Sore Legs Two Days After a Long Run

author : acbadger
comments : 0

Question

OK, I recognize that my 45 minute jog Wednesday night does not really count as a ”long” run, but for me it was! Yesterday I felt fine…but man, today the legs are SORE. Does this ever happen, where they are more sore *two* days after a run?? Hmmm…I did play pool, drink beer, watch football and eat crappy bar food all afternoon and evening yesterday…gee, I wonder??

Answer

From one football fan and runner to another…when people say “carbo-load” before a long run, they don’t mean hit the local pub for a night of beer and wings! The issues you are having with your legs are most likely two fold.

  1. The pain you are feeling in your legs is what we in the Personal Training business call DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which, more often than not, occurs 2 days after your workout. You stated in your question that a 45 minute run was long for you, which says to me that you pushed your body beyond the limits it is used to and therefore used your hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus and calf muscles longer than they are used to. This soreness you are experiencing will dissipate—just do some cross-training in the meantime. That soreness is your body’s way of saying it is healing itself, and to take it easy on it for a day or two.

    In no way does this mean take a day or two off COMPLETELY. Maybe jump on a stationary bike, swim or use an elliptical machine in place of a run this week, until your legs are feeling normal again. If your legs take longer than you expect to heal, maybe do some water running for the next week. This way, you will not have to endure the impact of running on the roads, but you can keep your leg turnover virtually the same in the water. You will also get a bit of resistance training in as you will be working against the weight of the water.
     

  2. I didn’t hear anywhere in your question where you stretched after you ran! Stretching is something we runners tend to avoid doing, and I’m not sure why. Stretching will alleviate some of that DOMS so that you can continue to add time/mileage without feeling like you can’t walk for two days after. Try to stretch 5 to 10 minutes after you run. It will be well worth the extra time. Runners are prone to tight hamstrings which can result in serious injury. What’s 5 to 10 minutes as opposed to 5 to 10 months out with a torn hamstring?
     

OK, OK, your question is 3-fold. You know I can’t let you off the hook for your food fest the night before a run.

 

  1. I never miss a meal! I’m all about staying well fueled and well hydrated; however, you did neither one the night before. Bar food tends to be high in grease, sodium and fat. Not necessarily the best pre-race meal. Don’t even get me started on the beer. I love a night out. A weekend wouldn’t be a weekend without a trip to the local watering hole. But again, the night before a run, beer will dehydrate you and cause your run to be far more difficult and maybe even dangerous…not to mention the headache that is associated with a night out on the town. Try to plan your runs for the mornings after a quiet night at home, or just eat/drink wisely when you are out. Have a beer, but follow each beer with a TALL glass of H2O. That will slow your drinking down a bit while keeping you hydrated and still allow you to enjoy yourself! As far as food goes, you don’t have to pass on the nachos and wings…just watch your portion sizes and you’ll be raring to go the next morning!!

Try using the advice I’ve given you today and I bet that 45 minute run that was so challenging this past weekend will be a walk in the park next time out!!

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date: October 2, 2005

Author


acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

Author

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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