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exrunner injured needs to find level to start without injury

mark145maxmark145max Posts: 28
Hi there,
Need some help as I don't really know what kind of injuries cyclists are prone to. As a runner I have suffered alsorts of injuries such as shin splints, tendonitis, and most recently a maltracking patella due to a muscle imbalance supposedly!

Anyway I am, reasonably aerobically fit, but need to keep this level up if possible. I'm finding that to retain the level of fitness I can get running I have to put in twice as much time cycling, is this right?

Anyway I really want to do this but am cautious not to get any injuries as this would put a full stop to any training.

To me twice as much time training in a new sport is asking for problems.

Any advice to the sort of injuries that cyclist get and what kind of milage a week i can do, not should do would really be appreciated.
cheers mark

Posts

  • Hi Mark,

    I used to run a fair bit 10K's, X country etc and always had niggles some bad where i had to stop training for a while. Recently though I'm doing more mountain biking (2-5 hours in one go just once a week and increasing ) and its amazing how with running just twice a week my fitness has increased. The 2 disciplines seem to complement each other really well and to be honest the only niggles I get with biking is a sore/stiff back but that soon goes. I ride a full susser with plenty of suspension, hardtails are a censored with a back problem!
    Cross training is very good for overall fitness I just do more of one discipline if the other is giving me jipp - seems to work for me. You don't mention the milage you are covering so i can't be specific. As with all sports its key to warm up and down.

    Hope this helps

    PS I reckon for me an hours run is eqivalent to 3-4 hours mountain biking -I only base that on how I feel afterwards, everyone's different though.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    mark145max wrote:
    Anyway I am, reasonably aerobically fit, but need to keep this level up if possible. I'm finding that to retain the level of fitness I can get running I have to put in twice as much time cycling, is this right?

    One option might be to incorporate a variety of Hills into a local training route of your choice - as an example, today I covered 436 ft of ascent within a 5.18 mile route - it was essentially a quick blast with plenty of climbing (and enjoyable) - that included a "long" varied 300 ft climb (with a couple of brief plateaus) - it certainly gives you a cardio workout of sorts - routes can always be lengthened / repeated etc as you see fit.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Lots of ex runners in our cycling club - me included - mainly because of the injuries. The maltracking patella might give you a problem but for the most part cycling has far fewer injuries than running - unless you fall off of course. I reckon you are right - for most people twice as much training in terms of time is about right - but even with that you are far less likely to end up injured. My advice would be to get out with the local cyclists and see how you like it - it lacks the pure simplicity of running but there is more to it than simple fitness.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Thanks all for your replies, Tom butcher... you say fewer injuries what type have you experienced and where they due to over-use? Also how do you find your local club and will they welcome a complete beginner or do I need to get up to speed first and if so how fast/what distances?
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    mark145max wrote:
    Thanks all for your replies, Tom butcher... you say fewer injuries what type have you experienced and where they due to over-use? Also how do you find your local club and will they welcome a complete beginner or do I need to get up to speed first and if so how fast/what distances?

    You can find clubs here: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/si ... Finder.asp

    All clubs are different but most have clubruns which cater for beginners or people who just want an easier ride. I would say you would need to be able to go 40 miles at 16mph (much easier in a group). You are reasonably fit so this shouldn't be much of a problem, although if you aren't used to the distance you may struggle on the first couple of runs. This is my clubs take on the club run:
    http://www.kingstonwheelers.co.uk/clubrun.shtml

