Running on tired legs

E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

I would love someone with more experience than me to enlighten me.

Whenever I run a long run (e.g. 14-20miles) and I run the next day my runs are consistently better, faster and I feel a lot better when I'm running. My mile splits are spot on and my pace is consistent, my breathing easy and I feel generally a lot better.

I know my legs are tired - but shouldnt that mean that i'm slower and feel more achy? Rather than going faster and feeling refreshed?

When I run on 'fresh' legs - i'm always slower and hating the first 2-3miles whilst i'm 'getting into it'. My mile splits are always out rather than being consistent like they are when i'm running.

Does anyone have any ideas?


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Yes, twice a day training and 100 miles a week. 

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Not always possible, i'm afraid! Everyone that i've asked has said that it shouldnt be like that and I should be running easier on fresh legs.

  • D0MD0M ✭✭✭


    I`m with you (ish) on this one. I seem to run better during a decent volume training phase. When I taper to peak for a race, I have almost always felt something was missing on race day and that I could have run faster whilst in training phase.  So much so that I prefer to run an easy 7miler, two days before a marthon, rather than the `textbook` 2-3 miles. My mum`s husband was a sub 2hr 20 marathon runner and now a coach and he thinks i`m mad, but in the week leading up to my best marathon, I did speedwork, weights and had run a full marathon two weeks previously.  My background is as a county level sprinter, so i`m not exactly built for endurance work. Go figure????


  • Everyone to their own! I always have a few days rest and never run the day before an event image


  • Emmy_bug, this is just a thought, no experience or scientific knowledge backing me up. But maybe when you run on fresh legs you have that little bit more energy that you have to keep under control so as not to set off too fast - so your throttling back almost. When you run the day after a long run you don't have that extra energy and so don't feel the need to start as quickly...... A bit like driving a really fast, responsive car compared to driving a 20year old banger
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Hi forty_44, thanks for that. I thought something similar and to be honest - it's not a bad thing but I just wanted to ask if anyone else had a reason behind it.

  • I'm the same! I always thought it was my legs saying "Wheee! We can enjoy this run, it's only 5 miles!" image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    That's a nice way of looking at it RRR!

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    you're not odd or unusual Emmy_bug. I read a marathon training plan, that I would like to follow, That said to run a faster run the day after your long run.
    It gave the reasons why, mostly about recovery and using different muscles. Red as oppose to white etc.

    i was in the pub on Tues and we were talking about brick sessions and do run better after swimming or swim better after running etc. Couldn't really come up with a concenus there either.

    I'm going to do a track session tonight and I was wonderring how much warm up for optimum performance if, as I've been told, a 3 mile warm up is needed for a 5k race, should I be doing something similar for track? As there's a likely hood of me cycling 15 miles I may not know - I have been told that is a good warm up for a track session.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I'd use the 'like' if there was one. RRR

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Hi Camillia - I've heard that it's good to run on tired legs to aid recovery but I just couldnt work out why I was faster the day after! Most people I know really struggle the day after a long run whereas i'm the opposite.

    I rarely do track sessions but when I've done them in the past - we've had a fairly liberal warm up (2x800m easy pace), but that might not be best?

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I used to swim before a track session and I found that a great warm up, my old club also did dynamic stretches before track. The club I've been training with do a single 800m jog. I usually jog to the track which is a tad over a mile then 800m then dynamic stretches and strides. I always ache and feel stiff though. Maybe that's just because it's a very lumpy bumpy grass track as oppose to an all weather track - flat and smooth.

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