hooray for cross-training

Hoping to heal my shin splints, I’ve only been running a mile a couple times a week.  But even running that little, I’m still having shin pain.  So for now I’m back to zero running.

I haven’t been sitting around though.  Last week I biked at the rec center 4 times, for about 10 miles each time, with a bit of weights and stairmaster in there too.  This week I walked a couple days, plus did 3 workouts at the rec center, 40-min sessions divided between the elliptical and biking. The elliptical is definitely the harder of the two, so I think I’ll try to do more of that.

One of the highlights of working out at the rec is being able to watch HGTV while I exercise.  We only have the free variety of TV at our house, and house fix-up TV makes my little heart go pitter-pat. (OK, the pitter-pat may also be related to the workout.) As for the kids, they’ve been enjoying swimming, and have done a bit of running too.  At least some people can run around here!

I just got done reading a book called ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running.  It has lots of good reviews and its emphasis on injury-free running got my attention.

The term ‘chi’ is very much Eastern philosophy. But while reading the book, I kept thinking that the thing they call ‘chi’ is just good physics– running while using your body (esp a strong core) in the most ergonomically efficient way.  I need to read some of the descriptions again to better get the ideas into my head, but my overall impression was, ‘this makes sense.’

The book also totally backed up my theory that my shin splints were from running on my toes.  Yes, you don’t want to land on your heel because it is terrible on your joints, but apparently a mid-foot landing with an easy natural stride doesn’t stress the shins like landing on your toes.  Once my shins heal up, I’ll have to give some of those ideas a try.

But for now I’m feeling pretty good about my cross-training options.  If  my shin splints are really slow to heal– which I hope not!–  I may even get some biceps. (OK, that part wouldn’t be too bad…)


  1. Partner stretches are both cure and prevention for shin splints.

    Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Your partner will sit/squat/kneel at your feet. First point your toes and have your partner apply resistance (on the tops of your feet) as you slowly bring them into a flexed position. Next, have your partner apply resistance (on the bottoms of your feet) as you slowly bring your toes back into a flexed position. Then, with neutral feet (pointing towards the ceiling), have your partner apply resistance to the outsides of your feet as you slowly rotate them down to the ground. Finally, have your partner apply resistance to the insides of your feet as you slowly bring them back together. Repeat once or twice, and do the whole shebang a couple of times a day until your shin splints are healed.

    You also might be better off laying off the running altogether until the shin splints are healed. They shouldn’t take more than a week to get better, and you should at least see significant improvement in half that time.

  2. Mrs. Bowen says:

    When I used to run (and hope to get back to it after the baby) I would walk backwards (after my run) for a bit to ward off shin splints. I think I remember doing this in junior high track also. I’ve not had problems with shin splints when I’ve done this. Might help.

  3. I was never able to heal my shin splints, even now years later if I get beyond a fast walk they hurt 🙁 You should think about doing some videos in your house like Turbo Jam or Turbo Fire or P90X! Some of your kids could do them with you and they are fun! Plus if you end up liking them then you could sign up as a coach with them and get commissions and a 25% discount. I found that it saved me money and I was able to cancel my gym membership.


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  2. […] engaging my core, and landing with each foot directly under my body  (‘like posts’ per ChiRunning) instead of stretching forward and landing my foot in front of my center of gravity.  It sounds […]