    As to injuries that aren't crash related, these tend to be overuse injuries of the neck, lower back and knees. They can be avoided with good bike setup, core stabilty exercises (a good set of these in the last Cycle+ edition) and stretching.
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • Many Thanks Jon at present I'm riding on my own averaging 15 miles per hour but only cycling 10-18 miles at a time four times a week. Do you think I should increase this to incorporate a longer weekend ride say 40miles. Or will this increase my chances of injury.
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    The oft-mentioned rule of thumb is to not increase training volume by over 10% per week and to scale back if you become fatigued. Personally, if I had a history of knee trouble I'd ramp up a bit slower as tendons take longer than muscle to adapt to training.
    If your goal is to join a club and are worried about the distance of clubruns I would build up to the 40 mile mark over a few weeks. You'll need fluid and some food on rides of that length. I'd also make one of those shorter runs a bit faster than normal. Oh, and rest is vital for recovery and improvement. (Sorry if these points are obvious)
    Once you've got a base of cycling fitness and confidence that your injuries have gone find some hills and sprint up them. Great fun (well, for me anyway)
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Mark - the only bike related injuries I've had are sore knees - which I think are related to an old football injury anyway - in about 5 years I've probably only missed a couple of weeks through injury - though I think I've had more virus type stuff as you can put far more hours in on a bike so have to be more careful of compromising your immune system. Contrast that to running where weeks off through injury were commonplace for me. I'd really ramp the miles up a bit quicker - I think the 10% rule is more for running - never heard anyone talk about that for cycling. When I first started I went from a longest ever ride of under 60 miles including several cafe stops and did a 140 mile audax - so long as you are going fast enough not to fall over you can keep going unlike running where once you get too tired you have to walk.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Mark - I went from running to cycling about 3 years ago. Like you I was a reasonably fit runner (5k to marathons) and found the transition fairly painless. Got up to 50 miles in 3 hours after about 3 months. Never been injured yet, come off only once and it really hurts!!

    Still run once a week but to be honest cycling is much more fun and exciting (and expensive), especially a 20 to 30 man Saturday group ride when you've all turned for home and the wick gets turned up - nothing like it!

    It does take more time and family pressures can become an issue, needs careful management. I aim for 100+ miles a week. Target is normally 60 saturday, 30 sunday and turbo tuesday and thursday - maybe 15 miles each session. But I know there are people on this forum who would consider that a lively warm up.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    I used to run a lot, competetively but mid-pack, and do a bit of cycling for fun/cross-training, just a 20 miler on Saturdays and then my long run on Sundays.

    Then I got major back disc problems, couldn't run, could still cycle so switched-over to that and ended-up doing Centuries that season.

    I've now had a back op, am back to running, and am racing upto 10K's on a much-reduced training mileage. Did a Half in January, but no more marathons.
    I'm also cycling, doing sportives and TT's. Tried tri's but hated the swimming...

    Running was a constant source of injuries, everyone in the running club seems to be permanently in some state of injury and it's the major source of conversation.
    Injuries are only serious if they either stop you racing or training, or slow you down, otherwise you carry them, try to self-treat and run through them.
    On finally being forced to see a physio with a serious injury that you can't self-treat, you 'get your money's worth' by digging-out the other niggling problems too !
    (runners - does this sound familiar ?)

    By contrast, cycling isn't a problem - have had no serious problems,a few minor niggling aches and pains but nothing like the number from running.
    Crashes are a different issue, but those I've done myself on wet roads or gravel have just removed a bit of skin and sorted-out very quickly, even if they did hurt like hell !
    I was also knocked off by a car, which was a bit more serious, so it's worth getting insurance and legal-aid cover by joining CTC, Britich Cycling or British Triathlon.

    Running to cycling should be straightforward, far less problems that if you switched-over the other way because cycling is non-impact and so doesn't hammer the body in the same way

    As a runner you will have the CV fitness but not the legs, particularly for hill-climbing, so they'll give up first and basically you'll just be knackered by doing too much.
    Knee & hip dynamics will be different, so tendons will need to be strengthened to the particular demands of cycling.
    Basically build it up steadily as well, with increasing mileage and effort, recovery weeks, etc.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    mark145max wrote:
    Any advice to the sort of injuries that cyclist get and what kind of milage a week i can do, not should do would really be appreciated.
    cheers mark
    The non-weight jarring nature of cycling means that injuries are quite rare. I ran 2-3 time a week and played lots of Sunday Football for ten years and was always injured. Normally through running not because I'd been kicked. With cycling (4 years) its been great no injury execept for a badly alighned cleat 3 years ago which cause some knee pain for a short while. here's some tips

    1. Get professionally fitted up to your bike. (unless you've been racking up big miles without probs)
    2. Keep incraesing the miles steadily
    3. If you've got less time to train ride a bit harder
    4. Enjoy yourself its a great sport :D

    Niggles to watch out for:
    pain at front of knee - usually saddle too low
    pain at back of knee: Saddle too high (may need to stretch Hams)
    Pain at sides of knee: cleats usually, pronation etc
    Shoulder/neck/back/pain- maybe handle bars too far away(poor bike fit)
    These are early probs I've had which sorted themselves out quite quickly
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