Heavy legs running

(Geir L.)

What do do about "heavy legs running trouble" on the easy runs ?

"Hi Marius!

I´m enjoying your 100 day marathon plan, but I have problems with the easy runs. After passing 30 minutes of easy running my legs always starts to hurt and feel heavy.

It´s hard to run after I get that feeling and I dont feel like recovering doing it this way. This is not a problem then running some kind of interval, even if the session is over an hour long. Of course I get tired, but in a different way.

This has always been a problem for me then doing easy runs. I´m not in bad shape, running Lidingøloppet in just over 2 hours this year and 10k in 35:24.

I have tried running "smart strides" during my easy runs just to break it up a bit. It brings back some kind of spring in my legs and stride. It´s like an easy fartlek. Is this ok to do? And that´s creating my problem on my easy runs?


Answer Hi Geir, and thank you for your question. Some athletes have the problem you are taking about, with very heavy legs during the easy runs. I've done some experiements with these runners and it seems that two things works the best :

1. Alternate running and walking during these runs, about 70 % running 30 % walking.

2. Not worry about it. What I have seen is that this happens to runners that have a natual high muscular tension in their legs. They do not feel that the easy runs lead to recovery because of this. However, this is not the real case. It is more of a subjective feeling. When you palpate their quads on these easy days, you can feel it quite clearly. But the day thereafter easy runs it usually feels quite different when you do the same palpation. So the easy runs still does its job, even though it may not feel that way !

You can certainly use the Smart Strides, but experiment with this so that you maybe do this after 1-2 easy runs weekly only - and then "walk/run" the 1-2 others. Doing Smart Strides after each easy run is something you want to be careful with - it adds too much stress on the easy days.

Wish you all the best,

Kind regards,

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