Legs feel like lead!

I completed NY marathon in Nov '10 which was my first marathon and i ran it quite comfortably. I am now training for Paris marathon in April and my training runs are hell.....with my legs feeling really heavy right from the first mile. I'm def not over training and do approx 3 runs a week including a long run. i gave up after 6 miles yesterday in my planned 15 mile run as my legs ached and just wouldn't work!

Any advice on how to get rid of this heavy legs feeling as its killing my long runs off at the minute image


  • I'd put a  week aside and do some shorter tempo runs no more than 6-7 miles jog 1mile race pace the next and so on.

    It might seem like your going back to basics but it should give your legs time to recover while still mantaining a degree of training.


  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

     Ditto more or less - worked for me.

    My legs quite often feel like lead after a week of long runs and hill work. I have found that doing shorter sprints on the track eases them. The first set are hell and it feels like plowing through concrete but after the second set things start to losen up.

    It took me a long time to get over VLM last year - I found sticking to shorter faster distances worked much better than trying to run long and slow, then one day I just went out for a run and 18 miles later I still felt fine.

    I don't know what the reasons are but someone said that after a mara they go for a run, everything feels great and then they just crash after an hr. I was exactly like that.

    You can try some of these wonder foods - beetroot juice, cherry active?
    Detox or rehydration.
    Bathe in Epsom salts.
    Massage / foam roller.

  • I know this is rather pathetic considering the distances you are both talking but I was running for 4-5 days a week (never more than 7-10k) and exercising at least a little every day (swimming/spinning) up to 4 weeks ago. At this point work got too much and I had to work towards a deadline and so I reduced quickly then stopped exercising altogether until last week when I began again after I completed my deadline. I really went for it and played a hockey match on a mon, did a sprint session followed by a spin class then resistance work on tue, a 5 mile run on wed then with it being Paddy's day on thur I did nothing but did dance for 4 hours that night. On Fri I went for a 6 mile run then a cycle on Sat. By Sun my legs were feeling quite sore and on the run on Friday I felt a little niggle in my knee, which I have had issues with before. I had intended to go for a long 10k run but decided my legs were very heavy and was worried about over-use causing my knee to flare up again, so didn't I went for a walk instead (in which I every-so-often burst into a little jog but not for long as I wasn't in the correct gear).

    This level of activity is not something I haven't done before but is it too much too quick after 3 weeks of no exercise? Despite rest, water and lots of protein, my legs still feel very heavy and tired; why is this? Should I ignore it and go for a run anyway?

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Is this too much... my legs feel heavy and tired.

    Anserwed your own Q. really. Tired means rest.

    Don't forget that non physical work also has an effect on the body. Working hard to meet deadlines is quite draining. It's always good to take time off and rest if your body is telling you that's what it needs.

    An easy week would've been better, just something easy every other day, then build up prolly after 3 weeks you'll be back to normal.

  • Yeah I guess but I just feel agitated if I don't do something everyday. Though it's for my own good in the long run (no pun intended!) - I don't want to injure myself meaning I'll be out of action for a long period again .


  • I trained hard for the Banbury 15 yesterday. Last year I did 1.46 this year 1. 52.

    On Thursday we went for a gentle 4.5 mile run and I was dead. Anything resembling a hill and I struggled. Yesterday my legs felt dead doing a half mile warm up.

    I had don a 14-15 mile run for four of the previous Saturdays. The first was the best and was easy the third was a total nightmare. I dont know where to go with this. I don`t know if my legs are going to turn up on the day. I have the White Horse half coming up and would like to be near 1.30 but a repeat of Sunday and I would be just happy to get round. I have been suffering with night sweats and do run better in the evening.

  • Yeah I get night sweats and leg only very recently, leg cramp. I put the leg cramp down to the large intake of coffee consumed in preparation of the deadline but the nightsweats - I hadn't made a connection!
  • I took a full week off exercise and then ran 16 miles last Saturday and my legs felt a lot better.  Sometimes you can do too much......Rest days are as important as training days and i guess you gotta listen to your body and not get too hung up on what the training plan says you should be doing. Running should be enjoyable.

