Wobbly Legs

Just wondering if I could get some reassurance from experienced runners! My training was 100% on target and 3 weeks ago I peeked my first marathon training at 21 miles. Since then things have gone down hill - it's almost like my legs have gone "OK, that's it, I don't want to run any more!"

 Legs feel like jelly when I walk and when I run, like iron weights. So much so, that I can barely run a mile without stopping. So in the last few weeks I've done a meer 3 runs with just a few miles each time at that.

A few people mentioned my iron/ feretin levels may be low, but I've been to the doctors and had it tested - it came back normal! I'm taking iron tablets regardless, along with all the other bundles of vitamins I can get in! I'm obviously eating and hydrating well... well, up until Tuesday when I contracted a tummy bug and have only just gone back to work today (although in hindsite, perhaps the well earned rest was needed and will have done me good!).

My question is this - I aint no quitter, so no matter the pain/ discomfort, I will be running the marathon. However, do you think having done little training in the last few weeks is going to impair how I go on the day? I'm so worried that after having dedicated (literally) my life to training over the last 6 months its all going to be thrown away.

I've done ice baths, stretches, foam rollers and sports massages but nothing seems to be mending them. Will mind over matter get me through?

Any reassurance or advice would be really appreciated for a first time marathon runner who just wants to see the benefits of months (and years if I think back to all the 10Ks and Halfs I've done) of training.

Much love!

 KB x


  • You will be fine.  It sounds like you didn't get a chance to recover properly after your 21 miler, due to illness so your body needs longer than normal to recover.  Eat sensibly, drink plenty of water and rest.  Maybe do some walking rather than running this week if you feel that you need to get out.

    Have you been eating enough?  I made that mistake with one long race I was training for.  If you are not training now then don't suddenly increase what you are eating, but it might be that your body has been struggling to recover from the long runs if you were not consuming enough calories.  When I did this I had achy legs of lead and struggled to walk.   I was also getting bad headaches and wasn't sleeping.

    Training plans are designed to get you to the peak of perfection for race day, and are usually aimed at a specific finish time.  Missing a few sessions, especially in the last couple of weeks will not make it any more difficult to complete the marathon, but you could be 10 min outside the intended finish time.  Personally I don't think it will amke any difference at all as you ahve done your long runs and the aim of the last couple of weeks is to keep you mentally prepared rather than physically prepared, as a lot of people find that when they cut back on the training then they lose confidence too.

    Try not to worry, and enjoy the day.

  • Thank you SuperCaz, that's really reassuring and kind of you to reply image)

     I do think a lot of it is down to exhaustion, I guess that's why they call it a marathon - and as for eating, I've never eaten so much in my life! But I do get nagged by my boyfriend that I should be eating more!!

     The legs feel wobbly just walking up a the high street but I'm hoping I can break through this, like you say on the day.

    I'm hoping for a sub 5 hour marathon as it's my first, so here's hoping.... image)

  • I was eating plenty - huge piled plates.  But when I looked at the content I discovered that it was all salad and veg, so no real calories.
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