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Permanent "dead leg" feeling...why!?!?

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Author Topic:   Permanent "dead leg" feeling...why!?!?
sclark2
Cool Runner
posted Sep-09-2006 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sclark2   Click Here to Email sclark2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, I realize that the feeling of heavy, fatigued, "dead" legs is not necessarily an injury - however, it is seriously putting a damper on my running.

I've always had the problem to some degree off and on since I started running 4 years ago. It would come and go, and I would simply enjoy the 'good' days and stick it out on the 'bad' days. But now it's happening ALL THE TIME on every single run - there are no more 'good' days.

And to rule out the obvious - No, I am not overtraining. I run four days a week and cross train once a week. I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day at my job (so it's not like I'm on my feet all day). It never makes a difference as to the time of day either, though I usually run first thing in the morning.

I'm only 23 years old - my body should not be having such a hard time running! This just seems crazy.

I guess I'm wondering what causes "dead legs", and what can I do to make it go away? Is it a nutritional factor? Sleep factor?
I can't seem to figure it out.

I don't know if this matters, but I also wake up every morning feeling like I got hit by a truck - my whole body aches BAD. It usually passes as the day goes on, but sometimes the pain stays with me all day. Again, I'm only 23 years old and I really don't think I should be feeling this bad all the time.

Any advice/insight would be greatly appreciated =)

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runnerchic08
Member
posted Sep-09-2006 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for runnerchic08   Click Here to Email runnerchic08     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
have you tried going to the chiropractor? everyone once and a while my right leg gets like that and then i know its time to go. it usually ends up being either a pinched nerve or my hips are out when your hips are out everything below goes out causing my legs to get really heavy and almost as if they fell asleep while im running. sometimes even older shoes cause it for me. hope that helped...

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TheHerbinator
Cool Runner
posted Sep-09-2006 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TheHerbinator   Click Here to Email TheHerbinator     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How much alcohol are you drinking?

I was in Aruba for two weeks. The whole two weeks my training sucked and I felt exactly the way you described. I couldnt understand why initially. When I got home it continued to suck for an additional week or two. Just recently, like a week and half ago, did I start feeling like myself.

After putting a lot of through to this I had to consider the fact that in Aruba I had an all inclusive package and drank like a fish. I only got piss drunk once (Actually because I drank dehydrated on an empty stomach after 17.5 miles ). But the casual drink every other hour every day throught the vacation is the only thing I did different.

It's a long shot as to whether this happens to be your reason but I thought I'd share it just incase.

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dcjohnston
Cool Runner
posted Sep-09-2006 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcjohnston     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You arent a vegetarian by chance are you? Im thinking possible anemia.

Dave

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Born to Run
Cool Runner
posted Sep-10-2006 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Born to Run   Click Here to Email Born to Run     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first thing I'd look at is your diet. What is it like?

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neenee9562
Cool Runner
posted Sep-10-2006 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for neenee9562     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about your mattress? An old, worn out, unsupporting mattress could be a cause......

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sclark2
Cool Runner
posted Sep-10-2006 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sclark2   Click Here to Email sclark2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
runnerchic08 - I've never thought about considering a chiropractor - hat might not be a bad idea (just in case).

TheHerbinator - I probably average out at about 4-5 drinks per week. I do work part time in the restaraunt business and alcohol is a usual after-shift drink. However, there was a long period of time when I really didn't drink much at all and this "dead legs" issue was still happening.

dcjohnston - not a vegetarian. I have been tested for anemia in the past, but everything came back fine.

Born to Run - my diet is 'good' (not great, but good). I rarely eat the same thing each day so it's hard to say exactly what my diet looks like. I gave up calorie counting last year - I was becoming a bit obssesed with it and realized that it really wasn't helping me.

Possible day for me looks like:

Breakfast - 3 egg whites with cheese on whole wheat toast and a glass of milk

Lunch - Turkey Hoagie, or 2 slices of Pizza, or Chicken Cheesesteak (my boss buys lunch for us all the time, so I usually end up eating take-out of some sort several times a week...these three are the usual choices.)

Dinner - Cereal, or Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, or whatever I can find in my apartment. I eat out for dinner atleast twice a week.

neenee9562 - yes, my mattress is horrible, and I've been trying to save money to get a new one. I'm sure this plays a roll. But back when the dead legs were only off and on, it was the same mattress.

