tired legs--from running, heat, weight, what??

lightenup2016
lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
edited June 2020 in Fitness and Exercise
In the past 2 weeks, I've begun experiencing leg fatigue when I go up a flight or two of stairs, and sometimes coming down. I'm a runner, and I have picked up my pace some lately, and it's also recently gotten pretty warm outside. I used to train hard, but let up quite a bit when I had kids and they were young. Now that they're older and I'm focusing more on exercise, I've been getting back to training more. I've been doing so since last September, so it's been over 9 months, and this muscle weakness has only been recent. So anyway, can anyone tell me if this sounds normal? Btw, I'm female, 46, weight 144 lbs (was 136 before quarantine!).
In the back of my mind is the fact that my grandmother and her cousin both died of ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease), but it doesn't seem like the right symptoms for that.
Thanks!

ETA: I was doing Strong Lifts before quarantine, but have stopped due to laziness. Could loss of muscle be a cause of the tired legs?
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Replies

  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,160 Member
    How frequently and how far are you running? Are you getting enough sleep? It almost sounds to me like lack of recovery or dehydration.

    The heat messes with my running too, I have to slow way down and lower my training volume.......I am not a summer person.
  • a_candler
    a_candler Posts: 209 Member
    Hmmm, leg fatigue, so like cramping, pain soreness from exercise or the feeling like you can't control them accurately?? I live in a small town and 2 years ago a friend was DX with ALS. His first complaint that led him to the Dr was tripping and feeling like his legs were weak. Not to scare you, but I'm not sure if ALS is hereditary or not it might be a good idea to get a a drs opinion. That is, if your leg fatigue feels like a lack of control.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    a_candler wrote: »
    Hmmm, leg fatigue, so like cramping, pain soreness from exercise or the feeling like you can't control them accurately?? I live in a small town and 2 years ago a friend was DX with ALS. His first complaint that led him to the Dr was tripping and feeling like his legs were weak. Not to scare you, but I'm not sure if ALS is hereditary or not it might be a good idea to get a a drs opinion. That is, if your leg fatigue feels like a lack of control.

    For example, when I get to the top of the stairs, my legs are tired, as if I’d done a ton of squats the day before. I’ve felt that before after a hard run or squats or something, but this seemed strange since I hadn’t done a particularly hard run, except for the heat. I have been trying to run faster, so that could be it. I’ve read up on ALS symptoms, and I don’t think it sounds like that. I do have a physical coming up, so I will at least bring it up then. I’ve read that 5-10% of ALS cases are hereditary, and we’ve had two people in my family with it, which pretty much defies the odds if not genetic.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,378 Member
    I get similar problems when a) my blood pressure is low b) my iron levels are low c) my thyroid meds are too too low. Electrolytes could also play a role, but it's usually one of those three. Ok, working out too much and skipping recovery days might also play a role, but I make sure I'm not getting there.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    How frequently and how far are you running? Are you getting enough sleep? It almost sounds to me like lack of recovery or dehydration.

    The heat messes with my running too, I have to slow way down and lower my training volume.......I am not a summer person.

    It’s been a while since I really tried improving my running distance and speed, so I don’t remember how much the summer heat affected me. Since January, I’ve worked up to 20 miles per week, running 3 or 4 times per week. I’ve done a couple of long runs of 10 miles, and several 8-9 milers, but generally I’ll do 4-6 mile runs.

    A year ago I was diagnosed with a heart condition for which I now have to take a beta blocker. The medication affects my running so much that I’ve begun running about 20 hrs after my last dose, so I can feel better running. But that’s been since early last year, so I doubt it’s the issue.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,227 Member
    How frequently and how far are you running? Are you getting enough sleep? It almost sounds to me like lack of recovery or dehydration.

    The heat messes with my running too, I have to slow way down and lower my training volume.......I am not a summer person.

    This plus how much overall life stress? And how often are you doing cutback weeks?

    It sounds a lot like lack of recovery - those are symptoms I have when I am not getting adequate recovery (pushing too much; training load too high, not enough sleep, too much life stress, not enough food, not allowing for climate adjustments, etc.).

    Heat is also horrible. I don’t ever actually acclimate. I just get slower the whole summer. I’ve stopped fighting it. It was literally making me sick every year.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    How frequently and how far are you running? Are you getting enough sleep? It almost sounds to me like lack of recovery or dehydration.

    The heat messes with my running too, I have to slow way down and lower my training volume.......I am not a summer person.

    This plus how much overall life stress? And how often are you doing cutback weeks?

    It sounds a lot like lack of recovery - those are symptoms I have when I am not getting adequate recovery (pushing too much; training load too high, not enough sleep, too much life stress, not enough food, not allowing for climate adjustments, etc.).

    Heat is also horrible. I don’t ever actually acclimate. I just get slower the whole summer. I’ve stopped fighting it. It was literally making me sick every year.

