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19-02-2012, 09:24   #1
BenThere
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Heavy legs this morning

Hi all,

43 year old male here, 183cm tall and 95KG weight.

I'm trying to run 20km per week (1,000 km in 2012) for general health and fitness reasons. I generally do 2 x 7km treadmill runs early morning (6am - 7am) in the gym which take about 51 minutes + one outdoor 6km run at the weekend with an average pace of 6 mins 20 secs per KM. I also do a basic weights programme 2-3 mornings a week.

To keep me motivated I have entered a number of fun run / races starting with the Marlay park 8km next Saturday.

I did an outdoor 6km run Thursday evening and again Friday evening. They were tough but I recovered quickly afterwards and felt good afterwards.

I rested yesterday (well played 18 holes of golf but that's not too tiring is it!!), had a nice hot bath last night to treat my legs in preparation for what was going to be a 7.5km run this morning.

Got up at 8am, ate a banana, drank a pint of water and hit the road. It was bloody freezing and stupidly I went out in shorts and a short sleeve top with a woolly hat but no gloves. I'd been out before in the cold, wore too many clothes and got too hot so I figured I'd warm up quickly on this 'longer' run.

I never got going. My legs felt like jelly and despite telling myself I'd warm up and get into a nice rhythm I never did and ended up shortening my run to get back home in 3.8km.

Maybe this is just a once off or maybe it's because I was cold but I'm a bit worried/annoyed with the 8km coming up next Sat.

Are there days when no matter what your legs just don't want to run?

Is there anything I should do to make sure I can get through the 8km next Sat? I was planning on trying one more 7.5km run tomorrow evening + a 6km run Wednesday evening then nothing until the 8km on Saturday in order that my legs would be in good shape for Sat. Does that sound like a good plan?

Apologies for the novice questions.

Really disappointed with this morning effort

Ben
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19-02-2012, 11:34   #2
huskerdu
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Hi Ben,

Yes, we all have a bad day at the office every now and then, that makes you feel like you hate running and you never want to do it again.

You just have to get back up on that horse, You won't regret it.

However, you should analyse if there was a reason this happened.

You usually run 7km on a treadmill at 7.25 min/km twice a week and 6km outdoor at 6.20 min/km once a week. Treadmill running is usually much easier, unless you use the incline a lot and in your case your outdoor running is much faster. so this is the toughest run of the week, by a long shot.

Do you usually do your weekend run early in the morning ?

Last week, you ran 7km outdoors on Thursday, 7km outdoors on Friday, played 18 holes of golf on Sat, and and 8km outdoor run on Sunday.

What pace did you do these runs at ? It sounds like a huge jump in the amount of running, your legs are used to in a 4 day period.

if this is the first time you have done three proper runs in the row, you might be discovering that it is harder than the treadmill, but it you build up your outdoor runs, you will be able to cope it easily, but you seem to have done too much for the week before a race.

In order to be ready for Saturday, I would suggest resting tomorrow and doing one or two short runs at recovery pace during the week, this means very slow, just to loosen up your legs and work off the lactic acid.

You cant improve your fitness in 6 days and you are you are better off be at the starting line on Saturday slightly undercooked than overtrained.

You have already experienced what it is like to be running on overtired legs and you dont want it to happen on Saturday, on your first race.

It'll be fine, enjoy the race on Saturday
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19-02-2012, 13:44   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huskerdu View Post
You usually run 7km on a treadmill at 7.25 min/km twice a week and 6km outdoor at 6.20 min/km once a week. Treadmill running is usually much easier, unless you use the incline a lot and in your case your outdoor running is much faster. so this is the toughest run of the week, by a long shot.

Do you usually do your weekend run early in the morning ?
No, my weekend run is usually in the afternoon or evening although my treadmill runs are early morning.

Quote:
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Hi Ben,

Last week, you ran 7km outdoors on Thursday, 7km outdoors on Friday, played 18 holes of golf on Sat, and and 8km outdoor run on Sunday.

