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Ive been running around 5-6 miles a day, 5 days a week to build up my distance. Recently, towards the end of my run or when I run faster, I 'loose control' of my legs. Its a strange feeling and Ive never had a similar problem before. I am frustrated because it forces me to slow down before I am aerobically or physically tired. Has anyone else experienced this or know what could be causing it? I think it may have something to do with my hip flexors which tighten sometimes, but Im not sure. I also notice it more when I train on the treadmill. Thanks!
Sounds like it could be lactic acid build up (sometimes called (lactate threshold). Basically you're training too hard for your current fitness level. One solution is keep your current training distance, but slow down. With time (read that: training), the LT will reduce and speed will increase.
Unless you are running really hard for 5 - 6 miles I don`t think it`s lactic acid build up
You`re legs can only move as fast as your arm can pump - do you do any upper body training ? any weight training at all ??
Aside from all that you seem to imply you are running a pretty brisk 5 -6 miles every day - this is not the optimal way to train - you want to mix slow long runs, tempo runs , hill work and sprints - you need recovery days - i`d drop one run and replace it with a cross training day - biking, swimming something like that, Add some weight training 2 -3 days a week - one day heavy full body, one day endurance and one day movement / power - plyometic drills. Make one run slower and longer - make one run 1/4 mile sprints with a 2 min break between sprints or hill repeats - run the days after your sprints and long runs at a VERY easy pace - these are recovery runs - maybe even drop them back to 3 or 4 miles ( move the "lost" miles to your long run ) - and make one run as it is now
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I'm going to ask the stoopid question. What does "loose control" of my legs mean? Pain? Just can't lift them again? Legs won't support your weight? They become all wobbly? Cramps? Tingling? They won't do what you tell them to? I don't understand exactly. It seems everyone is assuming you're pushing too hard, which is very possible, but I'm not sure I've heard the true symptom yet.
I think it is very possible I am pushing too hard because I never really figured out the right way to train for running. I bike on the weekends and do occasionally cross train as well as some weight lifting but my runs are usually the same length/speed. However, Im not sure if this is the main problem because I have never had this issue before. The "loose control" feeling is not painful at all but I feel like my legs dont do what I want them to do. Today I noticed it was mostly my left leg and I had some tightening in the outside of my knee. Im wondering if my tight hip flexors could be affecting my knee. The part of my stride that is hard to control is bringing my left leg from behind and placing it in front of me. I cant get a full or controlled stride.
Thanks everyone for your help. Im running a half marathon on August 1st and I really appreciate all the advice I can get!
Hmmm, very curious. This group has taught me to vary both my speed and my distance. There are shorter faster days, longer slow days and recovery days in my schedule. There are multiple websites that have training plans for free. I happen to use Smart Coach from Runner's World. It tends to be a little faster than Hal Higdon or the McMillin paces that are other options. Mixing it up and slowing it down may help some.
The pain on the outside of the knee makes me nervous about possible ITB (iliotibial band syndrome). You can look that up anywhere. Not an easy thing to recover from and will need at least some reduction in intensity if not complete time off.
Your sensation of not being able to control your leg movement has me completely confused. I guess fatigue is the most likely. It could potentially also be glycogen depletion, but your distances shouldn't bring you to that point. I also wonder what your running form looks like, ie. how long is your stride. Are you changing your stride length as you get tired to compensate. Are you possibly landing differently as you get tired. I've noticed that I have a pain in my knee that if I keep perfect form, doesn't bother me at all. If my form slips as I get tired, I'll get a painful twinge.
You certainly bring up an interesting problem. Where's Len when we need him? I'd be curious to see what he had to say. Good luck.
I was also wondering what "lose control" meant. Your explanation sheds a little more light. It sounds a lot like fatigue, but if you can't figure it out, may be worth a trip to the doctor. I guess I have a few other questions and suggestions.
- What changes have you made in your workout routine lately? More or higher weights, more reps, longer bike rides?
- Ditto on your diet - any changes? One presumes you're getting a good, balanced diet and sufficient calories. That is, you're not on a serious diet.
- How is your hydration? Your goal is light lemonade colored urine, 24X7.
- Here's a couple good articles on ITB syndrome, which you may be developing based on what you said about the knee.
- Last is to change up your running routine, as others have suggested. Go easy some days, hard others, basically alternating. And be sure you're getting one rest day a week.