Reasons Why Your Feet Feel Heavy When You Run

Posted on

Why Do My Legs Feel Heavy When Running?

Absolutely nothing is worse than beginning to batter the sidewalk and sensation like your feet are tied up with blocks as opposed to sneakers. With each action, you discover on your own wondering why your legs feel so hefty throughout your run. If this seems familiar, felt confident– there are numerous usual reasons for that dreadful dead leg sensation as well as very easy repairs for the majority of them.

Intense Strength Training

Toughness training is a smart enhancement to round out any jogger’s once a week routine. It helps keep muscle mass, can make you a much faster jogger (as you can thrust your stride easier), and also supplies balance in your week.

Nevertheless, way too many strength training sessions, or really intense lower body sessions, can trigger your legs to really feel hefty on subsequent runs.

If your main fitness goal belongs to running– like training for your first fifty percent marathon or getting Boston– you’ll intend to readjust your toughness training in accordance with a periodized running training strategy. To put it simply, customize the quantity and also strength of your strength exercises based on the component of the training period you’re in.

  • Off-Season: This is the time of year when there are no significant races; when joggers downsize on training. For most joggers, it falls over the winter months. Throughout this time, you can concentrate more on toughness training. This will help you develop muscular tissue mass that will power your runs later in the year. You may have some off-season runs where your legs feel heavy, however that’s ALRIGHT if it happens occasionally considering that you won’t have any kind of upcoming races to stress over.
  • In-Season: During your height training for your road races, however, reduce to one to 2 stamina sessions a week. Research study shows this aids keep toughness, yet it will not place way too much stress and anxiety on the body, avoiding heavy legs.

Skipping Post-Run Stretches

That post-run stretching as well as foam rolling is for more than a little post-run relaxation– it can also lower muscle tightness and also pain.

Research suggests that reduced lower extremity series of movement is connected with leg rigidity among joggers. By incorporating routine stretches, you boost your series of motion and also lower the chance of stiff legs.

If you’ve been skipping those everyday stretches, try to provide on your own 10 minutes at the end of your runs to focus on a couple of fixed leg stretches. This will leave your legs feeling limber and lighter on your next run.

Attempt to stretch all the different components of your body involved in running– quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and back.


If you seem to be experiencing hefty legs regularly, it might be an indication that you are overtraining. Overtraining methods you are putting excessive physical tension on your body. It can be brought on by:

  • High overall quantity in your training strategy
  • Mileage that progresses too rapidly
  • Large jumps in long run mileage
  • Attempting to do too much too soon after an injury or break

Besides hefty legs, various other signs of overtraining include:

  • Decreased performance
  • Exhaustion and also tiredness
  • Psychological fatigue (runs really feel more difficult than they made use of to).
  • Migraines
  • Irritability
  • Injuries
  • Illness (increased frequency of colds)

If you’re experiencing these signs , it’s worthwhile to initial check in with a medical professional to see to it there are no other underlying medical concerns.

If these signs remain in fact because of overtraining, try taking a couple of days off complied with by a couple of weeks of minimized training volume. Overtraining can be severe, so do not attempt to power through it– get the remainder your body requirements.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

As ridiculous as it appears, the incorrect shoes can make your legs feel heavy also. You intend to search for operating shoes that are as light as feasible while still meeting any type of assistance demands.

For example, security shoes for overpronation have a tendency to evaluate extra, as structurally they’re a little bit thicker as well as offer more support. However there are still a large range of security footwear on the marketplace. Try on several choices as well as run a couple of test laps around the store to make certain they don’t really feel also heavy.

On the flip side, often having a shoe that’s too light and also not supportive enough can trigger problems as well. If you’re not getting enough assistance in your footwear, your body might be experiencing more anxiety when the foot strikes the pavement. This can cause increased exhaustion in the muscular tissues.

This can also happen with shoes that are worn out as well as old, so make certain to replace your operating footwear every 300– 500 miles.

Poor Running Form

If you regularly run with bad type, it puts additional stress on your body and also can trigger tired, hefty legs. 2 of the greatest metrics related to create to pay attention to are:.

