I just read the other thread. It's all similar for me except I feel it in both legs and also experience an extremely tight/locked up feeling in my legs that prevents me from running smooth and in control. This is becoming more nightmarish it seems. I'm leaving my email in case anyone here learns of anything else that helps.
Spokompton - where in your leg would you experience your symptoms?
I'd also be interested to know how bad your symptoms were while at their worst? And can you race distance races up to 10k or half marathon on the track or flat roads now without incident?
I guess I can agree with most of the remedies provided by the posters here, but as in any running/physical problem, we still need to TREAT THE CAUSE(S), not just the SYMPTOM(S).
I believe many of the leg imbalance/loss of coordination problems mentioned are due to any of the below:
1) Track running; particularly if u only make left turns. The inner leg becomes shoter over time because u r always 'compressing' it with a slight lean into the infield while on the curves. The outer leg is always being hyperextended and turning outwards, causing excessive muscle lengthening.
Excesive lateral torque is also generated to maintain that awkwardly slanted body position and this can create tears and/or misalignments over time. Nerves on the inner leg also become compressed and this can result on numbness and loss of control/ coordination when u try to run normally/straight forward for a reasonable amt of time.Basically, even if u don't get injured, your running style changes incrementally with frequent usage. Your inner leg will probably be the one having difficulty running strght & has to rotate excessively.Ideally, one shd try to run both directions on tracks.
2) Road running. Most roads r cambered/slanted to facilitate proper drainage, and people who frequently run on the same side of the road (even some pavements), will experience leg/hip imbalances. The leg/hip nearer the higher portion will usually became your problem leg, due to very much the same reasons as in track running in only one direction.
3) Generally any sort of running/activity which emphasises one side of the body more than the other. Like running the same loops frequently and in the same direction of turns, not only on track & concrete but it can be as bad on grass, trails, asphalt, woodchips, etc., or playing racquet games, or soccer where u r primarily left/right legged, etc.
Single leg strengthening will certainly help IF accompanied by a simultaneous change in training methods and direction of turns. Many runners r uncomfortable with changing directions (esp regarding track workouts) but u have to understand that the human body was not created to only make left turns! Balanced training will probably help most of those runners out there who have leg coordination problems.
However, te above r just suggestions and there might still be other reasons/causes.
Hope u guys get better bec I am a fellow sufferer.
well it's interesting you brought up the track running, because apart from an isolated incident during a 10 mile flat tempo run in september, this condition began during a workout on the track back in october. it was a 4 mile tempo run and halfway through is when I lost control. I forced myself to finish. the next day I ran a 10 jog-a-thon fundraiser that my team runs every year on the track and it hit me at about 5 miles, so I slowed down to a pace I could manage. I guess that 10 miler only exacerbated the problem.
Do you got twitches in your legs or have a funny feeling when you don't run?
And about stretching, static stretching seems to do very little you might wanna try PNF stretching instead.
whats pnf stretching?
Hope u guys get better bec I am a fellow sufferer.[/quote]
Have you eliminated this or have you seen progress? What kind of lifts have you done? Do you strengthen just your bad leg?
I went from running mid 26's for 5 miles to being unable to sustain that pace for a mile without losing coordination and being forced to stop.
In how long? Were you training normally?, Were you changing technique or surface to try to avoid this problem?
I think you're probably right. Although I can't prove it, I believe my problem came from excessive running on the track in the same direction. When I look back to my log in the month leading up to my initial onset of symptoms, I noticed that I started incorporating track tempos into my schedule, on top of my regular track interval workouts. Prior to that month, I never did more than one track workout per week.
I too experienced this same thing by excessive running on indoor and outdoor tracks over the years.
It took one full year of "therapy" by an osteopath to unwind the condition it created - and definately the left leg had shortened, the left calf, achilles, the hip flexors were shorter and tighter on the left and on the right side was overstretched.
Before this, I saw chiropractors (4); physical therapists; sports doctors; massage therapists, even reiki and not one single one of them could diagnose what has been described by others here.
I do sets of the egoscue exercises now to stay in alignment, touch the track very little.
I have had this problem since 1979 with no correct diagnosis or relief.
Loss of control in the right leg when running race pace, no pain or numbness, just no control or loss of strength. Had 2 fasciotomies because it was believed to be some sort of compartment problem, these did not work. Had an EMG with no sign of nerve impingement.
After all these years there is a definate sign of atrophy in that calf, not huge but noticable. The problem is no worse and does not affect my life so now that i am old i just go about life.
It was frustrating and still is knowing that i never reached my potential, but it could be worse. I did run 48:24 for 10 miles when i was 22 and then ran 29:30 for 10K with the loss of function occurring 7:10 into the race, who knows what i could have run, not me? That's the worst part.
Good luck with it.
I did experience twitching in my legs at times, but didn't notice exactly when I'd have the twitches though. And in regards to static stretching, if I stretch my hamstrings staticly and try to run after doing so, my legs feel like a spring that I cannot control. It is one of the strangest things I've experienced while running.
It happened about halfway through my cross country season this past fall. After the initial few days of it affecting my runs, it would only begin after around 65-70 minutes of running, so for the most part, I could get by for the rest of the season without too much incident. I felt a lot more fatigued though throughout the rest of the season. After running a 5k road race on Thanksgiving, I took a week off, and when I resumed running, my symptoms were much worse and the onset began much earlier into the run.
