minutes, just to keep things ticking over, and to build my legs up without over doing it. She also put some tingly electrodes and some ultra sound thingy on my shin while I was there. Supposed to help!

She mentione accupuncture if I still feel like it is bothering me, so we'll see. At least she said i did the right thing coming to her before it got any worse.

Anyone on here had acupuncture? Did it work?

Oh, and she said the cycling should be fine, but just to make sure I do have rest days and not to overdo it.


I've fallen in a gorse bush - does that count? Laughing

Posted 17.02.13, 11:44pm

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2013/02/18/laura-fidler-blog-base-base-base-injuries-fatigue-injuries

Hi,

It sounds like you have done the right thing and seen a physio but the most important thing you NEED to do which most runners fail with - is not doing enough core strength work.  Your body needs to be strong enough to take the load of running but resting and cycling (and acupuncture and Ultrasound) will not get your body ready for that- you need to do strength work alongside all your training.

Read the article above from one of our top triathlete physios to help explain more.

Good Luck.

Central Health Physiotherapy

London

Posted 18.02.13, 1:09pm