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Old 07-20-09, 08:53 PM   #1
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Mountain bikers and running

I've noticed a few of you mention you run or ran. I've decided to throw running into the mix of activities I do.

I took a short 3.5km run and felt fine from a stamina point of view but I had some weird pain on my shins. It wasn't shin splints but I guess it was a different set of muscles that I wasn't used to using compared to cycling. I'm aiming to do a 5km race in October but will try to average three 5km runs per week.

Who here runs and what is your routine? Do you find it helps with your mountain biking or vice-versa?
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Old 07-20-09, 09:18 PM   #2
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My routine is run for a few blocks, curse for awhile cause I've got no camelbak, run a few more blocks and throw in the towel. Generally that's enough running for a few months. My mountain biking suffers because that's time that would be better spent on the trails instead of the sidewalk.
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Old 07-20-09, 09:21 PM   #3
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Do you wear shoes with shock absorbers on them ? You should, they're priceless for reducing impact and thus reducing pain. Like the Adidas Microbounce pictured below.



I find running helps my mountain biking climbing ability, given that it makes my cardio work harder over shorter periods of time.
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Old 07-20-09, 09:24 PM   #4
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I also recommend running only on professional 400 meter tracks. They are a softer surface so that will further protect your legs. Every town has them.
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Old 07-20-09, 09:40 PM   #5
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I run on dirt paths when i run for longer, quick runs are on blacktop which is a tad softer than sidewalk cement (I don't run in the road, there a paths near me)

never found it to help mtn bikin but i don't run a ton, i find that my general good shape from mtn/road biking and lifting makes it easier for me to run

I use decent trail runners, I doubt those fancy spring shoes, but to each his own, just that I've never heard anything good about them from shoe nuts, (at least for running) and my varsity track friend just says to get normal nice running shoes (with the foam for cushion) I think they are lighter so its less stress to run in em (apparently heavy shoes can make you hurt yourself running, go figure)
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Old 07-20-09, 10:54 PM   #6
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Running is my primary sport. I'll usually put in 85-100 miles per week. 5-6 days of doubles, with an easy short run in the morning and my main run later on in the day. Two days of speed work (one track, one tempo) and one long run per week. Other days are either medium effort or recovery runs. Example track workout might be 1600m at 10K pace, 400m recovery jog, and then 12x400m at 5K pace with 100m recovery jog between repeats. Tempo work is generally 3-5 miles at faster than lactate threshold pace, or cruise intervals (e.g. 3x3200 with 5 minutes recovery between repeats). If I'm doing something else (mountain biking, road biking, etc), it will go on a recovery day and I'll still get a run in that day (distance will depend on how hard the other workout was). I do the majority of my running on roads, with some trails or fire roads when I get a chance. Track intervals are done on a track...other than track workouts, I stay away from that godforsaken thing. It might be soft, but running lots of tight loops is a good way to wreak havoc on your inside leg (left knee and IT band usually). Also, my workouts are set up as half marathon training, with the plan to eventually move up to the marathon, so they're a little on the long and slow side for 5K's. When I was 5K training (aka when I still had fast twitch muscles left), I was doing shorter, faster stuff (e.g. 10x400 at 3K pace), and was doing a little less mileage.

I guess it helps with long climbs and long rides, but I firmly believe the best cross training for a sport is the sport itself (i.e. the best cross training for mountain biking is mountain biking). Might get you in shape for some Xterra races though.

Those Adidas bouncy shoes look like a gimmick to me. I don't think I've ever seen a serious runner wear something like that. The "running" shoes you see in stores like Foot Locker are often no better than the "mountain" bikes you see in Walmart. A "mountain" bike is fine for riding to the store, and "running" shoes are fine for walking around the block. But even if you're only running a couple of miles per day, it's still actual running and your feet and legs will be best off with a pair of real running shoes...it's no different than saying you're only going to only hit the small set of jumps with that Next bike. Any specialty running store can set you up with a good pair of shoes though...they'll put you on a treadmill and analyze your gait. What kind of shoes you need will depend on your biomechanics. Your foot pronation will determine how much stability and cushioning you need in your shoes. And more stability/more cushioning isn't always a good thing...I wear a neutral shoe with no stability features since I have neutral biomechanics. An overpronator with flat, flexible feet will want a motion control shoe, while a supinator with high arches and rigid feet will want a cushioned shoe with no stability features. Wearing the wrong shoes for your feet often leads to injury and could be the cause of your shin pain...and this holds true whether you're running 20 or 120 miles per week.

Also, shin splints is a catch-all term for shin pain. By your description of it not being "shin splints" though, I'm assuming you've ruled out medial tibial stress syndrome, which usually strikes beginning runners and is caused by increasing speed or distance before your body is ready. Other possibilities are compartment syndrome or a stress fracture, but before assuming the doomsday scenario, I would suggest stretching your calves before running, icing your shins after running, and running on a softer surface if possible (dirt roads and grass are the best, roads are better than sidewalks, and if you can stand them, treadmills are usually pretty soft).

