Heavy Legs during long run

Hello all,

I'm training for my 3rd marathon which is 4 weeks away. Last week I did 20.5 miles in a decent time (2:56). The week before I did 18 Miles (2:35)

This week, I was aiming for 22 miles. I didn't really do any training during the week (had bruised toes). During the run, after about 9 miles I felt that my legs were very heavy. Rest of my body felt great though. I eventually had to stop at 16 miles as my legs were so heavy and my pace had slowed significantly. 

Do I need to rest more between runs, or is this because I didn't do enough (or any) short runs during the week to keep the fitness ticking over and get rid of the lactic acid?

Any ideas or comments appreciated!




  • Have you got appropriate footwear? Bruised toes is an indication that you may not. Are you stretching before and after?
  • Paul J-RPaul J-R ✭✭✭

    I sometimes get heavy legs too.  My experience of it is over training.  Take a week off, do some short slow runs, maybe 5-6 miles, and when they recover get back to normal....they will get better (in my experience again!)....but I appreciate it is extremely frustrating.

    Personally I would do the long runs every fortnight, and do a 10 mile run in between.

    And I agree with Bluemoon....bruised toes might be because your toes don't have enough space....have a look at your shoes.

    Good luck!

  • I would say do some medium long runs mid week to support the long run at the weekend - your endurance will develop. Note Lactic acid is cleared quite quickly, whilst  DOMS occurs 1 to 2 days after session as a result of muscles tear&repair (not lactic).  Short recovery runs (short & slow) will help stretch out muscles and get blood flowing. Since upping the midweek runs, my long runs of 20 - 24  feel so much stronger.

    Pfitzinger & Douglas 'Advanced Marathoning reckon on 4 days to recover from a long run (glygogen replenishment and muscle recovery). Worth a read, and has some good training schedules.

    I would sort you shoes out first though.

  • Thanks a lot for all the responses. Really helpful.

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