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Includes Expert Content
Long Lasting Body Aches
tkellyvt1 posted:
Hi Doc,
I'm a 33 year old healthy male, avid runner, 20-25 miles a week. I've been suffering from what I can only describe as constant soreness and fatigue in my lower body. Even if I take a few days off from running when I then go out for a run my legs and hips just feel tight and fatigued. I take good care of myself, eating healthy, stretch, strength train. Could there be a medical reason for my fatigue? I have thought about going to see my doctor but I'm not sure what he would do. No other symptoms I can think of besides stress and anxiety but I've had those since I was 20. What are some medical conditions I could research to see if they match my symptoms?
deadmanwalking57 responded:

I am not a doctor, but I am an avid exercise enthusiast and I read and study exercise physiology. When I trained smart, I avoided injury for years and could compete at a pretty high level.
25 miles a week is a lot of running. Over how many days is this spread? What kind of intervals do you do, with how much active rest ?

The constant soreness and fatigue certainly sounds a lot like over training. From any one very hard workout, you could go a week of only light short runs before you fully recover. If you never give your body a chance to fully recover, you are damaging it more before it is fully healed.

I suggest you take a week off running. Do some walking, bicycling, or other light activity. If you feel only somewhat better, take a few more days off, then light activity every other day.

The strength training may also be a source of the problem if you try to progress too fast in your strength gains while you are running. A safe weight increase is about 5% every three weeks. That may sound like too little, too infrequently. Do the Math. With this progression pattern, you will double your strength safely in one year, and again the next, a quadrupling of your strength, safely without injury. Lift to gain, not strain. Strain typically precedes injury, which I highly doubt is the reason you train.

Again, a week or two off should allow everything to heal, leaving you feeling fast, fit and strong. Rest is an important component of training.

Smart training is not hard training every day.
Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, OCS responded:

There are a few things that you could look at with the soreness and fatigue in your lower body.

1. As always, I would make sure that you have regular visits with your primary care physician so that doctor can make sure that there is nothing systemic that is going on with you.

2. The next thing is to look at your training schedule. You need to have appropriate 'rest' for your body. You may need to rethink your running schedule. You also need to make sure that it aligns with your weight training.

3. You mentioned stretching. It is important to do some stretching after you run. Another thing that can be quite helpful is foam rolling for the lower extremities. This will assist in loosening tight areas. In addition, you work your core when doing some of the foam rolling techniques and this is an added plus.

4. It is critical that your core and hip muscles be strong. If you are not performing these regularly in your routine, then you should add them. If the core or hips are weak, then the legs often overwork and these can lead to fatigue.

5. Make sure that you are drinking adequate water. And check with a nutirionist as well as this can be helpful.

If these do not work, then you may need to visit with a physical therapist.

Good luck with your running.

Dr. Wilmarth

Helpful Tips

Running ShoesExpert
Remember to replace your running shoes every 300-400- miles or every 6 months. Many running related injuries are due to worn out footwear. More
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