Disaster strikes……

Despite my best efforts, and despite trying to avoid the inevitable, the inescapable has happened.


I have turned 32.

But in spite of this truly horrific occurrence I am feeling mostly positive.

I say mostly because although my training has been going better than expected (Especially in the run department), my shin splints are back with a vengeance.

And I know why.

I have been so sensible, making sure I stretch correctly before every run, making sure I pace myself and don’t push myself to far to fast.

That is, until my birthday.

Knowing that I would be celebrating with the family that evening (cake, wine and takeaway, oh how I have missed you), thus having no time to train, I decided to have a lunchtime workout.

This left me with a 35 minute window so I decided that I should do as much as I could in that time.

So with minimal warm-up and stretching I set the treadmill so I’d cover 7km in 30mins with a 2% incline.

And within minutes I was in pain. I knew I should stop but I wanted to cover my daily distance so I kept on.

I managed about 6.5km in the end, and was it worth it.


My shins stopped hurting after about 9 minutes so I just kept on.

That is, they stopped hurting until after I had finished my run.

And then they let me know in no uncertain terms what a wally I had just been.

And not just my left shin, they are both painful me know in equal measure.

I now feel I have set myself back a bit due to my own stupidity.


Strangely, this setback may work to my benefit in the long run.

Right from the start I have carefully set my goals and targets, and taken note of what I was capable of and what I should be aiming for week on week (working to the 10% increase rule).

And the one time I went against my careful planning it has ended in the full return of an avoidable problem.

Lesson learned.

From now on I will be sticking to my plan.

It’s a shame as I was really starting to love the running part of my training, but I guess I’ll just have to focus on my swimming (read: thrashing wildly and ineffectively whilst in water) and my cycling for a few days.


Now, it’s off to bed for me. I have my first outdoor swim tomorrow.




Training pains.

So it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted and that’s mainly due to increased workout levels leaving me to tired to think of anything to write about.

I’ve been training every day and this has led to two problems I have suffered from in the past reoccurring.

The first of these problems is shin splints.

The term shin splints is a common name often given to any shin pain at the front of the lower leg. However, true shin splints symptoms occur at the front inside of the shin bone and can arise from a number of causes.

These include over-pronation of the foot (I am a mild heel striking over-pronator), increases in training (check), running on hard surfaces (check), and inadequate footwear (not sure about this one as I bought special insoles tailored to my needs and new running shoes and these really helped)

Now, I developed shin splints a couple of years ago when I was training to get ready for my Royal Navy Leadership course.

It was a problem I managed and it went away after the course as I reduced my exercise levels back down to my usual none….

Well, I have started to feel a slight niggle in my left shin so I am looking at a few options to help counter this.

They say prevention is better than a cure so I am getting proactive.

The first thing I am going to try (mainly because they will arrive quicker) are compression socks.

People have mixed views on the benefits of these socks and many claims are made by the manufacturers as to what they actually do.

One claimed benefit (that pertains to my problem) is that they supposedly reduce vibration in the muscles and tendons of the lower leg as each foot hits the ground. This can therefore help reduce the severity of, and in some cases prevent shin splints.

I’m willing to give this a try, and even if it doesn’t help dramatically with the shin splints, it may be worth it for the other reported benefits.

Apparently these socks help the blood flow back to the heart more efficiently, which in turn helps remove metabolic waste thus reducing muscle fatigue. That coupled with reduced vibration and shock absorption helps the legs recover faster which can only be a good thing.

I’m going to give them ago, what’s the worst that can happen.
The other course of action that I am going to try is barefoot running.

Well, running in shoes that mimic barefoot running but protect the feet.

I’m going to attempt to adopt a more natural running gait.

By this I mean I will try to avoid heel striking which causes shock to the lower leg, knee and ankle.

This will hopefully stop the shin splints. Only time will tell, but if it doesn’t work I intent to use those shoes for when I’m open water swimming so I won’t be wasting money either way.


Now my second problem is one that I have solved already but I feel is worth mentioning.
Sore nipples.

I take all the precautions, I put Vaseline on them, I wear specially designed running t-shirts and still my nipples rub and get sore to the point of distraction.

I have changed to non biological washing powder, I have lubricated them and still the problem persists, so I have resorted back to the old tried and tested method of taping.

In the last few days I have tried zinc oxide tape which works well until I sweat and then comes off.

I have tried Duct tape. which tends to bunch up at the sides and annoyingly sticks to my t-shirts.

And now I have settled on Strappal super sticky thick dressing tape.

It works a treat and has solved the problem completely. I put a little bit of tissue paper over the tip of the nipple and then tape straight over the top. No more nipple pain.

There’s only one problem. I have a hairy chest and have had to shave two circles around the nipples to avoid pulling hairs every time I remove the tape.

And as you can imagine, I look ridiculous………They look like to nipple mountains rising above a chest hair forest !

When I get rid of my moobs I may consider shaving it all off.

Still, I’ll take no sore nipples over vanity anytime so taping and shaving it is.