W7R3 ✅ Leg fatigue is a serious thing! - Couch to 5K

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W7R3 ✅ Leg fatigue is a serious thing!


W7R3 completed this morning. During this week 7, I’ve been crippled with leg fatigue towards the end of my runs. They feel heavy and tired, like having bricks for legs whilst the rest of me can carry on going! I’m going to take two rest days but don’t want to take this with me into W8 and W9 🥺

35 Replies

hi there I had this problem and my legs felt like I could barely lift them yet everything else was fine ie breathing etc etc. Someone advised me that it maybe I needed to hydrate more. So I armed with a running bottle over the last weeks which I had never taken with me before and I found that if a sipped at this throughout the run it stopped the dreaded leg tiredness. It may be that you already do this but thought it worth mentioning...well done though getting there.

JaoJao in reply to nif100

Thank you nif100, appreciate any advice on this. I think I drink enough water already but I will certainly increase my water uptake and see if it helps.

Currently lying down with legs elevated and just gave them a massage with deep heat 😟

nif100Graduate in reply to JaoJao

I have added fresh orange juice to my water but that is a personnel thing


You are correct in giving yourself a extra days rest between your running, hydrate well and drink plenty of water the day before you run and run a little slower than you have been running recently, onwards and upwards to week 8 😊 🏃

JaoJao in reply to AlMorr

Thank you AlMorr, I did pick up that picking up too much pace can do this too, but I think my running pace is already at a snail’s pace but I will slow down just a tad more on the next run 😊

AlMorrGraduate in reply to JaoJao

Not too long now until you graduate JaoJao, just hydrate and as you say run at 'snails pace' this is not a race.

I lost my graduation status for a few moments today, I was demoted, the word Graduate was not next to my username, however, I notice it's now back and it will be next to your username in a few weeks time.

These things occasionally happen, it was a computer glitch. 😊

JaoJao in reply to AlMorr

Graduate and me in the same sentence 🙈🙈🙈

AlMorrGraduate in reply to JaoJao

You will be very proud of yourself when you see the word Graduate next to your username, you have 6 more runs before that, but remember if you are not happy with your running you can repeat any runs as much as you wish.

JaoJao in reply to AlMorr

Thank you, you’re amazing as always x


Hi sorry to hear this JaoJao. I struggle if I haven’t drank loads the day before. Even if you think you have had enough water, have some more. It really does make a difference to me. Also I find I’m craving more fruit and veg since running. Must be my body’s way of getting those vitamins in to cope with the extra exercise. Listen to your body and there’s no harm in having an extra rest day. Lots of people have extra rest days and you don’t want to jeopardise the last 2 weeks - you’re almost there!

JaoJao in reply to JaniceG68

Thank you Janice, you’re right, I’m nearly there so why spoil it now. Plenty more water, enough rest days and slower running seems to be the order x


Heavy legs can be symptomatic of poor hydration.

As stated in the guide to the plan, it is recommended to drink 2.5-3 litres of fluids each and every day. Your run will be more affected by what you drink in the 24 hours before a run than in the few hours beforehand.

Stretching straight after every run pulls out muscle contractions and avoids taking them into the next run.

Extra rest days may also be beneficial.

JaoJao in reply to IannodaTruffe

Blimey 2.5-3 litres! Then I am not drinking enough! Thank you for this .

mrrunGraduate in reply to JaoJao

That sounds lots but if you sip it regularly then it goes quickly. Don't cut corners by drinking a gallon after breakfast, the NHS is already stretched enough, you need often but not much each time. The best way is to listen to your body, as always. Dry mouth means you are already dehydrating, that's a step towards heavy legs. Ignore that step and headache with dizziness will soon follow. My faves.


Proper hydration is a must, and not just on a warm day, let alone hot. Never drink too much before the run, if you do you will remember never to do it again. If sufficiently hydrated your body will store enough liquid to see you through any short run, l did a whole half marathon without it but, by all means, if you think a little sip during a run is needed then do carry a bottle.

Do you know how l learned about hydration? I had 'heavy legs' incident and following on this forum's advice that has never been repeated since... ;)

JaoJao in reply to mrrun

Thank you so much! The messafe has definitely been registered! 😂

Are you hydrated enough before during and after you’re running and stretching before and after these 2 things play a big roll in how to stop getting leg fatigue etc hope it helps you 😉🏃🏻‍♂️

JaoJao in reply to Kevtrev

Hi there, I have introduced stretching before and after running and so it seems I’m not drinking enough water, I will do that now.

Kevtrev in reply to JaoJao

Glad you are doing that now happy running 😉🏃🏻‍♂️


What I'm getting from all these lovely replies to Jao is 'hydrate' ;) My run today was certainly really difficult and I know I didn't drink enough yesterday, or eat nutritious food. I will now become glued to my water bottle. :)

JaoJao in reply to Sarigne

I know! If it works then I can’t believe something so simple had such a crippling effect. Good point on the nutrition! On run days I try and have a good mix of carbs, fruit and vegetables.

SarigneGraduate in reply to JaoJao

Me too usually, but yesterday was stupidly busy and I was haring all over the place, so I ate on the go from garage shops (failure to plan). :(


How much water are you drinking you say you think you drink enough how much 😊

JaoJao in reply to Buddy34

I must drink 1 litre currently. I’m very small though. I’m 4’10, 50kg. I don’t think I need as much as someone twice the size as me.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to JaoJao

In the guide to the plan I mentioned the NHS recommended amounts, which varies according to different NHS sources, but there is also a link to an article about hydration.

Put simply, if dehydrated, blood thickens and transport of oxygen to muscles is compromised.

A smaller individual will require less fluid, obviously, but if you are exercising then it needs to be taken seriously and can eradicate those heavy legs.

Drinking too much water........ we are talking litres in short time period.......can lead to serious condition called hyponatremia, which leaches salts from your body.

I would recommend checking out the section in the guide relating to hydration.

JaoJao in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you I will have a read


Hi Jaojao just thought I'd throw my twopence worth. Hydration absolutely makes a difference, I think that was a contributing factor to my crappy run on Tuesday. Yesterday and today I made a extra effort, even remembered my beroca, and felt so much better. Sorry to be base but if your per smells or it's darker than pale straw (nhs speak not mine 🙂) then you're probably not hydrated enough.

Enjoy the extra rest, it too will help and enjoy your next run xx

JaoJao in reply to Jogunlikely

No problems there my pee is like water from a tap!!! I never allow it go like apple juice... I only drink water, herbal teas or elderflower cordial and occasionally wine! I’m very good me! 🤗🤗

I’m looking at those sports drinks, electrolytes...

JogunlikelyGraduate in reply to JaoJao

Best post run drink is chocolate milkshake & no I'm not pulling your leg 😁 there really is science behind it x

I brought some electrolyte satchets today and drinking loads of water in readiness for my run either tomorrow or day after.

Dexy5Graduate in reply to JaoJao

If you check in millets, Cotswold outdoor or similar shops, you can buy zero tablets to put in your water. I use one in 750 ml water the day before and after a run in addition to plain water. They taste far nicer and probably work out cheaper than chemist electrolyte sachets. I think Aldi might have them too.

I might have seen them in Holland and Barrett today in the sport section

Thank you everyone I no longer suffer from leg fatigue. Drinking water has helped, stretching has helped and electrolytes have helped.

Thank you to everyone who helped! Leg fatigue disappeared with the bucket loads of water I was drinking

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