There comes a point when you’re training for a long race where the accumulation of miles finally starts to get to you and you end up dealing with heavy legs.
This topic is hitting very close to home for me at the moment, since I am absolutely at that point in my training for the Running With the Bears marathon.
The race is still a few weeks away, but earlier this morning I crossed the 20 mile point for the first time in a while. And that means I’ll be dealing with heavy legs tonight, tomorrow, and probably even into Sunday.
My Favorite Ways of Dealing with Heavy Legs
- Ice Bath–I’m a big believe in the power of the ice bath, even if one of the ultra distance runners I’ve had on the show is skeptical at best. But in my experience, both personal and professional, nothing recharges your legs like 15-20 minutes sitting in some cold water. If possible, add enough ice to bring the temp below 60* F (15.5 C), and jump in. Note from experience, bring something to occupy your mind so you don’t think about the cold. My personal favorite, music videos from rap songs from when I was in college. There’s just something about Nelly, T.I., and Luda that makes the cold tub a little more tolerable.
- Feet on the Wall–Laying on the floor with your feet up on the wall allows gravity to help pull some of the blood and other waste products out of your legs after a long run. Just a few minutes with your feet up is enough to feel a difference.
- Foam Roller–The foam roller might not ever be fun, but it works for dealing with heavy legs. Use it on your big muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and, if you’re brave, calves) to improve blood flow and veinous return.
- Compression Gear–There’s little, if any, evidence supporting the benefits of compression socks/sleeves for improved performance when running, but there is some evidence showing that it does help with recovery. So don’t be afraid to throw some socks on after a long run. I’m toying with the idea of getting some full compression pants, but for now the socks will have to suffice.
Press play below, to hear me talk a little more about dealing with heavy legs for runners.
What are Your Preferred Methods When it Comes to Dealing with Heavy Legs?