Thanks everyone!!!!

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Born to Run
Cool Runner
posted Sep-10-2006 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Born to Run   Click Here to Email Born to Run     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sclark2:
r

Born to Run - my diet is 'good' (not great, but good). I rarely eat the same thing each day so it's hard to say exactly what my diet looks like. I gave up calorie counting last year - I was becoming a bit obssesed with it and realized that it really wasn't helping me.

Possible day for me looks like:

Breakfast - 3 egg whites with cheese on whole wheat toast and a glass of milk

Lunch - Turkey Hoagie, or 2 slices of Pizza, or Chicken Cheesesteak (my boss buys lunch for us all the time, so I usually end up eating take-out of some sort several times a week...these three are the usual choices.)

Dinner - Cereal, or Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, or whatever I can find in my apartment. I eat out for dinner atleast twice a week.

neenee9562 - yes, my mattress is horrible, and I've been trying to save money to get a new one. I'm sure this plays a roll. But back when the dead legs were only off and on, it was the same mattress.

Thanks everyone!!!!



What about fruits and veggies?
As a 23 year old, male runner you shouldn't need to watch your calories, but add some fruits and veggies in there. You could be very low on some key vitamins or minerals.

This is a great site: http://www.whfoods.com

[This message has been edited by Born to Run (edited Sep-10-2006).]

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funtorun
Cool Runner
posted Sep-14-2006 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for funtorun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't want to alarm you but, IMHO you need to get checked out for a possible sleep disorder - sleep apnea maybe. Also, though you're kind of young, fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue should be ruled out. Especially fibromyalgia.

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subarry
Cool Runner
posted Sep-15-2006 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for subarry   Click Here to Email subarry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you still expeiencing this problem?

Maybe you need a good massage to release the poisonous toxins in your muscles so they perform better. Your symptoms remind me of what several runners in a group I trained with explained and they sought relief thru the massages.

Good Luck!

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misslewis
Cool Runner
posted Sep-26-2006 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for misslewis   Click Here to Email misslewis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Be careful with chiropractors. I'm all for "natural" remedies, but often times when you really, truly need actual medical care, they won't refer you, because they think they can fix you by cracking your back. I tore a rotator cuff in my shoulder and my chiropractor friend asked me if I wanted her to "adjust" it--a week after I tore it. Um... I think not. You gotta be careful, since they aren't actually MDs or DOs or doctors of any kind.

Sorry to all the chiro-fans out there, I have just had a lifetime of bad experiences with chiropractors. My dad's been going to them for 30 years, and one even convinced him that they caused a disc in his back to grow back (not possible) and he REFUSES to take medication for anything (even his severe, clinical depression) because he thinks the "chiro-gyro" as he calls them can fix anything. He used to make us go as kids, and I hated it--now I have back troubles up the wazoo and I'm pretty sure being yanked around like that for years caused my spinal connective tissues to weaken enough that they can't hold my spine in the proper position. Scary.

How about massage, instead, like the other poster suggested?

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sclark2
Cool Runner
posted Oct-04-2006 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sclark2   Click Here to Email sclark2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've tried massages in the past - and though they feel GREAT, I never really saw a benefit in my runs that followed.

I was diagnosed with possible chronic fatigue syndrome a few years ago, and was put on medication called Cymbalta - I felt no change and stopped taking it after a few months (I really don't want to take pills if I don't see them helping me).

The CFS, and even fibromyalgia, are still definitely possibilities becasue my mom has fibromyalgia. I'm pretty sure I mentioned this to my doc the last time I saw him, but I will be sure to acknowledge it again.

I'm not real familiar with sleep disorders , but definitely something worth looking in to.

Thanks so much!!!!

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effzee
Cool Runner
posted Oct-04-2006 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for effzee   Click Here to Email effzee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wow, so many possibilities... all I was going to suggest is Yoga. And stretching, good, sensible, gentle stretching and lot's of it. And be sure to take a break from sitting every hour when at work.

