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shin splints and impending first ironman!


where to start

in a soundbyte...

about 2.5 months ago i was told i had shin splints (general term for pain in and around the shin)
i have it behind my shin bone on the inside, just below centre. IT IS NOT GOING AWAY :'(

i have entered my first ironman event in august this year (once in a lifetime trip) ££££ spent etc

i assumed it was due to running (i stopped running from when the pain started)
having delved a bit deeper apparently people can get shin splints from cycling??

so i guess im looking for advice on what to do!? im pulling my hair out atm

doctors appointment this tuesday (12th May)
i have been to see a physio once, he told me everything i read off the internet, gave me some silly laser treatment and k taped my leg

i have been icing, stretching, compressing, not running etc.. i have been swimming and of course cycling

i assume the splints have arose from upping my training, i do remember a time doing hill repeats up a long steep climb and running out of gears with a 53 and not getting out of the saddle and pushing a big gear sitting down which is the only other thing i can put it down to. i was running with pretty worn out nike zooms which were slightly too long but felt comfy, i have invested in gel noosas but yet to try as i cant run

i have looked at my bike fit a bit, and everything seems fine, im 27 6ft1 75kg in reasonable shape on a 56 cervelo s5, i have read some people talking about pedal stroke which i dont know much about and dropping the heel too much at the bottom or dorsiflexing at the top :S

as i said pulling my hair out atm any advice much appreciated, what do i need to do, at the start i read that time was a healer and being naive with injuries i assumed it would disappear it hasnt and its getting close to dday! THANKS


  • risris Posts: 1,002

    have you had a bike fit with someone else, to see if your bike position / shoes / cleats / insoles might help? 

    does your physio agree it is shin splints? i thought i had them last year but it was suggested that it might be a muscular load from how my feet were landing (slightly too much on the inside). 

    if you've backed off the running has it improved any?

    it is rubbish when you have an ongoing thing like this, but you can (and hopefully will) sort it. be prepared to take a step back to go two forward. 

  • Sam181Sam181 Posts: 6


    The spot where you have the shin splints is classic for running... ( I have not come across it in cyclists- though I guess it is possible)

    I think there are two possibilities:

    It may be you have a build of of knots in the muscles that attach to the shin bone- a decent sports physic or sports massage therapist will be able to sort these out (stretching does not tend to address these particular muscles effectively).

    In 3-4 sessions you should be a lot better


    Some shin splints actually  appear as "splints" i.e. micro fracture in the shinbone itself..... Nothing you can do here - except.... rest.... sometimes for up to a year!

    (Hopefully it is not this severe- can be confirmed on bone scan.-Xray no good)

    Cause- likely to be the "way" you run : pronation/femoral rotation, poor hip control etc etc  AFTER your event, might be a idea to get this looked at...

    (or could just be volume of training)


  • rgaffrgaff Posts: 2

    so my cause of the shin splints it turns out is to do with how i run

    i changed to running right on my forefoot about 1.5 - 2 years ago

    everything was going well, i was getting faster, felt strong running this way

    and competed in a few triathlons up to half ironman

    ive upped my training this year for ironman and having returned to a more mid foot running style the shin splints have disappeared. i say disappeared i do get concerning sensations in the same area but they never seem to develop into the pain i was having, so back to my old running style which im finding difficult to revert back to after training myself to forefoot,


    thanks everyone for your help

  • Sam181Sam181 Posts: 6

    Great news you are back running..

    Changing your running gait is one of the hardest things to do- takes some expert help (IMO) and a lot of practice and patience.

    Are you on track to compete in you august Ironman?


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