At my final straw...

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10/10/2012 at 21:30

17 year old runner, previously a 37 min 10k runner after just one year of running.

Been out since April, and I guess I've been blessed by the distractions of carrying the Olympic torch, climbing Mont Blanc and fundraising £6000 to keep me busy since then whilst I couldn't run. But now all that stuff's worn out, it's starting to take it's toll. I love nothing more than running. I have big dreams and aspirations in the sport- and I want to make the most of being in the U20 category whilst I can! I know I've got many years ahead of me but being unfit is frustrating as hell. I've been working on my core, learning about sport science and nutrition so I come back stronger but it's not enough. I can't swim anymore either as my gym membership ran out. There was worries of a stress fracture and I guess being busy earlier in the year stopped me getting it treated properly quickly. There were worries of a stress fracture and lots of scans and it was a case of resting, getting pain, resting, starting again for ages. I cycled a lot between April-July with no issues and running was on and off, and I was doing extra miles as well as speed work. I climbed Mt Blanc with no pain at all. I got back and joined a gym for 8 weeks to boost fitness and with cycling, rowing and treadmills the pain came back worse than ever. It was a silly mistake. The pain had stopped completely for a period of 2 weeks before Mt Blanc. 

I finally saw a decent physio who said that he wasn't sure it was a stress fracture. This was later ruled out by my GP too. In the end, I found out I've literally got shin splints (MTSS) and that tight calf muscles are pulling on my tibia and that's causing the pain. They are also weak calfs too. As well as that I have issues with my hip balance and one is stronger than the other, so my right knee 'collapses' inwards on impact and flicks back at 90 degrees which has caused a lot of the issues too. I have had this all along and it never caused any issues and I had gait analysis back in March which never picked it up. The 'stress fracture' was in fact Osgood-Schlatters disease. All of my issues are apparantely because I'm still growing.

With regular calf massage, stretching and strengthening to loosen and increase the bulk of my calf muscles as well as core hip strengthening, you'd think I'd be getting somewhere. Well I've ran out of money for physio and massages for one. I've been referred to the NHS podiatrist but have been told my appointment won't come for another 3 months. My physio who I saw about a month ago told me I could start rehab running on a treadmill again which I did and had no issues for 2 weeks but at the same time I was cycling still and the pain came back. Not as bad as usual and it went after a couple of days of rest and icing, but when I saw her again she said it'd take another 2 months of rest to strengthen the calf before I should try again. I successfully managed to start running again and build it up in the 2 weeks before and after Mt Blanc but I think both times the climb and the gym stopped me progressing so she said I could try running again next week when the pain has stopped (2 weeks ago). Well I've been cycling every day to school, 10 miles a day, as I have done for 2.5 years- I've been more gentle than usual, have been doing it for 2 weeks now. Since I saw her, the pain has gradually come back and now I'm having to take MORE time off from the bike. 6 weeks ago I took a month off the bike to let myself rest and heal more.

So why the hell am I now unable to cycle gently? 

Has anybody else successfully managed to escape the wrath of shin splints? If I can't cycle, swim or run I'm going to lose the plot. Any hope out there for me?

11/10/2012 at 10:36

Have you tried using a foam roller like http://www.triggerpointuk.com/index.php/the-grid.html  Found this really helpful when suffering with shin splints although agony to use. Also might be woth getting a proper gait analysis and possibly orthotics or formfotics on the strength of the findings from that. Haven't been able to run myself for 2 months due to a different injury and it's driving me bananas to put it mildy. Hang in there!

11/10/2012 at 12:06
You could always listen to the advice, rest up let things heal and then start again gently !

A couple of weeks rest then climbing Mt Blanc is hardly taking things gently
WiB
11/10/2012 at 14:50

How did your Mont Blanc ascent compare to Kilian's efforts?

My professional diagnosis is that you are just not quite awesome enough.

Edited: 11/10/2012 at 14:51
WiB
11/10/2012 at 15:44

tldr

11/10/2012 at 15:49

Waikru I am using a rolling pin (can't afford a foam roller yet), but the biggest issue for me is knowing how often to use it! Same with stretching and strengthening, it's all good knowing how to do it, but it's pointless unless I know how often and how long to use it. I've been doing it every day so far but can't find out anywhere whether this is right. I have an appointment with a podiatrist soon as mentioned.

Dave, I have listened, tried resting up and starting again gently numerous times, also as mentioned. To no avail. As for Mont Blanc, yes, not ideal, but I'm not prepared to lose £2000 by not climbing the mountain for the sake of helping my legs- also as mentioned, they were fine for 2 weeks after and throughout. 

WiB- your sarcasm really isn't helpful. There are plenty of great, helpful people on here but also some insensitive pricks who obviously haven't had the misfortune of suffering an injury yet...

WiB
11/10/2012 at 15:53

... obviously. Enjoy your rest.

WiB
11/10/2012 at 15:56
No of course not spend 2 grand on climbing a mountain could have meant :

A) more time to rest

B) money to spend on rehabilitation

Mt Blanc will be there for a while yet

You seem intent on self harming !
WiB
11/10/2012 at 16:09
lardarse wrote (see)

tldr

Had to look that up! Don't blame you.