  • Ground contact time: The amount of time your foot remains on the ground with each stride.
  • Vertical oscillation: How high airborne you jump with each action.

For correct running form, you intend to maintain both of these low. Staying on the ground too lengthy acts like a brake throughout a run, slowing you down and calling for more initiative whenever every time you push off. Too much bouncing wastes energy and creates a lot more pressure (stress and anxiety) on your legs when you land.

New joggers, in particular, may battle with these; particularly with ground get in touch with time. Weak hip and core strength incorporated with a slower rate commonly suggests that the foot remains on the ground for longer amount of times.

Rather, you want quick steps to propel you onward, without much bouncing upwards.

While wearable gadgets are handy for determining these metrics, you do not always require one to improve your form. Merely assume “quick steps” while you’re running, focusing on pressing off as quickly as the foot touches the ground. This easy change will certainly often decrease the anxiety on the legs– not to mention improving speed in time.

Weight Gain

There’s no such thing as one kind of runner’s body– anyone can certainly perform at any weight! But if you have actually directly just begun to experience a heavy legs experience, hop on the range as well as see if there have actually been any type of fluctuations in your weight. Even an added 5– 10 pounds contrasted to last training season can cause your legs to really feel slow-moving.

If you have acquired a few additional pounds that you intend to shed, try executing these changes to aid obtain the scale moving:.

  • Focus on hunger and satiety cues: Eat when hungry, stop when pleased. Stay clear of distractions like seeing television while eating.
  • Track your food for a few days: See if there are any kind of less-than-healthy routines you can pinpoint. As an example, do you often tend to grab the cookies during that mid-afternoon power lull? Do you have a few a lot of calorie-dense mixed drinks at satisfied hour? See what little adjustments you can make to make the scale move.
  • Practice good portion control: Try utilizing smaller sized plates, or rationing foods to see if you’re serving yourself the amount you see on the tag.
  • Avoid using your runs as justification for less-healthy foods: It’s great to include some extravagances in your diet, but practice the 80/20 policy– 80 percent healthy options as well as 20 percent versatility for the deals with.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

Have you began a brand-new low carb diet regimen? Or maybe you’ve just been active at the office as well as haven’t had time for lunch just recently? In any case, an absence of carbohydrates can result in the heavy legs feeling.

When you’re running, your body is always using a mix of carbs as well as fat for the power your muscular tissues need. Those carbs are stored in your muscular tissues in a type called glycogen.

If you dramatically minimized your carb consumption at dishes, your body can’t keep as much glycogen in your muscle mass. This impacts energy manufacturing on your run as well as can trigger the dreadful “dead legs.”.

Occasional diminished runs similar to this can really be beneficial for affordable athletes, as they teach the body exactly how to run in a sub-optimal state. Nonetheless, if you do these frequently, training can feel challenging and efficiency may be endangered.

The good news is, this is a very easy solution. For many joggers, a healthy dish strategy that consists of healthy and balanced sources of carbs is the optimum selection. Try mixing in more fruits, veggies, entire grains, and/or milk items in your meals and treats as well as see if that enhances your runs.

If you would love to stick to a lower carb meal plan, some athletes locate success with a ketogenic style of consuming. This makes it possible for the body to use much more fat for fuel on a run and may help with body make-up goals, though it has actually not been shown to improve performance. Note that it may take a couple of months of adjustment prior to that hefty legs sensation disappears on this sort of dish strategy.

Iron Deficiency

Iron belongs of hemoglobin, a part of your red blood cells that assists carry oxygen to working muscle mass. If you suffer from iron deficiency, your body has a harder time providing that oxygen to your muscle mass on a run. You ‘d likely experience total fatigue and tiredness when this occurs, but some people may also view it as a hefty leg feeling.

Most athletes obtain enough iron in their diet regimen through a general well balanced eating strategy. Nonetheless, there are 2 groups of athletes which may locate it much more tough to fulfill their requirements:.

  • Vegetarian and vegan athletes: It’s definitely possible to satisfy iron needs on these diet regimens; it just needs a bit of preparation. Consist of a range of iron-rich plant-based foods, and consume them with a great resource of Vitamin C as this helps with iron absorption.
  • Female runners: Considering that they lose iron each month throughout their duration, female runners might go to better danger of iron deficiency– specifically if experiencing heavy menstrual blood loss.

