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Shin Pain(3 posts)

Shin PainMikeC
Jul 4, 2001 8:43 AM
I used to be a 7-mile a day runner, but gave it up about four years ago in the face of increasing knee problems. I've compensated with my cycling, increasing my 2,000 miles-a-year total from my running days to about 4,000 - 5,000 miles-a-year now, with a number of organized events.
A couple of days ago, I ran about a mile. Now I have a pretty good amount of pain in both shins. It's hard to believe that I could have done anything to generate the problem with such a short run. Is there anything about cycling that actually makes running tougher than if you weren't cycling? Any suggestions?
Thanks.
A couple of thoughts/suggestionsMabero
Jul 4, 2001 9:25 AM
I used to run all the time anywhere from 30-60 miles a week and as my mileage increased when I went to college I had increasing pain in my shins. Shin splints, bone spurs, stress fractures, but nothing was the reason for my pain. Then I read about something called Post Compartment Syndrome which is a result of the fascia around your muscle is so tight that when induced by exercise your calves cannot expand thus resulting in a loss of blood flow (the shin splints), compression on the bone (the feeling like stress fractures). Basically to make a long story short, they put a catheter in my shins to see the pressure before and after exercise. I was off the charts...so my running days have ended and I compensated with biking.

I know I am rambling and excuse that but remember that your muscles are now conditioned for a nonimpact sport. This results not in a weakening of muscles but your shins won't be used to that kind of impact all of sudden. Think about how your ass feels if you don't bike for a week or two!

It could be nothing...it probably isn't what I have. But here is what I recommend (cause I do still occasionally run).

1.) Run in the woods. This will lessen the impact tremors through your shins and will likely reduce the shin splints. Also don't run to the woods but rather start and end in the woods.

2.) Since you are bicycling and want to have a different type of muscular training, do interval work on a track (a good one) but not a Asphalt track. You know what kind I mean. Do pryamids or do a few miles of 400 meters with 200 meter rest (walk/jog) in between. That is always fun. Track work can be a lot of fun (my favorite and always will be) because you can tailor your workout and be really creative.

3.) Buy new shoes! I have used the Nike Triax for the past 3 years...I haven't have great success with Reebok. Some people swear by the gel Adidas but I feel they break down quicker. The Triax have good support for the woods and are much lighter than a cross training shoe.

4a.) Before you go running...do some toe taps followed by stretching the calf. Then do some (your judgement really I usually do 3x10) calf raises. This warms the shins and really stretches them out. Plus stretch the calf in two ways one with your knees bent as you lean forward and one with your knees locked as you lean forward.

4b.) Before you go running as well, put some water in dixie cups in the freezer. Then after you go running you'll have a nice little holder (that you can rip down as it melts) and some nice smooth ice. Rub this around your shins (in circles).

This should really help...they should go away as your body becomes accustommed to the harshness of the road. If it still persists see an Orhopedist...they can really tell you what's going on...

Good Luck.
A couple of thoughts/suggestionsMikeC
Jul 5, 2001 7:22 AM
Thanks. Your comments were helpful.