Perception of Effort; Uneven Leg Fatigue

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  • #11221


    Thank you for your great work and help!

    Allow me to ask 2 different questions:

    I’ve been doing 10 to 16 hours per week of running under my AeT (many of them on a fasted state) for 6 months now.
    The results are great! My performance has improved like crazy! I feel stronger, faster, with MUCH more fatigue resistance, I can go on 4 or 5 hour-long runs up and down the mountains and still feel great in the end. My speed at AeT has improved from a little over 10km/h to 14km/h.
    Sometimes I do a few tempo runs on some local uphills and ascents to track my progress – I’ve been crushing my previous PRs. The thing is, although I’m considerably faster and can hold high intensities for longer, kicking into those high gears feels harder. The perception of effort at high intensities seems to be quite higher now, even though, as I said, I’m faster. Am I supposed to be feeling this way? May I have become less efficient at utilizing carbs as fuel, since I’ve been doing a lot less high intensity training in the last months? (86% has been spent at or below AeT, 8% at Z3, 3% at Z4 and 3% at Z5)? My maxVo2 was tested at 75ml/kg/min back when I was always training hard and my AeT was small as a pea, may it be lower because of the huge decrease in high intensity training (by the way, I’m 22 yo), resulting in me having an harder time at high intensities?
    What could be causing this?

    During tempo runs and intervals I feel more fatigue on the left leg than on the right one. What could I do about this? Perhaps some sort of ME workout?

    Thank you very much!

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #11231

    Thanks for your post. I’m glad you’ve seen such good results in improving your aerobic base. Your improvement in 6 months is quite normal for someone running as much as you are. Have you done this test yet?

    Several things may be contributing to your feeling more effort when you run fast. If your previous AeT pace was 10km/hr and now your AeT pace is 14km/hr it stands to reason that your high intensity running is also faster than it was before.

    You’ve been training at what may be a slower pace than you used to train at. As a consequence your faster twitch muscle fibers (needed for fast running) have not been getting the training stimulus they were 6 months ago. So to engage them takes more effort.

    I doubt it has anything to do with carbohydrate use.

    I recommend doing 1-2x/week the following “pick-up” workout. Run as you would in a normal aerobic base run below AeT. During the run insert 6-10 x 10 seconds of faster running where you accelerate up to a fun fast pace for 10 seconds. This should not be a full sprint but a pace that can feel fast and relaxed at. Then slow back to easy running for at least 3-4 minutes before repeating. This will begin to prepare your legs for faster running before jumping right into harder interval type training. You should feel a good increase in leg strength from this within a few weeks. Then you can think of progressing to the following.

    Find an uphill grade of about 15-25%. 1x/ week: Start with 100m repetitions on this hill with a slow easy jog/walk of 2-3 minutes back to the bottom between. Run this at a hard effort but not so hard that you can not complete 10 of these. After 4 weeks lengthen the reps to 200m. After 4 more weeks lengthen to 400m.

    As for the different fatigue in your legs: It seems that it might be a running technique thing and you need to video yourself or have a good running coach watch you. You could try some single legged ME work like emphasizing the weaker leg.


    ruy on #11241

    Yes, I’ve done the test. I think I still need a few more weeks until my AeT is within 10% of my AnT. I will be implementing the pick-up workout and later the repetitions.

    I forgot to mention my left leg is approximately 1cm shorter than the right one. So it only adds up to being a technique problem. Yesterday I was paying very close attention to my left leg on the uphills and I noticed that during the swing phase, specially at mid swing, it doesn’t have a clean forward movement, instead it comes forward with a slight outwards trajectory. Will definitely video myself to figure this one out. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Thank you very much Scott!

    Steve House on #13151

    After I had recovered from some pretty bad injuries (many broken ribs, and displaced pelvic fracture) had healed enough to re-gain 90% of my mobility, I went to two separate people. One was a board-certified Orthopedic PT and the other was a Chiro with a sports-med specialty. I had each of them check my alignment (static and moving) evaluating running form as well as general movement patterns. Both had some nice little observations and tips that helped me get my correct form back. I believe this is very important in athletic longevity (no joints wearing oddly). My right side is still weaker both in strength and endurance terms, and will surely break down or get re-injured first, but I want to maximize my athletic longevity so it was really worth it to do this. We all have to try to do our best with what we have.

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