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Ariann
Cool Runner
posted Oct-04-2006 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ariann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanted to say that anemia or near-anemia is still a possibility even though you aren't a vegetarian (actually, vegetarians and non-vegetarians have similar levels of anemia) and you have been previously tested (there are a variety of tests that can be done and one test is not particularly definitive as they probably didn't even test your stored iron). Your diet is very low in iron-rich foods and much higher in calcium-rich foods which inhibit iron absorption, besides being low in Vit. C rich foods which allow for greater iron absorption. It's also low in B-12, which can cause pernicious anemia, usually not diagnosed until it's already reached a dangerous point and the damage is irreversible. A daily multivitamin that includes 100% of the RDA for iron and at least 100% of the RDA for B-12 might be a good place to start. If you're going to eat meat, realize that beef is a much, much better source of both iron and B-12 than chicken/turkey.

Also, even though you're not exercising excessively, you might find it useful to take a couple weeks off. You're having symptoms of overtraining, so it's worth it to see if that's a factor by taking a break. Different amounts of training constitute "overtraining" for different people.

P.S. I find sitting at a desk all day more exhausting than moving around and sitting constantly certainly will take a toll on your flexibility and balance - try taking frequent short walk breaks during your day if you can.

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bbrodhead
Member
posted Jul-31-2007 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bbrodhead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chiropractors want lifetime patients. I told mine I did not want to come back every week but be cured, and that day he injured me so bad I was in 24 hours a day chronic pain for 10 years. Beware! they want your money - not to fix you.

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andreaq
Cool Runner
posted Aug-03-2007 10:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andreaq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would start off by getting a regular physical and make sure that your blood work, and other tests look normal. If everything checks out okay-here are a few things that may help you out:

1) make sure you are getting enough sleep-8-9 hours!
2) make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day before your run (don't have too much coffee in the office!).
3) cut down on the pizza, lunch meat/hoagies, and other take-out. Nothing wrong with it once in a while, but those foods are all super super high in sodium and fat and (while we do need some sodium to replenish us after a long run, the stuff they use in those foods is not the healthiest form.) they will weigh and slow you down. add fruits and veggies to your diet-that is the quickest and easiest way to give you some energy throughout your day.
4) I agree with the poster who suggested some yoga. First thing in the morning I would do some simple stretches (you can find some easy, beginners sequences on yogajournal.com) to wake up your body and work out some of the ache that you feel.

I know you said you sit at a desk all day but sometimes that type of work can be more taxing on our bodies than any other. Do you sit, hunched over a computer? Then your back, neck and shoulders are going to suffer. Sitting all day also shortens your primary hip flexors or psoas. The psoas grows so used to being shortened that it wants to stay that way when you get up, causing your upper body to lean slightly forward and throwing off the way you walk and run. Because the hip flexors are shorter from sitting so much, it can overstretch your gluteus muscles-that'll absolutely make your legs feel dead on a run!
5) get a massage from a trusted, licensed massage therapist!

Good luck! I hope some of this helps!


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UltraLisa
Member
posted Aug-05-2007 12:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for UltraLisa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm having the same challenge (and have had it off and on ever since I ran my last 100 miler several years ago - I'll get "dead legs" after a minimum of training now, and its REALLY annoying. I'm going through yet another spell currently, and I do eat super healthy...no processed anything, nutrional support, tons of water, the whole she-bang, really. I also have access to several nutritional coaches, and am becoming one myself....but I still have dead legs and fatigue. Yuck.

As for a remedy, all I've been able to do when it gets bad is to stop running, which is REALLY hard for me. However, my husband suggested trying a practice that is normally used for pain, but apaprently it focuses on body alignment but is not chirorpactic...its the "Egoscue method"....and I don't know where you live, but there is probably a clinic in your area. Just look it up in a Google search, I think. Anyway....I'm going to try it because lack of alignment is the only thing I have not tried yet for this fatigue. :-)

Good luck!! Take some time off of running in the meantime and let your body rest. You might be overtrained. :-)

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UltraLisa
Member
posted Aug-07-2007 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for UltraLisa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a friend who is trained in a few different naturopathic/holistic remedies - he said there may be something I can do for the dead legs thing. I'll give him a call (I may see him this weekend) and see what he has to offer. If it works....I'll defintely pass it on to you. (after several years of this, off and on..I'm ready to be strong all the time!!)