    I'd say the normal amount of life stress, and I'd just come back from the beach, where I was a complete lazeball and didn't run at all for 5 days. But on my individual runs, I have been pushing either distance, speed, or distance I've run without a walk break. So I can probably assume you're right, and it's lack of recovery. I actually do feel better today. I could address possible dehydration, I guess. I do tend to drink a lot of coffee during the day, and forget to get in my water. Thanks!
  • nicolefishbowl
    nicolefishbowl Posts: 9 Member
    I have to agree with Duck_Puddle. I just did P90X program for 8 weeks and felt awful. My muscles felt like they were screaming for food. I took 2 weeks off because I was so burned out. Then started Lift 4 with the nutrition plan. More protein and less carbs has solved the problem. No more muscle sparking feeling and burning out with half the reps/weight as normal. I'm happier too and less stressed. I'd recommend tracking your diet closely for a few days and working on fueling your body. It seems to be needing something.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    In the past 2 weeks, I've begun experiencing leg fatigue when I go up a flight or two of stairs, and sometimes coming down. I'm a runner, and I have picked up my pace some lately, and it's also recently gotten pretty warm outside. I used to train hard, but let up quite a bit when I had kids and they were young. Now that they're older and I'm focusing more on exercise, I've been getting back to training more. I've been doing so since last September, so it's been over 9 months, and this muscle weakness has only been recent. So anyway, can anyone tell me if this sounds normal? Btw, I'm female, 46, weight 144 lbs (was 136 before quarantine!).
    In the back of my mind is the fact that my grandmother and her cousin both died of ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease), but it doesn't seem like the right symptoms for that.
    Thanks!

    ETA: I was doing Strong Lifts before quarantine, but have stopped due to laziness. Could loss of muscle be a cause of the tired legs?

    Sounds more of fatigue. I would look into your load management especially if you increased the load on your training volume or intensity for running.

    How do you monitor your fatigue level?

    If you've been fairly active, I wouldn't point towards atrophy as the reason.

    If you stopped resistance training, than its reasonable that you undoubtably lost strength which could effect your ability to adapt towards a fitness level you once had as well.


  • AliNouveau
    AliNouveau Posts: 36,287 Member
    This happens to me at that time of the month so for me it's hormonal. Could it be in someway related to that
  • Hanibanani2020
    Hanibanani2020 Posts: 523 Member
    Check your magnesium levels
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,214 Member
    This is a stretch, but I feel compelled to ask: You mention having this feeling the last 2 weeks, and some weight gain during quarantine. Did you by any chance cut calorie level to try to lose the quarantine gain? If so, when, and how far?
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    This is a stretch, but I feel compelled to ask: You mention having this feeling the last 2 weeks, and some weight gain during quarantine. Did you by any chance cut calorie level to try to lose the quarantine gain? If so, when, and how far?

    No, I've stayed at maintenance, which is around 2100 calories. When I was losing weight, back before March, I was eating 1500-1700 calories. I will say that in the past few days, having just gotten back from a trip to visit family, I have managed to return to having about 1600-1800 calories, but that's too recent to explain it. Thanks for the thought, though!

    I ran 6 miles today, and the last mile or so my legs were pretty tired, but the feeling was there in the background for the whole run. But I went back and looked at my pace in the past few months, and I've definitely been going faster, and with hotter weather. So for now, I'm chalking it up to that! :smile:
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    Check your magnesium levels

    I might ask to have all of my electrolytes checked again at my physical in a couple of weeks, especially since my heart condition is affected by electrolyte levels. I have been taking a magnesium supplement recently (have taken it off and on over the past several years), and I've never been low. Thank you!
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    AliNouveau wrote: »
    This happens to me at that time of the month so for me it's hormonal. Could it be in someway related to that

    I haven't noticed that myself, and this came on at a different time in my cycle. But thank you!
  • KimiAR
    KimiAR Posts: 117 Member
    Try an electrolyte style drink when you finish your runs. I have electrolyte tablets I found on amazon that I take along w a propel that has zero calories. I think it’s two bucks for a box at Walmart. And it’s worth a shot. My grandpa had ALS-I’d agree it sounds like more when I have not hydrated properly in the heat than that. I’m sorry for your losses.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    Just an update--my legs are feeling better! Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I think it was just from running hard and not recovering well.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,051 Member
    Well, since my last post saying my legs felt better, I’ve had the dead legs several more times during runs. Then, today I went to give blood and my hemoglobin was 10.2, far too low to donate blood (needs to be 12.5 for females). Have any runners here experienced anemia, and if so, did it cause leg fatigue?

    I’m going to work on increasing my iron intake, but I read that it can take a few weeks to increase hemoglobin.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,378 Member
    Yes, anemia does cause leg fatigue Iron is needed to transport oxygen around your body. Too little iron means your body transports too little oxygen, and your leg muscles need oxygen to work.

    Do get a proper blood test including ferritin (that's storage iron) and a few other things. It's not easy to get iron levels up, and can take a long time even with high dose iron tablets (gentle iron is so low dose that you need abuot 10-12 of those to get the amount of iron of a proper iron pill). If too low you might even get an iron infusion.