    I look forward to taking it "easy" with the final stretch of my marathon training image 

  • Yeah I know you're right; it's just hard!

     Very jealous of your marathon training, I had to stop 10 weeks ago as I took a back spasm that needed 4 weeks to heal; I'm now just doing the relay. So annoying as last year I gave myself patella tendonitis and had to stop training - I will do a marathon yet!!!

  • hi there,

    i see alot of advice about led legs but I went out running today, just a 3 mile and god my legs felt like I had weights on them...I only ran on Sunday just a 5 miler, and focused on fast runs last week, i dont understand, I could see it if I was over doing it, becasue previous week, I ran 3 days in a row, but i had a rest monday, that is why I ran today, could it be dehydration, as i havent been drinking much water, or sometimes i tend to start off too fast?

  • I hear you all!!

    After a weekend of really good/hard gym sessions an 8K run (short but I'm building up to a 10k) and a spinning class last night I think its fair to say I feel great but am knackered. This didn't stop me going out today. Needless to say I only managed 2k, the legs were not having any of it!

    I don't think I expected anything less, I've been pushing myself hard for the last few days and need a rest day but that pesky running bug gets in the way image So no gym tonight, just gonna eat curry, paint my nails and watch TV.

    I think a lot of us are guilty of ignoring rest days, feeling great and thinking we can push more. Rest and enjoy image
  • Iam trying to get back to running, kept myself fit through biking and circuits before hand. Not running much now still, but I think I run my runs hard and have always been over 10 to 14 miles. X 3 days a week. This past week my legs are like led. And I have been feeling tired. Iam in a rut, cause I won't to run, but I feel tired alot. This morning did a walk jog for ten minuite,Legs like lead. then I run constantly easy then run stride for 12 min. My legs did feel better after this, but still tired and Iam tired. What is wrong with me? I could run 50 miles aweek a year ago. I am 39. 10 k time 35.50. Have a half in sept. I know ican get around, but I do races for time. Just wont to run 5days aweek with a couple days of double runs. Is it my body just getting use to running again. So I just kick my ass and just get out there, cause I always feel better after wards. Just find it hard doing easy steady run. If I plan that it ends up me doing hill reps and1min or 1m30sec effects short recovery aswell. Sorry for being long Iam so frustrated.

  • Guys , running is fun, if you r tired take some time off it makes a big difference, especially in short runs image Longer runs you have to teach your tired muscles to keep going but I still took some rest time and it made a huge difference ,hope this helps

  • If you must exercise every day try cross-training! Unless your name is Brownlee us triathletes don't run every day, we bike a lot, swim a bit and run some, backed up with general stuff like weights and core exercises. Of course both swimming and biking are non-weight bearing exercises so although you are still using your legs, it's not so hard on your feet and legs. I did a swim and run race yesterday, will go to tri club swim training tonight for an hour and a half, tomorrow cycle home from work (32km) and then run.

  • I ran the robinhood Nottingham half marathon. I averaged 8 minute miles. Time 1 hour 45 minutes. And it was easy. So why was it so easy. I normally run 10km and run myself into the black in 50 minutes. My legs are normally lead and my lung power average at best. Why? I ran at the same pace for the half marathon as the 10k. I am at a loss. I run 4 times a week, I am 46 years old and my resting pulse is 38. Yes 38! I should be destroying these 10 k runs in 45 minutes. So frustrating. Help. Any ideas.
  • I do speed work about twice a week. I usually run a 5k as fast as I can. 3 big hills as well. Takes about 24 minutes and I am close to passing out. Not fun. I should be enjoying my running. Not killing myself !
  • I've had exactly the same for weeks, put it down to virus, general run-down etc. not resting enough. Sports massage last week helped a lot as does my foam roller but I think rest is the key.

  • Ive ran 17 marathons & most times around the 18 mile mark my legs feel heavy my calfs & hamstrings then become tight & a little numb. Im not out of breath during this time but my legs start to give way & slow me down. Thats what makes it so frustarting

    How can i prevent this problem is there any suppliments i can take salt tablets ect

    ps i hydrate well so its not that 

    Has anyone else experienced this

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