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Old 07-20-09, 11:19 PM   #7
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During the school year, I try to get out 3-4 days a week at lunchtime. I have loops that range from 3.5 to 5.5 miles. I used to be obsessed with the stop watch but now feel content to time myself only occasionally and chastise myself if I slop into 8+ minute miles.

If I'm training for a race, I will work in once-a-week speed intervals on the track, hill intervals on a sand hill that's about two miles out or "powerpole intervals' - - run hard to a powerpole beside the road/jog to the next/run to the next and so on for the entire length of one of my loops.

[I was a HS XC / track distance runner who basically quit running in my mid-20s and didn't take it up again until my 40th birthday when my XC-runner daughter and wife went in to buy me a pair of wonderful Asics running shoes. I still wear mostly Kayanos.]
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Old 07-20-09, 11:23 PM   #8
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Running is my primary sport. I'll usually put in 85-100 miles per week. 5-6 days of doubles, with an easy short run in the morning and my main run later on in the day. Two days of speed work (one track, one tempo) and one long run per week. Other days are either medium effort or recovery runs. Example track workout might be 1600m at 10K pace, 400m recovery jog, and then 12x400m at 5K pace with 100m recovery jog between repeats. Tempo work is generally 3-5 miles at faster than lactate threshold pace, or cruise intervals (e.g. 3x3200 with 5 minutes recovery between repeats). If I'm doing something else (mountain biking, road biking, etc), it will go on a recovery day and I'll still get a run in that day (distance will depend on how hard the other workout was). I do the majority of my running on roads, with some trails or fire roads when I get a chance. Track intervals are done on a track...other than track workouts, I stay away from that godforsaken thing. It might be soft, but running lots of tight loops is a good way to wreak havoc on your inside leg (left knee and IT band usually). Also, my workouts are set up as half marathon training, with the plan to eventually move up to the marathon, so they're a little on the long and slow side for 5K's. When I was 5K training (aka when I still had fast twitch muscles left), I was doing shorter, faster stuff (e.g. 10x400 at 3K pace), and was doing a little less mileage.

I guess it helps with long climbs and long rides, but I firmly believe the best cross training for a sport is the sport itself (i.e. the best cross training for mountain biking is mountain biking). Might get you in shape for some Xterra races though.

Those Adidas bouncy shoes look like a gimmick to me. I don't think I've ever seen a serious runner wear something like that. The "running" shoes you see in stores like Foot Locker are often no better than the "mountain" bikes you see in Walmart. A "mountain" bike is fine for riding to the store, and "running" shoes are fine for walking around the block. But even if you're only running a couple of miles per day, it's still actual running and your feet and legs will be best off with a pair of real running shoes...it's no different than saying you're only going to only hit the small set of jumps with that Next bike. Any specialty running store can set you up with a good pair of shoes though...they'll put you on a treadmill and analyze your gait. What kind of shoes you need will depend on your biomechanics. Your foot pronation will determine how much stability and cushioning you need in your shoes. And more stability/more cushioning isn't always a good thing...I wear a neutral shoe with no stability features since I have neutral biomechanics. An overpronator with flat, flexible feet will want a motion control shoe, while a supinator with high arches and rigid feet will want a cushioned shoe with no stability features. Wearing the wrong shoes for your feet often leads to injury and could be the cause of your shin pain...and this holds true whether you're running 20 or 120 miles per week.

Also, shin splints is a catch-all term for shin pain. By your description of it not being "shin splints" though, I'm assuming you've ruled out medial tibial stress syndrome, which usually strikes beginning runners and is caused by increasing speed or distance before your body is ready. Other possibilities are compartment syndrome or a stress fracture, but before assuming the doomsday scenario, I would suggest stretching your calves before running, icing your shins after running, and running on a softer surface if possible (dirt roads and grass are the best, roads are better than sidewalks, and if you can stand them, treadmills are usually pretty soft).
Those shoes, which I have in a different color, are not from a general shoe store like Foot Locker. They are from an Adidas store and the employees knew what they were talking about. Aside from that, I have never seen any store more specialized in running, as popular as the sport is, people seem content with the stuff available at their local Mall, which by no means should be classified as low quality stuff.
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Old 07-20-09, 11:29 PM   #9
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People are content with bikes available at their local big box stores too, but it doesn't make the stuff any good. And an Adidas factory store isn't a running specialty store. They will have real running shoes (along with "running" shoes), but in my experience, the sales people don't usually know what they're talking about, at least not the way they do in running specialty stores. And there are running specialty stores out there...at least I think there are. Otherwise the store that sponsors my team has a bit of explaining to do...
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Old 07-21-09, 12:58 AM   #10
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People are content with bikes available at their local big box stores too, but it doesn't make the stuff any good. And an Adidas factory store isn't a running specialty store. They will have real running shoes (along with "running" shoes), but in my experience, the sales people don't usually know what they're talking about, at least not the way they do in running specialty stores. And there are running specialty stores out there...at least I think there are. Otherwise the store that sponsors my team has a bit of explaining to do...
Where I live you can find a bike shop in just about every corner, but no running stores whatsoever to be heard of. Adidas store is about the most specialized I can get.
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Old 07-21-09, 05:04 AM   #11
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Running is for people who can't afford a bike.
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Old 07-21-09, 05:25 AM   #12
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Running is for people who can't afford a bike.

