Some running days are better than others. Among the reasons of a bad run, we can mention bad weather (cold temperatures, slippery ground, strong wind), low energy (a headache, sickness, hangover), weak breathing, cramps, soreness or heavy legs. In this article, we will focus on “having heavy legs” while running.
There is nothing worse than starting a run and feeling that you have bricks instead of sneakers. What are the causes of heavy legs? How can you reduce this dead leg feeling?
🔸 Adjust your strength training
For sure, building muscle mass can help you become a better runner. However, a very intense strength training can lead to heavy legs. During the in-season of running, focus more on light strength training.
🔸Don’t skip the post-run stretching
It is also very important to incorporate regular stretches after your run. It will decrease muscle stiffness and pain and increase your range of motion. If you don’t have time, try at least to stretch for 10 minutes (static leg stretches) and also involve quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and back.
If the feeling of heavy legs is quite frequent during your runs, it might be a sign of overtraining (too much physical stress on your body). It can be caused by too many workouts, doing too much after an injury, large jumps in the long run, etc. If the feeling of heavy legs is really due to overtraining, we recommend taking a few days of rest. It’s also important to listen to your body in order to avoid injuries and more serious problems.
🔸Wear good shoes
The ideal shoes are light as possible while offering the necessary support. If you run quite often, the best would be to go to a professional store and ask for a recommendation. You need to have shoes adapted to your type of foot. Be sure to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles.
Moreover, having heavy legs can also be due to a low carbohydrate diet, a lack of sleep, iron deficiency, dehydration, or poor circulation.
We hope that this article was helpful and that it could help you facing this problem. If you are experiencing heavy legs too often, see your doctor to address your concerns.