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peanutchloe
Member
posted Aug-07-2007 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for peanutchloe   Click Here to Email peanutchloe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had heard or read at one point that not enough hydration can make a difference in your lactic acid levels and give you heavy legs when you don't drink enough. I started drinking Gatorage, maybe a quarter bottle before a run and made a point of hydrating just a bit more and it made a big difference for me on heavy legs. I am no expert but you might want to read on it. You were also drinkink alcohol you say which in turn would dehydrate you further. If Aruba is hotter than where you live, might have been even further dehydrated. Just try it! good luck


quote:
Originally posted by sclark2:
So, I realize that the feeling of heavy, fatigued, "dead" legs is not necessarily an injury - however, it is seriously putting a damper on my running.

I've always had the problem to some degree off and on since I started running 4 years ago. It would come and go, and I would simply enjoy the 'good' days and stick it out on the 'bad' days. But now it's happening ALL THE TIME on every single run - there are no more 'good' days.

And to rule out the obvious - No, I am not overtraining. I run four days a week and cross train once a week. I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day at my job (so it's not like I'm on my feet all day). It never makes a difference as to the time of day either, though I usually run first thing in the morning.

I'm only 23 years old - my body should not be having such a hard time running! This just seems crazy.

I guess I'm wondering what causes "dead legs", and what can I do to make it go away? Is it a nutritional factor? Sleep factor?
I can't seem to figure it out.

I don't know if this matters, but I also wake up every morning feeling like I got hit by a truck - my whole body aches BAD. It usually passes as the day goes on, but sometimes the pain stays with me all day. Again, I'm only 23 years old and I really don't think I should be feeling this bad all the time.

Any advice/insight would be greatly appreciated =)


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JamesV
Cool Runner
posted Aug-08-2007 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JamesV     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's my $0.02: You said that you have a desk job, so do I. Try walking during the day when you get a chance. I've noticed that my legs feel much better if I take a walk during lunch or after work on the day(s) between runs. If I don't my muscles do feel stiffer.

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runningforfreedom
Cool Runner
posted Aug-08-2007 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for runningforfreedom   Click Here to Email runningforfreedom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a thought, but is it hot and or humid where you live? Where I live it's both... and my legs are deffinaltely heavier when it's hotter, with higher humidity... so I slow down, and all is okay, mostly... as long as I stay hydrated. I was having really heavy legs last week, so I took 3 days off, and it got a little better, but some of it I know is just the heat/humidity combo. My legs felt fine on the treadmill the other day though. I know from my HR avg's on my garmin, that the heat makes my hear work a LOT harder to cool me off, so there's less for my legs? That's my theory anyway.

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dg12
Cool Runner
posted Aug-08-2007 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dg12   Click Here to Email dg12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It sounds anemia related and you mentioned chronic fatigue in your history too.

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masher1990
Member
posted Aug-08-2007 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for masher1990     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a similar problem for 2+ years and a series of changes made it go away.

-First off, try stretching more!!!!!!! Stretch when you wake up, before you got to work, during your break, at lunchtime, after work, when you get home, before you got to sleep, anytime you can including before and after you run. Twice a day should be sufficent, just make sure you do it.

-You might be anemic even if you came back normal for tests. Try having a steak (not a take-out sandwich, you never know if it's real) and some spinach.

-Take a vitamin, I recommend Centrum Silver. Gives you a boost in more ways than one. Not immediate gratification, but you'll feel better and heal better over time.

-Focus on your form while you run. Take fewer steps and open your stride. It may make you worse at first, but sometimes you have to get worse to get better and at this point you seem willing to try anything and fair enough on that point.

-Chiropractors are not real doctors, have very basic training, and a lot of them cannot be trusted. Various insurance companies are refusing to cover them and I have heard far more bad chiropractor stories than good, and this is just from the people who are close to me. The risks far outweigh the chance of benefits. At least your legs move and you can walk straight without the pain in your back blinding you.

-Spring the money for a better, more supporting (but not too firm) mattress. IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY.

-Try having an energy bar about an hour before you run. I like Nature Valley.

-Drink more water. Gatorade is not a subtitute for water. You should only drink Gatorade (or powerade, or all other similar drinks) AFTER you run. You do need to replace your electrolytes, but you can get too much sodium from it which will dehydrate you even if you do drink water (you can balance it with more water, but the amount you would need to drink will have you in the bathroom anytime you're not drinking water). A good substitute for gatorade is hersheys chocolate milk. It has the electrolytes in it but you will not get too much sodium from it, you'll get more nutrients from it and believe it or not... IT HAS LESS SUGAR!!!!!

-

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