WiB
11/10/2012 at 16:42

Good grief... obviously you lot aren't fond of the younger runners then!

11/10/2012 at 16:49
Very fond of young runners.... Especially ones who take advice
WiB
11/10/2012 at 17:00
Maybe better off on the jimmy savile thread?
WiB
11/10/2012 at 17:07
blackdonkey123 wrote (see)

Good grief... obviously you lot aren't fond of the younger runners then!

sadly - young runners seem not to be able to understand the following words

advice

sarcasm

11/10/2012 at 17:12

blackdonkey - take their advice and back off esp. with OS. Try swimming for a while - it will improve fitness, muscle tone and aerobic capacity without any loading on the body. If you get go-ahead from a physio in a few weeks you could then progress to aqua jogging. You can also work on core strength, and on strengthening key running muscles, either through squat/lunge type work or gentle gym work, providing that it isn't affecting your shins and you get medical clearance to do so.

Being injured and out of normal training for a while is horrible, but if you rehab correctly you can come back better than before. You just have to be patient, and fit the work that you are able to do into your long term plan. If you understand why you are doing it and what purpose it has then that really helps.

11/10/2012 at 22:31

Dave, please note from the post that my distress is simply at the fact I AM following my advice and still having issues and have come here for support instead of spending £30 for a physio session. 'Fat buddha',believe me, I understand both of those terms in great depth. I just don't appreciate sarcasm in this situation. 

'Dancing in spikes'- thanks for the response. What do you mean by OS? Swimming is really impractical for me now my gym membership has ran out and I could manage it maybe once or twice a week at most. 

My physio says I need to strengthen my calfs for 2 months before trying running again.

12/10/2012 at 07:57
Distress. Grow up...

So spend the next 3 months strengthening your legs
seren nos    pirate
12/10/2012 at 08:01

swimming in my area is under £20 for a months membership.you could go several times a week and would probaly be worth it .as it was help destress you and work on fitness..........

you will have to learn that you can't do everything and you have to prioritise as to what is more important to you...........

and you will have to learn patience or you will never reach your potential

 

good luck

 

12/10/2012 at 10:42
blackdonkey123 wrote (see)

My physio says I need to strengthen my calfs for 2 months before trying running again.

So spend the next couple of months doing just that! Figure yourself out a weight training programme and build up all the weak bits that are adding to your problem. Easier if you can go to a gym where you'll have access to the machines, but if not you can do most of them at home, with a bit of ingenuity and googling to figure it out. Last week I was doing hamstring curls on a friends recliner armchair. LOL!

Nobody here is trying to be nasty, it's just that you posted almost exactly the same thing last week, and were given loads of useful advice about strengthening, foam rolling and resting. It's going to take more than a week for it to work so you'd be better off posting a weekly progress report rather than a weekly list of all the things you can't do and how much it's bugging you. There's people on here with worse injuries than you, so try putting it into perspective. You've been told that if you rest your problem should resolve. And in the meantime you can still walk.

P.S. There are no hard and fast rules for foam rolling. It's a passive exercise, so I'm guessing hard to overdo it. My own physio advising me on tight calves and shinsplints said I could do it as much as I wanted for as long as I wanted. I often do an hour or two's worth of rolling while watching something on TV. 

12/10/2012 at 11:41

*headdesk* OS = Osgood-Schlatters.

To put in perspective, I'm just (since Jan) coming back from being out for 2.5 years with various medical problems. For the first year I was hardly able to run at all, then I could occassionally run or swim, but was absolutely exhausted so maxing out at about 3 training sessions a fortnight on top of cycling too and from university (5 miles). My 5k PB is 18:39. When I started training again at the end of January I was running 23 minutes. Best time this year is 20:33. So I'm three minutes off with the hardest 2 still to lose. It's frustrating, it's slow going, it's depressing and hard training or training on consecutive days is still exhausting, and I need 10 hours sleep a night to be able to train properly, but for just being able to run a few times a week for me right now is rewarding. I have my first half marathon next week, and no, I'm not going to break any records but I'm just happy to be able to run and train again, and setting myself a target at a new distance means that it's a guaranteed PB even if it's awful! I know I will get fast again eventually, but patience is the key, as I know if I push too hard I will just end up back where I started. Foam rolling has also been really important, and it is still taking me a long time to recover from sessions. However, what I have been able to do throughout is to strengthen my core and my key running muscles, which I have just done at home in front of the telly with a swiss ball, a theraband and lots of hard work, not in the gym. Total cost £10. 

You've been out a few weeks, and been able to train on and off on the bike, and have had the energy to do that, you know what is wrong and you have an idea what you need to do to recover and how long it will take. You are really lucky and you have an opportunity to change your training to build up your aerobic capacity and strengthen your muscles that will help your running in the long term.

WiB
12/10/2012 at 13:09

Donkey - ^^^ is a good example of patience and working correctly towards resolving injury issues. Take a note.

DIS - Enjoy your HM!

WiB
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