Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Legs vs. body in getting tired while running?

A question that a lot of runners ask when they get tired is if the legs or the body limits the distance one can do. The answer, of course, is both; it depends on the circumstances, and different people will have different answers to the question.

Since my blood clots in January, my legs have been the limiting factor. I've been combining running and walking, and I usually run until my legs start to show the stress, and then I walk for a break. Today, however, my body was the limiting factor. My legs felt great while I ran, and I stopped to walk when my body told me it needed some rest. My legs didn't feel tired at all during the whole distance. This is a really good sign!


  1. My calves and ankles hurt when I run or walk great distances. I stretch and warm up before, drink plenty of water, but, I still get pain in my calves. I end up walking and running too !!!!

  2. Until finding your blog recently, I was under the impression that people were either "walkers" or "runners." I used to run, now I walk. However, I still enjoy running, and the aches and pains of my 46-year-old body don't really bother me when I alternate running and walking. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm inspired - going to take the dogs out right now, even though it's wet. They'll be thrilled. Hopefully it won't rain on us!

  3. Deborah, try cutting your distance in half or in fourths such that you can do the distance without the pain. Then, add small amounts distance back in (5-10%) and stay with each new distance long enough that you feel comfortable with it. If you increase your distance and do feel pain, go back to your previous distance for a couple of weeks and then add half of what you did before. The idea is to make each increase small enough that you don't feel pain.

    BB, how did it go with you and your dogs? Did it rain? As long as the air is warm, I enjoy being in the rain and getting wet -- makes me feel like a kid again :) However, if the air is cold, I don't want to get wet.

  4. We had a wonderful run/walk! 3 miles, and we only got damp. It always feels so great when you're cooling down and have that good feeling that comes with physical activity and a sense of accomplishment. I remember going for a run a few years back and getting caught in a torrential rainstorm. At first my friend and I were trying to run faster to try to make it back to the car faster. But when we realized we were just going to be drenched, it was really funny, and I was reminded of being a kid and running splashing through puddles. We were laughing!