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My Legs Become Tired During Running

author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
My Legs Become Tired During Running
Trying to run too much, too soon can lead to fatigue and frustration. Photo Credit John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Running can be an intense form of exercise, especially if you are just starting out. It’s normal for your legs to become tired on your jog, but certain factors can exacerbate this. You may be working too hard too soon, or just not giving your body the nutrients it needs to get through your run. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, and then take steps to boost your energy levels and stamina.

Getting Started

You need to keep certain things in mind when you begin a running regimen. First, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for this type of exercise. If you are more than 20 percent overweight, running may not be realistic for you. You should buy good, proper-fitting shoes to avoid blisters, shin splints and muscle pain, all of which can slow you down or just discourage you. Keeping your head level, leaning forward at your ankles and relaxing your shoulders can all improve your form and make your run smoother.

Too Much, Too Soon

Moderate-to-vigorous workout intensity is the standard recommendation for both weight-loss and maintenance, but if you are new to exercise, this may be too much for you. Pushing your legs too hard, too quickly will not only make you tired and unable to complete your workout -- it can also lead to injury. You may need to start with walking, then progress to walk/run intervals, and finally to full-length runs. It may take you several weeks to reach your running goals, but slow and steady training is best to avoid fatigue.

Intensity and Heart Rate

If you are unsure of the intensity of your running routine, monitor your heart rate. In general, you want to work out within 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age. This translates to a moderate-to-vigorous pace. Anything above this may cause you to tire too quickly, and you can work your way up to this range if need be. You might also do some weightlifting exercises on your days between runs to strengthen your muscles and improve your stamina.

Proper Diet

If you are not getting an adequate amount of nutrients, you may be killing your energy levels before you even start running. You need to eat carbohydrates and drink water within an hour after exercise to reboot your body’s energy stores. You also need to ensure that you are getting enough produce, lean protein and fat in your diet, all of which your body needs to help you run at your best. If you are cutting calories, consider consulting with a nutritionist who can help you design a snack and meal plan that will help and not hinder your fitness goals.

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