My poor legs


 I'm currently training for Brighton and aiming a Sub4.

I have been following the training plan on here and it's been going well up until two weeks ago.

My legs are so tired and sore after the long runs the Tuesday (and all midweek) runs are a real struggle. 

I skipped last weeks Saturday 3miler just to try and recover for the long one Sunday.

 The last thing I want to do is get injured. But I also don't want to fall short on all my midweek runs and not be fit enough to do a sub4. 

Should I expect my legs to be this sore? Do I really push my self and try and complete all runs in the training plan? 

This is my first Marathon.

Thanks in advance.


  • Hard to give advice without knowing your complete story, but some general thoughts:

    - you're right that it's better to get to the start line slightly undertrained, rather than miss out due to injury. The printed schedule doesn't know how your body is feeling.

    - personally, I try to drop the intensity of midweek runs, rather than skip them when I'm feeling sub-par

    - since it's your first marathon, can I suggest that you ignore time and just have fun? (Easier said than done, I know.)

    - a good massage can do wonders to both fix your immediate problems and perhaps find out what's at the root of the issue

  • It really depends how sore they are; you're supposed to feel a general level of fatigue and some soreness throughout training until you taper, but you're not supposed to wreck yourself.  If you feel your runs are getting progressively tougher and slower, then you need to back off a little.  It's the long run and the two quicker sessions which are key.  Skipping one or two mid-week "filler" runs won't do you any harm to your race ambitions.

    Schedules are useful, but they like to claim a level of scientific detail aimed at a specific time that is, in reality, very misleading.  Different runners will respond differently to exactly the same schedule depending on background, physiology, lifestyle etc., and it's only really once you've done a few that you see what works for you and what doesn't.  To run sub-4 you don't have to complete all the runs in the book; you have to get to the line fit, rested and confident, and you have to pace yourself sensibly.  It's quite possible that you could just run at weekends and achieve that, it just depends.

    I find that Hal Higdon's schedules, useful though they are, fall into the trap of adding unnecessary detail to create an impression of scientific accuracy (e.g. "run 1.2 miles of this run on grass"), and all of them tie schedules to target times far too much.

    Best of luck.

  • Yes I'd definitely listen to your body.
    Plans are all well and good but they have no idea how you're coping with the miles.
    A 3 mile run sounds a waste to me anyway. It takes me about 20 mind to warm up so I'd spend the bulk of the run huffing round.
  • Out of interest, what plan are you following?  I agree with Cougie - I go on 3 mile runs, but only really to walk my dog; they don't contribute a lot.  I know the theory about "recovery runs" but personally I've found that "recovery watching TV" works just as well.

    I would also add that while these schedules force some people into pushing themselves too hard, they just as much hold many people back; there are plenty of people who aim at 4 hours because they've followed a 4-hour schedule who could be doing the race half an hour quicker on the same training.

    Also, for my first marathon I certainly remember my legs being very sore indeed for 2 or 3 days after a long run.  I used to only train at weekends (for work and family reasons) but it did the job nicely as it gave them plenty of time to recover and I beat 3:15.  So as I say, schedules, schmedules.

  • Thanks for the fast responce guys.

     Rennur - Dropping intensity.

    I have done just that over the past two weeks. For E.G. Last night should have been around 7m. 1mile warm up and down. 1.5m at a fast pace with .25 recover x3. I managed the first 1.5m then did 1.25 and then 1m. with only a very short cool down at the end, not the 1mile.

    My schedules never have a recovery run after the long Sunday run. It's always a days rest then a interval/fartlek/hill session on the Tuesday. Slow distance on the Wednesday and then a temp run Thursday. Maybe there is something in there I could change? How important are the recovery runs? I was pretty suprised when I noticed there was none in my plan.

    T map - Maybe I should sorten my filler (Wedneday) runs? Swap the speed/hill (Mon) runs with the Tempo (Wed) runs?  But then will that leave me too fatigued for Sunday?
    Sorry for all the questions. I guess I just need to give it a go and see what feels best for me.

    Looking forward to my first Marathon but now know I need to improve the strength of my legs.

    Once it's over i'll be in the gym with a proper strength program for a few months before I take on another challange.

  • Ah - a subscriber only one!  Can't see that, sorry.

    If you are struggling to recover from the weekend long runs, then yes it makes sense to drop the mid-week one - how long is that?  The one thing you absolutely must do is to build up your weekend long runs to the point where you can handle the time on your feet.  If you do only that, you will be OK.  If you can also do some tempo/interval/hill training during the week, then so much the better.

    If you're getting very sore, perhaps do tempo runs or fartleks rather than anything faster or more structured.  When I was starting I got very very sore from trying faster intervals and it's not so vital for marathons - the important thing is to do some running at a good brisk 10K kind of pace, if you're up to it.

  • Hey guys

    Thanks for all your advise on here! It really paid off and I just listened to how my body felt.

    WIth missing out on a bunch of runs due to soreness I didn't think I'd manage my sub4 @ Brighton.

    But I came in at 3:58:33! So I was over the moon... I felt great up to around 22 miles which was a nice feeling!

    Can't wait to do more now!

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