Tired legs

Hi, I am following the Hal Higdon intermediate marathon training programme, preparing for the London Marathon n April. It's my first marathon and I am aiming for a 3:40 marathon. I am in my 7th week of training and for the past week my legs have been feeling pretty tired on all of my runs. To date I haven't missed any training sessions, so 6 days a week. My question is are tired legs normal and I just need to train through it, or am I better taking a day off on one of my shorter runs to help me recover? Beng a marathon virgin I am not quite sure if I should be feeling fit and strong n training (like I have so far), or tired legs are part of training and its all part of the training plan in preparation for 26.2 miles. Any advice would be appreciated. Adam


  • The plan wasn't written specifically for you. You need to listen to your body, and if you are not recovered properly for the next hard session, then maybe its time for a day off. Running through it risks injury, getting run down etc. I get tired legs after a long run for a day, but am generally good to run 24 hours later.

    Take a day or two off, return, and if tiredness persists maybe review your plan / target time. Plans are usually formulated to have you ready to run the key sessions. Few will complete 100% of all sessions. Make sure you run you slow runs SLOW
  • Ok thanks for the advice. I think I will take tomorrow off. It's funny as I find running to 8:30 miles (the time I want to run in he marathon) really easy, it's just the past week my legs have felt tight and tired.

    On my long runs I am trying to run at 9:30 miles, which is actually quite hard, I have to keep reminding myself to slow down.

    Out of interest what pace should I be running my mid week runs at? Hal's site just says 'run' pace but doesn't explain what that is. I tend to mix it up, some runs I will take easy, some I will run at 8:30 miles, and some I run 7:30 miles - depending on my mood. But my long runs I really try to hold myself back.

    Maybe it's my mid week pace which has tired my legs?
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Adam, I used the same plan for my first marathon. I basically ran my mid-week runs at the same pace as my long runs, i.e. pretty easy. What I would do on the odd occasion, and not more than once a week, is add in a proper tempo run, but this would be a very distinct pace from the easy runs.  So at the moment, maybe you're doing too many miles in "no man's land"; a bit too fast for an easy run, not allowing you to recover adequately for the next long or hard session, but not quick enough to have a useful training effect e.g. improving your lactate threshold as you would for a tempo run, or even practising marathon race pace (which I know HH includes on the odd Saturday run.)

    So, slow down the majority of your mid-week runs (and take the odd rest day if you feel you need to) and this might help matters. Something like 9:30 for easy runs, 7:30 for tempo runs, and if you do end up running at 8:30/m, this should probably only be towards the end of easy runs if you're feeling particularly good, or scheduled for a specific "race pace" session.

  • sounds like your legs are just taking a little time to get used to the volume of training, which is to be expected, so don't worry too much. by "getting used to", I mean taking a while to recover. You should find, that if you increase volume gradually then you're legs recover quicker between sessions, and they feel less tired or heavy on your harder runs. This can take a while though, so don't expect miracles. Inserting the odd extra rest day into your plan is the right thing to do, much better than overtraining, getting injured and missing your race altogether.

  • Thanks for the responses guys, the advice is much appreciated
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