James Renwick’s duathlon training diary: Ice baths and shin splints

Shin Splints: I’ve spent the last three weeks praying that my knees hold up to the running and what happens? I get shin splints.

I noticed a sharp pain on the inside of my left shin on Thursday following my bike/run session. Having blasted the 35min ride I felt pretty good after the first running lap of my local park so upped the pace a bit and started stretching my legs out. I felt a dull ache during Friday’s rest day but thought nothing of it, putting it down to general stiffness but then following my 35min run on Saturday, I knew something wasn’t quite right.

Relaying my story to a friend, who happens to be a nurse, it didn’t take long to work out what was up. Looking the condition up on www.thelondonphysio.com my heart sank as it dawned on me that I was going to have to hang up my running shoes for a while.

Having torn my right lateral ligament a few years ago and from sticking to the exercises prescribed by a physio, I know these things can be treated effectively. I immediately replaced all running sessions with swim sessions on my training plan, so if I can sort the splints out perhaps I can take on a Triathlon, which has become my ultimate goal since discovering I can run without the need to throw up or pass out.

On a more positive note I gave ice baths a go last week and my initial cynicism was blown out of the water (bad pun, I know). Following a good 20min soak, with the addition of two ice blocks from the freezer, my legs felt amazing, almost like I hadn’t done any exercise that day. The only downside being that my plums shrunk to the size of walnuts, although this rapidly righted itself on thawing.

I’m heading over to www.runandbecome.com on Saturday to get properly fitted for running shoes, and hopefully get some advice on how to sort the splints. From what I’ve seen so far the most important things are rest, ice, strengthening, stretching and appropriate running shoes. I’ll let you know how I get on…

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