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Old 03-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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Sparklybeck HB User
Tired legs when running

Hi dudes

I'm training for an 8 mile race on the 1st April, and I've been running about five times a week for the last three weeks (this is my fourth week). It's going well, and I'm alternating between longer, slow runs (6 miles in an hour on Saturday) and short, faster runs, with interval training. My stamina has improved - I can feel my general fitness improving - but my legs get tired too quickly. In the last few runs they've felt really heavy and energyless, and it's so annoying because I feel I'm stopping before my body actually needs to, but my legs just feel so dead.

I'm assuming people are going to tell me that I just need to strengthen my legs - I think they're already quite strong (they're quite muscular - my sister calls me thunder thighs!) but maybe their stamina needs building up. My boyfriend suggested cycling as a good cardio/strength exercise, which I plan to do, but can anyone else make any suggestions?

Cheers, fit people

 
Old 03-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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diamond839 HB Userdiamond839 HB Userdiamond839 HB Userdiamond839 HB Userdiamond839 HB Userdiamond839 HB User
Re: Tired legs when running

I am going to suggest squats and lunges and variances of those two moves. Strength training my legs has given them amazing endurance. I poop out before they do. I have not run 8 miles, but I am training for a sprint triathlon so I am swimming, cycling and running a lot.

 
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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bdrunner79 HB Userbdrunner79 HB Userbdrunner79 HB Userbdrunner79 HB Userbdrunner79 HB User
Re: Tired legs when running

This has nothing to do with weak muscles. This is classic overtraining. You are doing too much. What is happening is that you are chronically draining your leg muscle tissue of glycogen, which gives "dead" legs which won't go away. I'm assuming you are running fast too often. If you take easy/hard days, then you really have to run slow on those easy days. I mean to the point where you feel like you could go a lot faster, but you remain disciplined and go much slower. I would only run "hard" twice/week because running hard more than that per week provides no additional physiological benefit. So my advice is to run easy Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu, and Sat. Then do two hard sessions per week, on Tues and Fri.

Let me give you an example. In college I often overtrained, so when I reached that point (and I knew it) I took 3 days off of no running. On day 4, when I came back, boy did I feel better! Much better and the dead legs were long gone. But I didn't want to repeat that and fall into the same trap. So I ran 3 days in a row, very, very easy. I could have a nice conversation with a training partner at the pace I was running. Then I went back to my two hard days per week program and jogged the off days at a conversational pace. Obviously when you feel better you can run a bit harder than conversational pace, but this was just to get back into it.

My concern is that when you don't recover from overtraining, you will perform worse than if you just take some days off and train smater. Keep that in mind after your race.

Good luck tomorrow!

 
Old 07-05-2012, 03:38 AM   #4
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beachlove12 HB User
Re: Tired legs when running

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdrunner79 View Post
This has nothing to do with weak muscles. This is classic overtraining. You are doing too much. What is happening is that you are chronically draining your leg muscle tissue of glycogen, which gives "dead" legs which won't go away. I'm assuming you are running fast too often. If you take easy/hard days, then you really have to run slow on those easy days. I mean to the point where you feel like you could go a lot faster, but you remain disciplined and go muh slower. I would only run "hard" twice/week because running hard more than that per week provides no additional physiological benefit. So my advice is to run easy Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu, and Sat. Then do two hard sessions per week, on Tues and Fri.

Let me give you an example. In college I often overtrained, so when I reached that point (and I knew it) I took 3 days off of no running. On day 4, when I came back, boy did I feel better! Much better and the dead legs were long gone. But I didn't want to repeat that and fall into the same trap. So I ran 3 days in a row, very, very easy. I could have a nice conversation with a training partner at the pace I was running. Then I went back to my two hard days per week program and jogged the off days at a conversational pace. Obviously when you feel better you can run a bit harder than conversational pace, but this was just to get back into it.

My concern is that when you don't recover from overtraining, you will perform worse than if you just take some days off and train smater. Keep that in mind after your race.

Good luck tomorrow!
@bdrunner79, can I ask your opinion about how to differentiate dead legs/extreme soreness between being sore from a previous workout VS. overtraining? As a swimmer, I experience 'dead shoulders' which is equivalent to dead legs in a runner, and sometimes I can't tell whether it is because of overtraining or just becasue I am tired/sore from a previous workout.
Thanks!

Last edited by beachlove12; 07-07-2012 at 03:04 AM. Reason: mistake

 
Old 07-11-2012, 04:10 AM   #5
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beachlove12 HB User
Re: Tired legs when running

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdrunner79 View Post
This has nothing to do with weak muscles. This is classic overtraining. You are doing too much. What is happening is that you are chronically draining your leg muscle tissue of glycogen, which gives "dead" legs which won't go away. I'm assuming you are running fast too often. If you take easy/hard days, then you really have to run slow on those easy days. I mean to the point where you feel like you could go a lot faster, but you remain disciplined and go much slower. I would only run "hard" twice/week because running hard more than that per week provides no additional physiological benefit. So my advice is to run easy Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu, and Sat. Then do two hard sessions per week, on Tues and Fri.

Let me give you an example. In college I often overtrained, so when I reached that point (and I knew it) I took 3 days off of no running. On day 4, when I came back, boy did I feel better! Much better and the dead legs were long gone. But I didn't want to repeat that and fall into the same trap. So I ran 3 days in a row, very, very easy. I could have a nice conversation with a training partner at the pace I was running. Then I went back to my two hard days per week program and jogged the off days at a conversational pace. Obviously when you feel better you can run a bit harder than conversational pace, but this was just to get back into it.

My concern is that when you don't recover from overtraining, you will perform worse than if you just take some days off and train smater. Keep that in mind after your race.

Good luck tomorrow!
@bdrunner79, great post! I just have a quick question - you said that you changed your running program in college and it worked wonders on you! I recently had time off (2 months) from competitive swimming due to overtraining. I've been back training for about 3 months with a reduced workload, yet here I am suffering from overtraining again Any advice would be very much appreciated!

 
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