Week two: sore shins, flat tyre

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It’s been a frustrating week, training-wise:

  • Sunday 13th – 1hr 40min long slow run
  • Monday 14th – vinyasa flow yoga, 40 minute bike ride
  • Tuesday 15th – hot yoga, 20 minute bike ride
  • Wednesday 16th – 20 minute bike ride
  • Thursday 17th – 40 minute bike ride
  • Friday 18th – hot yoga, 50 minute bike ride
  • Saturday 19th – 10 minute bike ride, core work.

Not a lot of running in there, unfortunately, because I’ve got shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome as I think you’re supposed to call it.

Whatever the name for it, in week two of my training, I’m on a running hiatus, buried beneath the improvised ice packs in the picture. I’m also avoiding cross-training, as the classes I normally do tend to involve lots of star jumps, box jumps, burpees and mountain climbers, which are not shin-friendly. I’ve even had to stop walking to work and start cycling in.

I’ve had problems with my shins for almost a year now, Rest, ice baths, new shoes, exercises and sports massages have provided temporary relief, but nothing has got rid of it. They were pretty bad after Brighton Half in February, so I eased back on my mileage a lot to give them a chance to heal. I started to up my mileage and pace over the last few weeks, and low and behold, my shins have started to hurt again.

Like an idiot, I did my long run anyway on Sunday. They hurt during the run, which should have been a danger sign as I tend to only get pain after a run, but I carried on. Now they’re really sore and tender – banging them is so painful that I’ve genuinely considered wrapping my legs in bubble wrap.

I hate not being able to run. I wanted to go for a long bike ride today, in lieu of a long run, but I got a flat, which was incredibly frustrating. I had a full-on sulk when it happened and sat on a bench for ages feeling hatefully jealous of all the runners going past me, enjoying the beautiful weather.

On the plus side, I’ve remembered how fun cycling is (when the weather’s good at least) and fallen back in love with my beautiful bike too. I can actually cycle all the way up the the hill to my house – a good sign that my fitness is better than it was when I last rode my bike regularly.

Hopefully another five or six days of rest will do the trick, and I’ll be up and running again. It’s made me realise how important it is to stay injury-free throughout the marathon training process. I need to treat my shins with a bit more respect if I want them to carry me for 26.2 miles.

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