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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been increasing my training (running & cycling) this spring and can feel shin splints starting to develop. As a preventitive measure, should I run less and switch to more riding? Does cycling affect shin splints?
 

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I would stop running at least for a few days. How are your running shoes? Those can contribute alot to shin spints. Nothing beats a properly fit pair of shoes from a running store. Sure you pay more, but it is worth it in the long run.(no pun intended) I resisted going to a running store for years but finally broke down and I'm glad I did.
 

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Cycling doesn't affect my shins

but that's just me. To add to the previous comment, I'd recommend a foot liner like Superfeet or if you can afford them, orthotics. I used to run cars (valet) and found out very quickly the value of a good footbed, running shoes come with garbage insoles for the most part.

Also, you might check out the Pose method of running. I don't do it continually as I'm still incorporating it biomechanically, but it's helped with my knees, especially~it does put more strain on ankle/Achilles area though.

http://www.trymysport.co.uk/pose_running.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just bought some new Mizuo's (great shoes btw) which are fit for my mild/medium protated feet. The shoes are comfortable and provide great support so I think my shin splints come form increased milage. I'm going to reduce the milage to let the problem heal some, but want to keep in shape by cycling in the meantime... so I'm wondering if cycling has any effect. i.e. cycling can affect bad knees or it band issues acquired from other sports.

Iamolie:
Interesting article on running form... I'm pretty sure my bio-mechanics are pretty bad as i constantly have issues with IT band, knees, and shin splints.
 

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I had shin splints so bad last year I could barely walk down a flight of stairs. My left leg was painful all the time. I remember I would wake up in the middle of the night because iI would have one leg resting on the other and it would hurt, or my cat would go to sleep on my leg. When my legs began to hurt I reduced my running volume, but they only got worse. I bought new shoes, but it was too late. Finally, I had to quit running around July and I just started again this past January. When running shoes are "broken in" it's time to replace them. That was the mistake I made. I also did way too much way too early. I had a lot of fitness from cycling and just plain ran too much. Stretching your calf muscles will help out too. Make sure you ice them and get rest and all that.
As for cycling, I had no problems on the bike. Althought I did whack the inside of my shin on my top tube at the hight of my shin splints. It hurt so bad I thought it might hurt less if I could just cut my leg off.
A really good running site is coolrunning.com. They have tons on info on injury prevention and recovery. I use there running log and customized it for cycling. It's free and very easy to use and has all kinds of ways to graph your workouts.
 

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Otis24, I say get rid of the cat, you'll be glad you did, heh. Good points though, stretching the calfs helps, icing helps, pronation-control shoe helps, custom orthotics helps.

For most people getting into running, or just doing more of it, shin splints are caused by increasing mileage (and/or intensity) and if you do all of the above to treat them, I don't think you should stop right away like some have suggested. My shin splints have come and gone in over 10 years of running. They usually hit me in the early spring when I'm adding speed work (indoor track) on top of the longer runs I do in the winter. I don't stop, just increase the treatments and reduce my running to 3 or 2 days/wk till they go away.

I think riding is a good thing - if you're clipped in, the shins are getting worked on every pedal stroke, and I've seen my shin splints go away when I get into the riding season. I'd say pretty confidently that riding will not make them worse (even if you feel them ache a bit on the bike).
 

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Shin splints go forever in a week

I suffered shin splints through out high school football, and a tour of duty in the United States Marine Corps where we would run an average of 30 miles per week. I always thought it was because I have severly flat feet, I mean my arches actualy protrude. I started playing college football and they showed up again. My coach showed me an excercise that fixed the problem in a week and I have had no problems since.
1) Sit flat on the floor, or on a bed if it is firm enough to allow you to extend your legs with no sag from the mattress.
2) Extend your legs in front of you, keeping your knees as straight as possible, and ankles together.
3)With your toes pointing toward the sky, place a towel or shirt, or belt over your foot. Now apply as much resistance as you can to just barley allow you to move your foot from "toe up" position, to down where your toes are pointing away from you, as if you are trying to stand on your toes.
3) Do this slowly, and about 50 times per night with each leg. You can do it in sets of 10.
Do one leg at a time.

This worked for me and no one on our team (214 guys), ever had trouble with shin splints
 

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More Pose

TrailRiddler said:
I just bought some new Mizuo's (great shoes btw) which are fit for my mild/medium protated feet. The shoes are comfortable and provide great support so I think my shin splints come form increased milage. I'm going to reduce the milage to let the problem heal some, but want to keep in shape by cycling in the meantime... so I'm wondering if cycling has any effect. i.e. cycling can affect bad knees or it band issues acquired from other sports.

Iamolie:
Interesting article on running form... I'm pretty sure my bio-mechanics are pretty bad as i constantly have issues with IT band, knees, and shin splints.
TR-it's hard to incorporate this method but has helped me greatly in one thing in particular, "cadence". I do fartleks meaning about 8 minutes with my "old" kind of poor form then 2 minutes focused on Pose.

I had IT band issues that were stemming from an ankle injury long ago; that knee is amazingly complicated in the way it performs from day to day; some good some bad.
 

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old marathoner's trick

I've done dozens of marathons and have lotsa experience with this malady...here's Dr.George Sheehan's fool-proof exercise to get rid of (and prevent) shin splints:

sit on a counter with your legs dangling free
hang an empty paintcan from your foot (put a few rocks in the paint can for resistance) and flex your foot at the ankle, pointing toes downward...hold for 5 seconds...felx foot at the ankle with toes pointing up (that is, raise the can up with your toes),,,hold for 5 secs... do 20 reps per foot

hope this helps!

big bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lots of good info here.

Update: so I've cut my running miles in half and spent that time on a bike instead. The riding did not aggrevate my shin splints. It may have even helped, as I don't feel the splints when I run now. I'll also give the shin exercises a try to prevent reoccurance.
 

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Sorry to hear about the shin splints... but let's see if I can throw in my two cents...

I run varsity XC and T&F at a Division I college, and I have had my fair share of injuries...
Shin splints, just remember that it's muscular (or if it's one particular spot it could be tendonitis)
- Good shoes, that's all I can stress. Looks like you've taken care of that aspect.
- Don't go over 500 miles with a pair of shoes. Personally, I don't really have to buy my shoes, so I replace them about every 400 miles. (I'm just starting my training for the fall--I go through a pair of shoes in 1.5 months)
- Ice and Ibuprofen - Ice after working out combined with the Ibuprofen reduces the muscle inflammation
- Heat! before working out--whether it be a hot-pack or Icy-Hot
- Stretching - few people realize that with running (and like cycling) your legs work as one unit; therefore, sometimes the cause of shin splints can be from really tight calfs (reason for me). Therefore, stetch all the main muscles in the legs (calfs, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors) and you should start to notice a difference...
- Exercises. Oh, I have spent a lot of time in rehab, and the above exercises seem to be pretty good.

While I may not have any medical background to back this up, these are tried and true methods that are used at Division I college--I can attest personally that the above do work. Hope this is of some help!
 
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