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I have posted on the topic of leg fatigue recently and it seems many people are experiencing similar symptoms - where a leg becomes weak and unable to continue walking after a short time - 30/45 mins or so. Many people seem to be absolutely fine cycling. I am the same. This has been confusing and frustrating me and I have been thinking a lot about the differences between cycling and walking. Obviously walking is weight bearing and cycling is not but the other main difference surely is that when cycling the pedalling motion is always changing. You have to push really hard to get up a hill say, but then you always get a free wheel down afterwards.

So last week I decided to experiment with walking pace. I had previously tried walking at a slower pace to see if my leg would last longer but it still gave up after the usual 45 mins. So this time I varied the pace and stopped every so often to stretch my leg. Perhaps it is the consistent repitition of walking that makes the leg fatigued? I walked really briskly for maybe 100 yards and then relaxed the pace for the next 100. I was really listening to my body and doing whatever I felt was best. For the first time this year my leg felt absolutely fine at the end of the 45 mins and I even had a wee jog back to the car park to check I wasn't going to topple over.

I wanted to try it out a few more times before I posted on here but I am really keen to see if anyone has experimented with this and if so what results you have had? I am trying not to get carried away thinking I may have cracked it because it seems too good to be true...

Hilary x
Thanks for the post. I understand what you are talking about. Now that you bring it up, I have experienced a similar feeling. But, one question, did you walk a shorter or the same distance in the 45 minutes.
That sounds interesting Hilary.
I'm going to give it a go.
I've thought all along that mine is time asked rather than distance based, so would be interesting to try to vary the speed/movements etc. I've had it for nearly a year now and am a bit fed up as I think it might be here to stay.

Initially I was hoping it was a symptom that would disappear after a whole like most of the other symptoms I've had over the last few years.....

Lynne x
Hi Jeff

I didn't sit down during that 45 mins so it wouldnt have been any shorter a distance (I went a different route so I'm sorry I can't be really specific about distances). I had previously been sitting down after 30 mins for 5 mins in the hope that that would enable me to continue walking for longer after I had sat down but each time my leg started the downward slide after about 15 mins of starting again. Also the last time I went for a walk I went at a very relaxed pace and after 45 mins it started again so that distance would have been shorter.

I also varied the way I was walking a little bit. Sounds daft but maybe lifting my leg slightly higher at times to avoid the repetitive movement - not so much that anyone would notice I don't think. I was also really aware of trying to keep my core engaged while I was walking - not sure if that made any difference but it made me feel more confident and stronger.

I wonder if gradient has anything to do with it as well. I have been walking on very flat ground - when I walked along the canal path it seemed worse than other walks. When I walked up a hill then down the other side (about an hour in total with a stop at the top but no sit down) there was no hint of weakness in my leg.

I am going to try the varying thing again to make sure it wasn't a fluke! I would love to hear back about your findings too.

Hilary x
Thanks for the reply. It's funny you mentioned different terrain. I find it easier to go hiking up a mountain than just one continue walk. Please keep me updated...
This is so interesting! I've also been experimenting with pace, terrain and distance walked. Here are my results:
1. A faster pace (consistent) is better on even terrain but not on uneven.
2. A varied pace (busts of speed) is better on trails and uneven terrain.
3. A varied pace (periods of slowing) is worse on both even and uneven terrain.
4. When its dark - I can't see the terrain - #1 is true but not #2. (I actually avoid uneven terrain because I stumble more).

Better = no stumbling and longer time.
These trials were done over the same path so longer time = longer distance.

General fatigue was also important. If I was walking in the morning, I had the best results.

Thanks for all that interesting information Claire! I will definitely be experimenting with all these variations over time. Thanks Jeff and Lynne too for your posts - i will keep you posted about my findings and would love to hear back about how you are getting on also. I have a bike ride in a couple of weeks so am focussing on the cycling at the moment and walking will have to take a back seat til after that.

Take care
Hilary x
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