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Legs ache before out of breath when running? Still improving fitness?

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I was wondering whether I am still improving my fitness when running if I am not out of breath at the end? I went for a 45 minute jog today and I was not out of breath even though I ran faster than usual. About 3 months ago my fitness was what held me back when running, but now my fitness has improved though rowing more and my legs aching a lot was what put me off. Can I still improve my fitness if I keep my breathing steady without or do I need to push though the muscle ache in my legs so that I am out of breath?? 

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if your legs are aching really bad (such as a painful ache), you might want to take a little break and give them some rest.  Maybe you pulled a muscle or something.  It could be possible that your legs aren't as strong as the rest of you.  Try some strength training to give those muscles a boost.

It sounds like your cardio level is a bit ahead of your "leg fitness," so be cautious/conservative when increasing your mileage or running intensity. It takes some time for tendons to toughen up, muscles adjust to the new movement etc.


That's awesome that you've been running for three months!

And yes, that is not unusual that your legs haven't caught up yet.  I have a friend who can run those crazy 100 mile runs but I can pass him on a one mile hike up a rocky hill and he's left panting.  I'm always amazed at how different activities seems to use slightly different muscles, enough to make sure you feel it!

 Please be sure to really do every stretch you can find after your run.  You don't want to end up like me who got lazy with her post-running stretches and is now sitting out for three months for some mystery injury.

Take it easy and be mindful of those aches and pains!  It sucks to find yourself injured well past the warnings your body was trying to give! 


I started running about 3 months ago too.  I have an appointment this afternoon to address my pain.  I can run for about 20 min and then the pain sets in my shins and my ankles.  As long as I keep running, I can get through it.  As soon as I stop, I am left almost limping and in tears.  The pain gets worse with rest immediately after activity.

I tried improving my strength with weight training and cross training, but it has only gotten worse.  It now hurts even when I jump and land during plyometric exercises.  I am horribly frustrated and hoping that this isn't going to be a huge set back.  I am planning to run my first half marathon in May.

Don't push your legs, you are only going to get injured. Pay attention to your form and how your feet land. Make sure that you are not hopping up and down, is supposed to be a forward motion. Don't cross your arms in front of you. Sometimes small tweaks make a lot of difference.

What you mentioned used to happened to me. My breathing could always go faster than my legs, and I always ran in pain until one day I said that I was just going to run at a speed that is comfortable, for as long as I can, paying attention to good form. I ran this way for a while. My running improved immensely. Then, I started to cross-train because I noticed that I was feeling tight everywhere from the waist down. First, I included weight training. Let me tell you what squats, lunges, dead-lifts and push-ups can do for your running...A LOT! My running has become much more comfortable (forget about easy, running is never easy). Then, I added yoga. Oh yes, what a difference. Now, I do kettle-bell work too, along with incline walking and side walking on the treadmill (I run outside). Major difference.

One question though, what's your goal as a runner? I run for endurance. I am not a sprinter, I don't care for speed. My goal is to run for long hours, so I run with that goal in mind.

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