What pace did you do these runs at ? It sounds like a huge jump in the amount of running, your legs are used to in a 4 day period.

if this is the first time you have done three proper runs in the row, you might be discovering that it is harder than the treadmill
I think you hit the nail on the head there. For various reasons I didn't get to do the planned outdoor runs I wanted the previous week so I guess I tried to to too much this week and got found out this morning. Better this morning than next Saturday!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by huskerdu View Post
In order to be ready for Saturday, I would suggest resting tomorrow and doing one or two short runs at recovery pace during the week, this means very slow, just to loosen up your legs and work off the lactic acid.

You cant improve your fitness in 6 days and you are you are better off be at the starting line on Saturday slightly undercooked than overtrained.
I've been able to to 7km outdoors on Saturdays so hopefully will be able to do 8km with the extra bit of adrenalin you get on race day.

Taking your "better undercooked than overtrained" logic on board perhaps I should just do the following between now and Saturday.

Monday - nothing at all
Tuesday 6am - 20 minutes easy on the cross trainer followed by what I call the hangover triathalon i.e. 10 mins in the Jacquzzi, 10 mins in the steam room and 10 mins in the sauna.
Tuesday PM - 6km run at an easier pace than normal.
Wednesday - nothing at all
Thursday AM - 20 minutes easy on the cross trainer followed by the hangover triathalon
Thursday PM - 3km run at a very easy pace.
Friday - nothing at all
Saturday - porridge and banana for breakfast around 9am ready for the off with fresh legs at 11am

Sound like a good plan?

Ben
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19-02-2012, 21:22   #4
Brick Session
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Don't leave the early morning sun fool you, it is still bastard freezing out there. Wrap in light breathable layers, i.e dryfit running shirt and breathable jacket. Keep leggings on to keep the heat in legs. A tracksuit pants will be too hot, try and pick up a pair of running specific leggings. Nothing worse than freezing fingers and keep the hat on.

I have not played golf in about 5 years but I found a full 18 holes hard on the legs, you need to rest them between runs.

I am the exact same age, weight and height so I can relate to where you are at. For the coming week, my advice would be to stay off the legs as much as possible and put today behind you.

Best of luck with your upcoming 8k.
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19-02-2012, 21:29   #5
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Thanks Brick, I couldn't find my running leggings this morning and as it was pretty bright I thought I'd just warm up. What a mistake a to make a!! I was 1.5km in before I realised that wasn't going to happen. Lower arms and hands were frost bitten!!

Will take it easy this week all right and listen to the legs. If they feel heavy I'll do nothing.

Cheers,

Ben
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20-02-2012, 21:40   #6
dancinpants
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Don't underestimate how much of a toll 18 holes of golf takes on the legs. I do fairly high mileage and never normally feel tired, yet a round of golf always leaves me absolutely shattered and I will often feel heavy-legged the following day.

I got injured preparing for the Dublin marathon last year and when I think back on it now, I can attribute the injury to going out for a heavy session (running, not drinking) straight after 18 holes.
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21-02-2012, 13:33   #7
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Thanks Brick, I couldn't find my running leggings this morning and as it was pretty bright I thought I'd just warm up. What a mistake a to make a!! I was 1.5km in before I realised that wasn't going to happen. Lower arms and hands were frost bitten!!

Will take it easy this week all right and listen to the legs. If they feel heavy I'll do nothing.

