Why Are My Legs Aching? A Guide To Sore Legs After Training
There are many reasons why your legs are aching after training, it can be from overuse, injuries, or even fatigue. However, muscle soreness is something most of us are used to, it is part of regular training. However, when your legs start to ache, what does it mean?
This article will help you understand why your legs ache after training and what you can do about it. We also discuss whether it is ok to train with aching muscles or not.
If you struggle with aching legs more often than not after training, keep reading. This article may help you find a solution to the discomfort or at least help you understand the cause of it.
Causes of Aching Legs
Unfortunately, many things can cause your legs to ache after training. The most common causes include wear and tear, overuse, and injuries in the ligaments, muscles, tendons, and soft tissue.
However, if you are not experiencing any pain in the tendons, ligaments, or bones, it may be caused by overuse and lack of recovery.
When recovery is not applied to a training program, you may find fatigue builds up over time. This can cause fatigue, ache, and general soreness in the muscles.
Generally, most people don’t experience aching muscles from normal workouts. Aching legs typically come on when you have pushed the body past its limits or introduced a different kind of workout. For example, you could be spending most of your time lifting weights, then decide to add running to your plan. You then head out for a 1-hour run. By doing this, your muscles, tendons, and body have to take extreme stress from the impact of running, which they aren’t used to. This causes DOMS and in more severe cases can cause the legs to ache for multiple hours.
However, if you put the body under extreme stress by doing an Ironman triathlon, marathon, or adventure race, aching legs can be a result of fatigue and may last more than 24 hours.
Other factors that can cause your legs to ache, include blood clots, poor circulation, and problems with your lower spine. However, these causes aren’t common in athletes, but more general people.
Why Are My Legs Aching After Training?
If your legs are aching 24 hours after training, it can be a sign of DOMS. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a result of muscle pain caused by a workout. The soreness usually starts being felt 24 hours after a workout and can last for 2-5 days.
However, if you feel an aching pain in your legs directly after training, it could be a sign of injury or overreaching. Generally, if the aching is located at a single point in the legs, you may find a tendon, muscle or ligament has been damaged during your workout.
If the aching is felt across the whole legs and is not painful, you may find it is caused by overreaching, pushing the body too hard, or doing a new type of exercise.
Generally, this type of feeling will pass after a few hours of rest, and should be nothing to be worried about.
Aching Legs After Training – What Should You Do?
If you are experiencing aching legs after training, there are a few things you can do to relieve the discomfort.
First, try some gentle self-massage, or visit a masseuse. They can help improve blood flow to the muscles and relieve any stress placed on fatigued muscles. Massage will also help to remove waste built up by the training and relieve any tension being placed on the tendons and ligaments by swollen and tight muscles.
If massage doesn’t help relieve the discomfort of aching, you can try to ice the legs to reduce inflammation or take an ice bath. Both will help speed up the recovery process and reduce any aching you may have.
Another recovery method is the use of compression tights. Compression tights can help increase blood flow and keep your muscles warm, which may help relieve the aching.
If the aching is extreme and causes you misery, try taking some over-the-counter NSAIDs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medicines that can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Is it OK to train with Aching Muscles?
If your legs continue to ache after your training until your next workout, it is recommended to replace the planned workout with a lighter form of cardio. This could include cycling, swimming, or any other exercise that doesn’t place a lot of stress on the muscles. The exercise you should replace your planned workout should be enough to increase blood flow and get the legs moving again.
Try to stay away from any high-intensity workouts or weight training until the aching has gone. Training while the legs are still aching won’t allow full recovery and will affect your training session.
If you are experiencing aching legs after training regularly, you may need to look over your training plan and implement more recovery days. Alternatively, you may need to reduce the intensity, volume, or duration of your training.
It is also important to plan in regular recovery weeks. Recovery weeks will prevent muscle fatigue from building up and allow your body to recover from the past week’s training. Without these recovery weeks, fitness will plateau and your form will worsen. In worse cases, you may also find that injuries become a regular occurrence.
If you are unsure what causes your aching legs after training, speak to a personal trainer or coach. Both can look over your past training and see if any of your workouts are causing the leg ache. Alternatively, the may find periods where your training to too much for your body to handle.