When will I be fit??


I started running about 6 weeks ago after a 20 year off from all exercise. I am now running 3 or 4 miles about 3 or 4 times a week. I have a few niggles but the one that irritates the most is that my muscles don't ever seem to recover - whenever I go for a run my legs are still sore from the last one. As soon as I take the first step of the run I feel like i'm picking up from where I left off.

I was assuming/hoping that after a while my legs would be stronger and therefore able to recover faster. If this is indeed the case, how long will it take to reach that stage?



  • If that is the case, then you maybe aren't giving your legs enough rest to recover, and/or you are pushing yourself to far, to fast, to soon.

  • Are you eating properly?  Do you stretch after running and are you doing any exercises inbetween the runs to strengthen the muscles?

    The first 10 minutes of any run are always the hardest as the muscles are just getting going and it takes a while for everything to come together and settle down into a rhythmn.

    Also, what Dan said is very true.  Many people start off too fast then get disheartened.  Try starting off at a really slow pace then speed up slowly until you find a pace that you can comfortably keep up for the whole run.

  • Thanks

    I'm sure danowat is right although I was hoping that eventually things would catch up with themselves.

    As for eating properly, I probably eat too much protein and not enough carbs so will have to look at changes there.

     I'm also going to try a longer rest period and see how long it takes for my legs to return to normal and then start again more slowly

  • I've never been able to run more often than 3 times a week, despite being on my 4th marathon- why not run twice a week to start with, and cross train the other days?

    If you keep struggling on, you'll just get disheartened, or injured.

  • Thanks all

    Left a gap this week from Tuesday (horrible 3 mile run that prompted the above post) until Saturday morning. Went out and ran a full minute a mile slower and felt great. Managed 5 miles and probably could have gone further. Funnily enough my heart rate for Saturday's run was around 150 which is 80% of max for me and is therefore probably the right training pace. Previously I've been up in the high 160s which is about 90%

  • ..and back to my old foolishness last night. Went out for a 4 mile run (I run laps of a mile each round a block) and realised after about a minute that I'd set off far too quickly. Instead of slowing down I decided to shorten the run to 3 miles and go for it. Managed 3 miles in 25.02 which is way too fast for me and legs aching big time now.image
  • How about either an ice bath or a cold bath when you get back from you runs, thats what I do I run a cold bath and sit in it while I drink a sports drink. I have only been running since may and had no problems with aches or pains in my legs or any other issues. I had have not exercised for over 20 years and I am up to 10k runs 3 times a week, hope this helps.
  • Yep ice or cold baths. Do some strength training too to condition your legs (running aint enough sometimes). Stretch well. Get maintenance sports massages to keep those muscles nice and knot-free.
  • I'll give it a go but apologies in advance to anyone in north west london who hears a strange yelping noise at around 7 this evening
  • I always tell the neighbours its our cat making the noise. I don't think they swallow it as they know we not got a cat!!!! FYI tried no cold bath today to see if I suffer after this mornings 10K
    (he bites his lip waiting for the pain)
  • D2D- I'm a short, chubby 40-something year old, who only took up running in my late 30's- my marathon PB (only done 3) is 3:56-ish, but getting better- I would be wrecked if I did anything like your training. Maybe, as I build up fitness, I'll be able to increase, but it's got to be very slow, as I know from experience, that I just pick up niggles- mainly ITBS and foot problems- peroneal tendonitis, blisters++++, despite all the different runnig shoes options I've tried.
  • ok, had a cold bath on Saturday after my run and it does seem to have helped image although if the IAAF had come to do a gender test on me right after it I'd have been another inconclusive result...

    I won't know how effective it was until i run again though and I'm going to give it another day or so

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