If you are experiencing hefty legs during running along with general tiredness, established a physician’s consultation for a quick blood job screening. They’ll have the ability to identify if you’re dealing with iron shortage anemia as well as make recommendations for therapy.

Do not worry– even if you do have a deficiency, treatment can be as basic as adding new iron-rich foods to your diet regimen or taking a daily iron supplement up until levels get to typical.


Many people associate dehydration with muscular tissue pains– but dehydration can additionally create basic fatigue throughout a run. Similar to iron deficiency, individuals may perceive this fatigue as hefty legs.

Hydration is essential during long terms. When you shed liquid through sweat and you don’t consume alcohol sufficient to help offset this, your blood quantity can actually come to be thicker. Your body has to function more challenging to pump this blood. You might seem like your legs are extra worn out than normal or the run just feels tougher.

To prevent dehydration on a run, comply with these tips:.

  • Drink fluid according to thirst: If you locate on your own not tuning into your body’s thirst signals, though, try setting a suggestion on your watch that tells you to drink once in awhile.
  • Wear a hydration belt or pack: Especially on your long runs so that you have fluid to drink as desired.
  • Chose the right beverage: If you’re working out for much less than an hour, plain water will satisfy your needs. If you’re working out for greater than an hour, select a beverage that additionally has electrolytes (particularly sodium).
  • Adjust hydration along with the weather: Your body might need more fluid for runs in hot, moist weather condition.

Poor Circulation

Poor blood circulation, most significantly from a condition called chronic venous insufficiency, can additionally trigger heavy legs.

In typical physiology, your veins normally bring blood from your lower extremities back to the heart. Tightenings in the legs throughout motion help this process job versus gravity. There are additionally little shutoffs in the blood vessels that avoid the blood from receding down.

In chronic venous lack, however, those valves do not work properly. Blood can drip pull back into the legs and also swimming pool there. This creates puffy, hefty legs.

Cleveland Clinic estimates that 40 percent of individuals have chronic venous deficiency. It sounds terrifying, yet the good news is that regular workout helps protect against the condition. As a jogger, it’s even more typical that your hefty legs belong to one of the other causes pointed out.

That claimed, it can still happen in those that run frequently, especially if you have other threat factors such as:.

  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Older age
  • History of blood clots
  • Long periods of sitting or standing at work
  • Obesity

Your medical professional will certainly have the ability to assess if the hefty leg sensation is because of persistent venous lack. If it is, therapy will certainly be suggested based on your signs and symptoms, general wellness, and also the extent of the condition. Therapy may include compression gear, drugs, fat burning, nonsurgical procedures, or (much less common) surgeries.

Lack of Sleep

While you might be able to power through your day on simply a few hours of sleep, you’re possibly refraining from doing your body any favors. That lack of sleep can manifest itself as weary, weary legs during training and also auto racing.

Many professional athletes need 7 to 9 hrs of rest each night. There are specific variants however– some outliers might just need six hrs, while others may need 10 for optimal performance.

If you think rest could be a source of your heavy legs while running, attempt incorporating these suggestions in your routine:.

  • Make rest a concern, much like you do for training as well as excellent nourishment.
  • Power down the TV, computer, and phone screens at least a half hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol as well as high levels of caffeine near to bed time.
  • Switch up your training schedule with morning workouts—these may help you sleep better compared to evening workouts.
  • Try naps. If you absolutely can’t manage to get at least seven hours of sleep at night, a study in the European Journal of Sport Science suggests that short afternoon naps may help training feel easier and improve performance.

Final Thought

Most joggers will find relief by carrying out the pointers connected to these eleven concerns. There’s a small chance that heavy legs during running are unrelated to these, however, and also rather originates from an additional medical condition. If you’ve ruled out the problems over and also are still experiencing troubles, make sure to see your physician to address your issues.

Gravatar Image
Zahra Thunzira is a Jakarta-based nutritionist and gym instructor. She’s also an adventure travel, fitness, and health writer for several blogs and websites. She earned her Master degree in Public Health from University of Indonesia.