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Old 07-21-09, 05:28 AM   #13
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Running is for people who can't afford a bike.
Well said Mr. 66!
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Old 07-21-09, 05:45 AM   #14
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I run 2-4 times a week, Distances vary from 5k to 20k. sometimes on the trails, sometimes on the road.
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Old 07-21-09, 05:54 AM   #15
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Running is for people who aren't fat.
fixed
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Old 07-21-09, 07:33 AM   #16
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Running is for people who aren't fat or old.
fixed
Double-fixed.
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Old 07-21-09, 10:22 AM   #17
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Double-fixed.
Hey, you started this. In answer to your question, santiago, I find particular benefit in it building my lung capacity, endurance and 'mental toughness.' Yes, it works different sets of muscles differently but I feel like it does it in a complementary way.
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Old 07-21-09, 11:10 AM   #18
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I only run when being chased.
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Old 07-21-09, 01:48 PM   #19
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Double-fixed.
Oh, you guys know how to cut me deep.
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Old 07-21-09, 04:02 PM   #20
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Running is for people who aren't fat or old.
Since when?? I'm not fat but I'm old in training at 54. Been running routinely since high school.
It really helps on long climbs, especially when I have to push the bike uphill
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Old 07-21-09, 05:11 PM   #21
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People are content with bikes available at their local big box stores too, but it doesn't make the stuff any good. And an Adidas factory store isn't a running specialty store. They will have real running shoes (along with "running" shoes), but in my experience, the sales people don't usually know what they're talking about, at least not the way they do in running specialty stores. And there are running specialty stores out there...at least I think there are. Otherwise the store that sponsors my team has a bit of explaining to do...
As a general rule I would agree with you, but the box store Finish Line at the mall near me carries most of the same running shoes that our local running store does, and unlike most mall stores the salespeople actually had some clue what they were talking about. Overall, I'd agree though that many of the mall type shoe stores have ppl who have no clue and are more fashion oriented than performance oriented.
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Old 09-07-09, 06:02 PM   #22
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Thanks for the info all (and the laughs). Good info. I'm particularly intrigued by the training routines mentioned here by Zephyr. I'll see if I can work my way up to a structured program. For the time being I just go out and run 5km on every outing.

So here's my two month update. I started running in early July, was away on holiday for a big chunk of August so didn't get to run much then then started up when I came back. I haven't found any marked improvement in my riding due to the running. The two are too distinct other than requiring a minimum stamina level to go any distance. Considering how different road and mountain biking are, I am not too surprised by this.

So my routine has settled into two or three lunchtime 5km runs per week with an occasional 5km run on the weekend. I'm hoping to increase this but am limited by the other activities I enjoy doing. What I found to be very surprising is how consistent my average pace has been. Considering these are 5 km runs, my times how steadily gone from low 4:50s/km to high 4:40s/km (~24 minute 5km runs).

The shin pain I described earlier was something I expected. After my first run I gave myself several days off and started up again. The shin pains are gone but from time to time my knees feel funny. I have some reading up to do to see if this is something I have to worry about or part of the growing pains of running after many years off.

My story is a lot like Doug's. I was a big runner in high school and early college but just stopped to do other stuff. I always had a love-hate relationship with it considering how much it hurt particularly the sprints, but I always did enjoy running. This year I am 39 (beat Doug by 1 year!) and picked up a pair of running shoes and the iPod/Nike chip. It was the geek angle that pulled me in. To quote a great line I read in a book, my ethnic group is nerd.

I have signed up for a friendly 5km run with friends. My daughters are even signed up for the 1km kids run and that's taking place in October. I don't really expect to start joining the running circuit as I am primarily focused with seeing how my body reacts to the running and I don't want to cause any unnecessary injuries.
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Old 09-07-09, 06:08 PM   #23
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Well done sir, Yeah I get the aichs and pains, but I get them from the bike too. Course I'm pushing hard on 50. Your times are great for workout times, usually race times are 2 minutes + or - less than workout times. Do you use a heart rate monitor?
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Old 09-07-09, 06:14 PM   #24
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I avoid running at all cost.....I won't exercise unless there is pleasure in the pain. With running there is no pleasure only pain. On a bike you get thrills, chills and spills.
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Old 09-07-09, 07:42 PM   #25
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I never liked running. Used to run a little for tennis, but we did more "suicide" runs than anything. Those KILL your legs (hence the name?) But quick bursts of running is really all you use in tennis...Also, running is terrible on my knees, while I can bike all day and my knees don't bother me a bit. Running offroad (grass/dirt) isn't so bad though, I should do that once in a while. I do walk sometimes. Around town and all in cooler weather. Once its cool enough to wear jeans I will walk uptown for groceries instead of drive, about 1 mile. Walking is still a lot of impact compared to cycling, but not really noticeable. Find a school soccer field that doesn't mind you running laps around the goals. Much easier on the joints...
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