What's happening with my legs!

Hi I recently moved up to doing longer distances after graduating from 5k. This week I did a slow but comfortable 8k on Monday and a couple shorter runs all going well. I planned well for parkrun this morning good sleep, carbed up and ate well days before felt good. Paced well at the beginning thinking once I get to middle section I could step up the pace and maybe even beat my previous time. However my legs felt so heavy and achy I resisted walking despite my brain screaming to stop and pushed on fairly steady. I'm unsure why I was struggling so much. I had warmed up but to be honest arrived a bit later than I'd hoped to start so minimum stretching on a cold morning, I would welcome all advice as to whether it was the lack of warm up or have I not been running enough or too far? I didn't realise this running lark would be quite so unpredictable?!, please help thank you

18 Replies

  • Impossible to know for sure. Have you kept the increasing distance within the 10% rule? Have you been keeping rest days sacred (!), have you been unwell or maybe your body is fighting something off? We all have runs that feel like this from time to time and if its just a one off, then thats all it was - one of 'those' runs. Good luck with your next run☺.

  • Thank you for replying yes I've kept the increases gentle and I seem to have adapted well to that. I run on alternate days and do my longer run only once a week. I will hold onto your thoughts it was just one of those runs!

  • So, was parkrun your fourth run this week? You say you ran 8K on Monday and then a couple of shorter runs, and then parkrun today. Do you normally run 4 times a week? If not then you might have overworked your legs and if you always run 4 times a week then it's just one of those runs when it feels harder and there is no obvious reason why.

    Don't worry about it. Put it behind you, take a extra rest day and then make sure the next run back is a slow one.

  • Thank you for your reply, do you know what as you've laid it out it does seem rather a lot and I do two sessions of Aqua which is very focused on leg work. I enjoy my running so much that I find two days rest between excessive although I guess I should mention I'm a young 55! I wonder if my body is trying to tell me something.? I only took up c25k last November so I'm a relative novice. I will heed your advice put it down to experience and regroup for next one. I just had the text of time through which was 32.41 so I'm pleased it wasn't as slow as I thought but will take a little more rest and see how that impacts next week.

  • That's a great time! Well done. I'm sure the next run will be fine.

  • Thank you I'm determined to stop whinging and push on to next one as you say x

  • Hi Bunny! Got to ask! do you wear the tail & ears when you run?😁

    Being 55 isn't really anything to do with it! a mere youngster!😊 The wife And I are both 61 and some older than us on here! but must add, probably in great physical shape for age!(I'm sure the lovely old floss will chime in soon)

    Just a few things, are you running any hills? I found it was hard gaining pace,after graduating, but started doing more hills with the running club, and found, unknowingly at first, that my pace had improved, and stamina had gone up, as finding hills are not as hard as they once were, albeit with the correct running technique.

    Also are you staying well hydrated? drinking throughout the day constantly? This does help enormously. Lack of Vitamin D can also have an affect after the winter, we both found our levels to be low(especially me,I was very low) on the annual blood tests, so on vitamin D supplement.😊

  • Hi Dave thank you for replying, and yes I do wear my ears and tail I get strange looks and comments but I quite like that! I'm smiling now you called me a youngster but I must say my body is not feeling it at times. I have consciously avoided hills but for. What you say maybe that's not advisable and I should challenge myself. I haven't joined a running club yet again not brave enough thought I'd be the oldest/slowest in group and I'd hold everyone else up so may brave it and try a local group? I have kept well hydrated and take a multivitamin so I'm hoping my vit D levels are ok. Can I ask when did you and your wife start running and how many times a week and what distances do you do?

  • We are humans, not machines, and the type of lethargic, heavy-legged run you describe can strike with no apparent reason. We all have them and, unless it becomes a frequent thing, it is best to shrug them off and not to overthink them.

  • Hi thank you for replying yes I think you are probably right I will regroup and fight on! I wonder if Paula Radcliffe ever had heavy legs?

  • I would more inclined to put it down to just one of those days which can strike at any time.

    The age thing could play apart especially if like most of us you were inactive before c25k.

    It can take a good while for our bodies to adjust fully maybe anything from 6 months to 2 years, hence gradual build up and rest days, the saying listen to your body is true but again may take a while to tune it.

    Nothing wrong with taking supplements etc, along with a good diet it all helps to maintain and keep us in tippy toppy shape 😊

    I am 59 this year and in my 2nd year of running , 4-5 months out last year with an to much too soon type of injury.

    You have done amazingly well so far.,keep at it 😊

  • Thank you Rob your comments are so helpful and encouraging. I agree I think I've probably expected a lot of my ole bod considering no real exercise prior to c25k. I just wish Id started this running lark when I was younger I might have been a challenger for Paula Radcliffe!

  • I think all of us wish the same, it has changed our lives in so many ways , hindsight is A wonderful thing , all it means is we will savour and enjoy every second of our new running lives now 😊

  • Thank you Rob I'm glad I'm not the only one wishing for younger legs! I've been thinking about the programme I watched with Eddie Izzard running back to back marathons... What am I whinging about really? So this bunny is going to crack on and continue my trading for race for life on 5th June x

  • He was pretty awesome wasn't he, good luck for your race for life, you will do just fine I am sure 😊

  • I'm doing it too so let's show them the more mature runner has attitude

  • Yes indeed and he didn't chip his nails! Thank you I will keep you posted

  • Having the same difficulty. Graduated a few months ago, built up slowly a once a week long run and legs felt good but for no particular reason, have burning calves while running that makes me stop and stretch and legs feel delicate on rest days. Puzzled because I should be stronger by now

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