New here - any advice about persistent stiff thigh muscle?

Hello all,

Really enjoying reading people's posts on here! I'm new to this all but it's lovely to see how everyone is progressing!

I've been doing C25K since August and have been taking it carefully because, in the past, no matter how fit I was, running would always damage my knee tendons and I'd be hobbling for a week (this despite being a fitness kickboxing trainer!). I never thought I'd be able to run until I started this programme and I'm so impressed with how it helps you become a runner.

Anyway... I've been fine until Week 5. I've been doing this week for around four weeks now because while I can cope aerobically with the runs, I've been getting a weird pain in my left thigh, towards the top, nearer the groin. When I run I don't feel it at all but when I slow down for the cool down it immediately seems to seize up and feel stiff. I've tried stretching as well as doing the warm up and cool down walk but it's made no difference. I still managed to run the Day 2 run and managed Day 3 too but the second time I attempted W5D3, I could feel it getting uncomfy near the end and then, when I got home, it became very painful, even when resting. The pain went from the groin right down to the knee so I assumed it was a pulled quad muscle.

I took a week off (just walking and a bit of cycling, although that made it worse) and went for a run on Sunday - W5D1. It felt great to be running again but the stiff muscle was STILL there! (At the top again.) Anyone else had this and any ideas how to get beyond this niggling point? It's really irritating me now as I am - shock horror - actually enjoying my running!



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13 Replies

  • See the link, it says something about doms & taking an electrolyte rich supplement...

  • Thank you - I will take a look at that! I probably could do with drinking more in the hours before a run.

  • Sounds like it could be a tight hip flexor. Try some pre run warm up and post run stretches targeting this area and some strengthening exercises like lunges, lateral side leg raises, standing hip flexor and hip external rotations. I tend to get to suffer from this from time to time

    A bit of light swimming helps too

  • thanks so much for this. I tend to do the thigh stretch when you hold your foot and pull it back to stretch the hip flexor but I think I could be doing more stretching - ie on the days that I'm not running! I'll give those exercises a go. Thanks!

  • Hello and welcome to the forum. You have made brilliant progress already!

    Although you have v good basic fitness, you will be using different muscles etc for running.

    If you go to this and key in running injuries, there are a range of symptoms described with ways to prevent/treat. However, please take expert advice if you think you need it. There are also specialist sports physios who will advise.

    Are you wearing the correct running shoes, a gait analysis , provided by many running shops will ensure you have a suitable pair for your gait. Many of us are surprised what a difference the right shoes can make.

    Keep posting so that we can see your progress, there is a wide range of experienced runners on this forum!

    Happy running🏃🏻😃

  • Thanks so much for your reply. I will check out the NHS site and see if I can find more info on this particular issue. I've got some new running shoes that are amazing and helped me when I was struggling at the beginning (old shoes and no support). If it doesn't get better soon then I'll get some advice from the GP or my osteopath.

    Really appreciate reading these posts from people who've been there and done that! Very encouraging!

    Thanks again!

  • I got that pain after my half marathon and I'd not had it before. I did the stretch that footballers do (it just came to me as I'd seen em doing it on the touchline) the one where they raise their bent leg as if lifting it over the back of a chair. I did a few of those and it went.

    Are you going nice and slowly?

  • Sorry for the late reply, I've only just seen this. Thanks so much for your message. That's a great stretch, I'll definitely do it. Things are better this week but still not right. I'm generally pacing myself well, it just seemed the big increase from running non stop for 8 minutes to 20 did it. Am hoping it will carry on getting better.

  • Try this deeper stretch for tight hip flexors

    Kneel on one leg with the other bent behind you

    Use both hands to pull the foot against your hip (it's the same exercise as the standing thigh stretch but it's deeper when sitting)

    Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

    I do this against a wall (stretched foot against wall) as it's easier to balance and you get a deeper stretch.

  • Thank you! I'll definitely give that a try!

  • It might be a good idea to see a sports physio. Our leg tendons and muscles are pretty complicated and you may need some strengthening exercises to target a specific problem.

    Hope it gets sorted soon - you're more than half way through!

  • Thank you! Fingers crossed it will improve soon.

  • Might be worth visiting a sports therapist (if that's what they're called!) to seek professional advise on preventing injuries and treating them if needed. :)

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