Tired Legs ....

Just wondered: Is it normal that my legs always seem to be tired when I climb just a short flight of stairs. I do about 30KM's a week and still even on my off days the stairs at work just gets the better of me. It is not that I stay tired or anything, it is just that I would expect that being quite fit, my legs should not even wink after climbing 100 stairs! What can this be and is it only me!?


  • running and stair climbing aren't the same - perhaps you have got well developed running muscles -but not stair climbing muscles- do you do any strenghening exercises - taking 2 stairs at a time is a good one (ive read)

    maybe your leg muscles are a bit fatigued - my legs get pretty heavy after doing a lot and lack spring!

    hope this helps - sure others will add more!
  • I get that too! I don't know for certain why, probably an unusually quick increase in lactic acid due to exercise which then tires the legs. I have tried doing specific hill sessions and using the stairclimber in the gym which does help to some degree. 30 kms are about 20 miles?? My theory is that you would have to start to increase your mileage (gradually, at no more that 10% increase per week) and stress your muscles a bit more to raise your lactic acid threshold.

    Hope this helps....keep running!
  • I've always wondered about that too. I run 50-60k a week and not only get tired legs going up the stairs but also puff. How fit do I need to get before that stops - listening to me climb up the stairs anyone would think I was a complete couch potato.
  • Tell me about it! Trained for the FLM and at supposed peak fitness still found the stairs hard work.
    As my work involves endless stairs the only thing I can recommend is working on your quads and calfs,this takes the edge off it slightly.

  • Will definately increase my mileage, but reading the other threads it seems that it is not the answer. [Pepsi] that is exactly why I opened this thread, cause I want to at least look good climbing the stairs compared to my non-running collegues! But no-joy!
  • This one really resonates with me! I've built up (since July) to around 15 miles a week, but I still get desperately tired and heavy legs at around 2 miles. Sometimes I can carry on, sometimes I have to walk. But it really, really hurts.
  • Is there no-one that can give us an explanation on this!?
  • This is really spooky.

    I was thinking about the same thing only yesterday. I always get really sore legs going up stairs and get out of puff while non runing friends don't seem bothered. Very annoying as I consider myself fitter than them and I am the one puffing and panting !
  • Shewy, on developing quads and calves, I went to the physio last week (for an achilles problem) and he said that I have rather large quads. Maybe the answer is that we should just do what the lazy people do and take the elevator?
  • It seems like our questions will just be left unanswered! Plz help if you can!
  • Don't really understand what I'm about to say but in case it helps or rings a chord:

    A couple of years ago I had problems with my knees which turned out to be caused by one set of muscles round my kneee being stronger than another set so my knee caps were being pulled out of line. Walking up steps and lying in bed were both particularly painful.

    It was cured by a couple of short physio sessions followed by stretching and step exercises. Basically if you put your foot flat on the step and lift your weight with your knee (rather than, as I do naturally, putting the ball of my foot on the step and lifting with the toes/ankles) it quite quickly builds the strength back up. It doesn't feel natural but it is a lot easier.
  • Not sure I understand the question, however...

    Before I started running, I could quite easily run up several flights of stairs - up to the point of being able to (just) manage 1 floor at work carrying 10 reams of paper!

    Now that I'm running 10 miles a week, just walking up stairs is slightly painful - I put this down to the muscles wanting some time off to recover!

    Climbing stairs is presumably an anerobic activity - more like a sprint, and I think there are two possible anerobic mechanisms that depend on the effort expended. Running probably won't make your short stair climbs much easier directly.
  • That sounds about right but try the two at a time stair climbing thing as it does strengthen legs - but do it as an exercise not as a way of climbing stairs all the time!
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