Cheers,

Ben
I wouldn't say do nothing if the legs feel heavy, do a light slow run but just do something. If you can run a nice handy 5-6k then the adrenaline of the day should carry you the other few kms on race day. Your goal is to finish your 8k if I read it correct, don't be thinking about times etc, just do it and enjoy it. Celebrate finishing it and look forward to the next event. Try and stay off the legs as much as possible in the day leading up to your event also, I find this helps. May not be possible with family etc but try. Again, my most important piece of advice is don't wreck your head and go out and enjoy yourself on the run.
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21-02-2012, 15:36   #8
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Quote:
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Monday - nothing at all
Tuesday 6am - 20 minutes easy on the cross trainer followed by what I call the hangover triathalon i.e. 10 mins in the Jacquzzi, 10 mins in the steam room and 10 mins in the sauna.
Tuesday PM - 6km run at an easier pace than normal.
Wednesday - nothing at all
Thursday AM - 20 minutes easy on the cross trainer followed by the hangover triathalon
Thursday PM - 3km run at a very easy pace.
Friday - nothing at all
Saturday - porridge and banana for breakfast around 9am ready for the off with fresh legs at 11am

Sound like a good plan?

Ben
A good trick is to do a few easy pickups towards the end of that thursday pre-race 3km. Just say 6-7 by 20 secs at a faster but comfortable pace. Nothing too fast now just enough to leave your legs with a tiny bit of "pep" in them. The trick is the legs remember that "pep" so the slightly more intense pace of a race feels easier on slighly sprightlier legs. Take a minute jog between each 20s. Not enough to make you tired..just enough to give you pep.
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21-02-2012, 16:13   #9
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Thanks Brick and Thanks T,

Didn't get to do the easy session this morning as I had to be in Tipperary for 10am but just back now so thinking I'll head out for a slow 6km and see how I feel afterwards. If I do good I might treat myself to an extra pancake tonight :-)

Ben
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21-02-2012, 17:25   #10
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Just did 6.5km around my local park which has a nice tarmac path all the way round. Did it in 38 mins 58 seconds which was way quicker than I expected. I started off being as deliberately slow as I could but after I warmed up I just got into my natural rhythm which with lanky legs is faster than I'm probably fit for but anything slower feels a bit laboured and unnatural.

Here's hoping the legs feel ok tomorrow and I'm raring to go Saturday.

Cheers again lads,

Ben
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21-02-2012, 22:15   #11
Brick Session
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Just did 6.5km around my local park which has a nice tarmac path all the way round. Did it in 38 mins 58 seconds which was way quicker than I expected. I started off being as deliberately slow as I could but after I warmed up I just got into my natural rhythm which with lanky legs is faster than I'm probably fit for but anything slower feels a bit laboured and unnatural.

Here's hoping the legs feel ok tomorrow and I'm raring to go Saturday.

Cheers again lads,

Ben
I think you hit the nail on the head there, start slow and build up to a comfortable pace during your run on Saturday. Best of luck with it. let us know how you get on.
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22-02-2012, 08:08   #12
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I think you hit the nail on the head there, start slow and build up to a comfortable pace during your run on Saturday. Best of luck with it. let us know how you get on.
Thanks Brick,

Slept well last night and did an easy 20 mins on the treadmill this morning followed by 20 mins in the jacquzzi so hopefully the legs will be in good shape for Saturday. All I want to do is get around without struggling. It would be nice to do it fairly comfortably.

Will check back in on Sat with the result!!

Ben
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27-02-2012, 13:19   #13
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FYI I had a good rest Thursday and Friday, ate a bowl of porridge and a banana 2 hours before the race on Saturday and got round the 8km (8.2 according to my Runkeeper GPS) in 52 minutes which is a respectable (for me) 6 mins 20 seconds per KM.

I hadn't realised the run was quasi cross country so really struggled slipping and sliding up the hills which is a bit knackering and I also did a full 360 degree tumble when I stood on a branch with my left foot and it flicked up catching my right foot coming through. Talk about action man. I flew forward thought "f***k this is going to hurt" then automatically did a front roll break fall and straight up into my stride without losing any momentum whatsoever. I'm sure the people behind me thought I was trying to kill myself. I did a bit of jiu jitsu training 20 years ago and can't believe I actually remembered what to do when I suddenly found myself heading face first for the ground



All round a great event and thanks so much for the support I got here.

So, now for the Wicklow Gaol 10km next month!!!

Ben
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