Leg Ache

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  drkelly 11 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #6165


    I'm sorry if this has been discussed in other places I tried doing a search.  I've been running for about 2 months now and have been at 4 miles this month about 3 times a week.  What i've been running into lately if I run at 6am by the end of the day my outer thighs ache.  They continue to ache the next day also then slowly goes away.  Hot bath's usually take the ache away.  My problem is it prevents me from running I have to skip a day or two between runs.  I never have issues during runs.

    I'm hoping this is cause i'm just new to running and my legs are being broken in.  I would like to start running back to back days in the future.  Any thoughts?

    thanks for your time,


  • #22731


    I suppose I'll start with the standard stuff…

    1. how sure are you that your shoes are correct for your gait (did you buy them at a RUNNING store where they watched you run?)
    2. has anyone watched you run (poor stride balance)
    3. do you do any stretching after running
    4. how about sufficient water, how's your diet, sleeping enough?… you may be running a long distance compared to some of the people on this BB, but for you it might be a lot…
    5. besides increasing your distance, have you increased your speed?
    6. have you tried running with the 'ache'… sometimes easy running can get the blood circulating through tired muscles and actually make them feel better…

    plus it seems that you  are doing the same thing for every workout (?) maybe a little variety would help, instead of 3 x 4 miles, maybe 4 days but run (3, 4, 3, 4)

    I'm sure others will have other insights… let us know what helps & what doesn't… good luck


  • #22732


    +1 on everything Rita said but I would add one thing.

    Have you tried icing after the run instead of a hot bath?

    My guess would be it is a combination of working your milage up and the wrong shoes/strange stride.

    Does it hurt while you are running or just afterwards?

  • #22733


    Rita brought up a good list of things to consider. I'll take this in a bit of a different path than her list.

    You say you run at 6am and the aching shows up in the evening. What do you do during the rest of the day? I'm thinking along two lines when I ask this question. First, if you're on your feet a lot, maybe it's the cumulative effect of a day's worth of physical activity and the morning's run just happened to be what pushed you over the edge. Second, if you're working a desk job or something like that, maybe you just need to get the muscles moving and the blood flowing. I finished up a run about two hours ago, sat at my desk for an hour or so, then got up to fill my water bottle. When I got up, my left hip pretty much didn't work. After a bit of walking to the water fountain and back, I already felt it loosening up some. I'm sure next time I get up, it will be sore again. By the end of the day, I'll make sure I get at least 5-10 minutes of walking in (I get about that much walking out to the parking lot anyway) and I'll feel a lot better. Some easy stretching can also help, although I will admit I'm not one who stretches very much except after runs.

    Another thing, you didn't mention much about where this is other than outer thigh. Does this seem to be a muscle thing or something deeper? More toward the front or back? Low or high? If it seems to be a muscle thing and you can describe the location, maybe we can suggest stretches or other exercises to help loosen up the muscle and make it feel better.

  • #22734


    Wow what a great forum thank you all for your input.  I will try to answer as much as I can.

    Ryan – Yes you are correct I run because I do sit all day.  I get up as much as I can for water and lots of bathroom breaks, but that's about it.  The pain is low more toward the back/side outer legs.  It feels deeper than a muscle really, but it's hard to tell.  Stretching does take the ache away for awhile but it comes back.

    SBSpartan – I have not tried Icing yet, I just stuck with baths cause it was working at least allow me to sleep with no ache.  It does not hurt when I run just after.  Then i'm able to run fine.  I just picked shoes up a Academy.  I did some research and found a place like what your talking about which I will stop by their today. Run On or something like that.

    Rita – Shoes I will look into, didn't even know they had stores like that thank you for the info. People actually say I have a natural stride and looks good.  I do something called Movement Prep before running, but not much after which after reading sounds like might be a good place to start.  Do you all stretch after runs?  Yes my speed has increased some, but I don't think i'm running that fast since i'm just starting I hover around 8min miles started in feb of this year.  Not sure if that means anything.  I've tried to run back to back days and as soon as I stop I can hardly walk cause of the ache.  It's something about that day rest.

    Other activites I do is Mountain bike once a week.  Though when I ride I count that as a run day much means I won't run for 3 days so by the time I do run I'm fine.

    Thank you all for the input I will try some of the stuff an give updates.


  • #22735


    A few more comments.

    Post-run stretching may help. If it's more toward the back, try googling IT band and hamstring stretches, these should hit the problem area. I'd say, given what you stated, sitting for quite a while after running could be a big part of the problem. I know it always gets me.

    Running specialty stores are great if you don't know what shoe you need. They can look at you run and see things about your running that most people wouldn't notice, which can be key to determining the kind of shoes you need. This “Run On” store sounds like a good place to start.

    8 minute per mile pace is a pretty good clip. I've been running for over a decade and a half and I still occasionally run at that pace. Even normally, my easy runs rarely average faster than 7 minute pace. I don't think there would be any harm in trying to slow down at least a couple of times a week and see how you do. A general rule of thumb, especially good for people relatively new to running: If you think you're running too fast, you surely are. If you think you're running the right pace, you're probably running too fast. If you think you're running too slow, you may be running about the right pace.

  • #22736


    Well I got some new shoes.  I'm very excited in just the fact that finally I understand the whole concept I have very narrow feet.  I also had no idea 1 foot was bigger than another  🙂

    After your comments I really feel i'm doing to much to fast.  I think slowing down will help alot while stretching.  I've been keeping a journal and starting on march 1st I was only running 2 miles so within one month time I went to 4 miles.  I'm glad I've been keeping a journal with times and distance cause it's amazing I didn't even realize how fast I was increasing.

    The lady at Run On said exactly what you said the IT band when I showed her.  Thank you all for the help I look forward to reading and posting more.


  • #22737


    My achiiles was acting up for a while. I went and saw the trainer we have here on campus, he said to heat it before the run and ice after. it helped me a lot. just a thought though. best of luck.

  • #22738


    Actually now that you mention your cycling you might want to tone that down for a bit.  Cycling will work your quads a ton and running really won't unless you are doing a LOT of hill training.

    Your pain could be just because your quad is a lot stronger than your hammy causing it to work too hard and therefore get sore.

    I am not a doctor but that makes sense to me.

    Now that we have covered just about everything.  😉

  • #22739



    Yeah that does make sense to me also.  Thanks for the info.  What seems to be helping me recover is cutting back.  I was way over doing it which I have to say is SOOOOOO… hard for me to stop.  My body wants to take out and run the first mile in under 7min.  I really have to hold back.  It's been raining so much I haven't done any Mountain biking in a month.  I was doing 4 miles i've backed it down to 2-3 miles and it seems i'm doing much better.  I've also slowed my times down.  Lots and Lots of stretching also.

    I have my first 5K race this saturday i'm really excited.  Wish me Luck  🙂

  • #22740


    It's good to hear that it sounds like you're finding a solution to this. It can be hard to hold back, especially when people typically think you're supposed to finish every workout completely exhausted. The truth is you shouldn't be to that kind of exhaustion more than about 2-3 times a week. It's a hard lesson to learn for many people but, once learned, it can make a big difference.

    Best wishes for the 5k. Let us know how it goes.

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