Did it take a full year before you could run at all, or is that how long it took for you to be symptom free?
I feel like we may be getting somewhere in regards to a solution on this thread, and I'd really like to try this out. I'm still a little worried though because unlike most on here, both legs are affected for me, and my legs never feel normal at any time while running now. I think my left leg is worse off, but I can't really tell anymore since both aren't functioning normally.
just to answer your inquiry, I took about 2 months, 6 visits, to begin to run with reduced symptoms, but more like 5-6 months to really be able to cruise. After that, appointments were spaced 4-5 weeks apart and there was still work to do - but it was about 1 year before I could say I was 100 percent symptom free. Every appointment was different, much of the counterstrain therapy was done on my diaphragm, left back/sacrum si joint, and always ended in cranial work.
funny thing. It was long a long slow unwinding and he would always say, we'll see what the body does with this (treatment).
Do you think recovery can be accomplished through various weight exercises? Perhaps hip flexor and quad machines at the gym? I checked out the website, and would really like to try it out, but I can't afford it out of pocket right now.
Also, I jogged 5 miles this evening, and had to stop 3 times in the last 15 minutes. I really paid attention to what I was feeling, and although my right leg is weak, my left leg is definitely much worse. Basically it feels like pressure is building as it weakens, and it seems to mainly be in the middle of my quad area.
Well, I had a bad left leg like most guys here, and developed lots of problems like sciatica, piriformis syndrome, shin splints, ankle soreness, and even my metatarsals began to ache when I do sprints with spikes. People keep telling me I limp when I walk. Also, my hips swing all over the shop when I run anything over an hour. Calcanaeus bone of that heel also ache frequently.
Any way, to ans yr questions,
Yes, I have more or less dealt with the problem, but it is not something that just goes away for good. You have to constantly find a new balance in training.
I started by running some of my track reps in the clockwise direction (ie right turns), like 12 by 400m with every 2nd or 3rd rep run clockwise direction. Just by doing this I felt significant alleviation from my sciatica and shin splints. Of course u have to be fortunate enough to find a track where its not that crowded to use lanes 1 or 2 for right turns. The track I run on rarely has any serious trackers at the time I train (wh is like very early morning, b4 sunrise!) But I think u don't really have to worry much abt that detail....
I do single leg lifts like most of the guys on this thread, like knee extension, hamstring curls, leg press,1-leg squats, step-ups, etc, and when I cycle I do wht some triathletes do : isolated leg pedaling, where u basically alternate between each leg in doing the work and keep the other leg passive.
I also do 1 leg hops, and believe me u will really see how bad it is on this exercise. Initially my left leg/hip would just sink in real bad rearwards and I have difficulty balancing myself. I would always be tilting sideways. I also do bounding uphill and on flat grd (same for the 1 leg hops) and I would also be tilting left. But I started very conservatively and as my strength work caught up with me I felt more balanced.
One note abt the track work is that maybe one shd consider taking some of the reps off track, and alternate between off and on track in the same workout during some of the regular sessions. Once I did 6 by 800m doing the first rep on track counterclockwise to get the feel of race pace, then doing the next two on the road clockwise and straight, respectively, then returning to the track for a clockwise rep, b4 finishing on grass field for counterclockwise rep. I did this both for cross country and for track preps.
Consider doing this even for 800/1500 type reps also whenever u feel like your leg is losing it again. I know we need to be track specific when training for track races, but I think as long as u still do the really key sessions that r purely on track and run counterclockwise (ie left turns), u don't have to worry abt to being ready for track racing. Fr my experience, alternating between surfaces actually keep me feeling fresher. But not every one responds the same I guess.
I also eliminated some of my usual training loops and replaced them with out-and-back routes.
Of course I stretched like hell, doing all sorts of hip flexors/rotator stretches, hamstring stretches both one leg and two legs together (here u will see AND feel the leg length discrepancy, and the hip/groin/glutes area acting up!) Once when I tried the one leg hurdler's stretch my left side seized up, and I had spasms even in my lateral obliques!
I guess u have to manage it, as long as u want to be a tracker, or to train on track, like the athletes fr sports like soccer, basketball, squash, tennis, etc. I've heard of runners who don't even use the track but can race real well even in the 800m! I've even seen a sprinter doing a lot of his stride work and drills in the forest, even a month b4 his key race! And the fella won!
What I'm saying is that if u develop overuse problems u have to adapt and change. I know some coaches may not like what I've written, but the sheer number of posters here who suffer fr this leg problem reflect a worrying trend.The track is made by humans for the purposes of precision and convenience, and for spectatorship. But not with the human natural physiology on mind. But since we need to use it, let's be willing to use some good sense.
Sorry, just realised I missed yr last query.
No, I do not just strengthen my bad leg. Like I wrote in my last post, its abt balance. I know some people recommend lifting more reps or heavier weight for the afficted leg in order to balance up, but that's not what I did. I lifted the same poundage and reps for both legs unilaterally, and stretched both legs separately.
However, at times I would try to hold my stretches longer for my bad leg, or to do an extra set. I think many people do this instinctively, bec they would feel that it is tighter and needs more streching time to loosen up.
But NEVER NEGLECT THE 'GOOD' SIDE! Or you'll end up afflicting the other leg even as yr bad leg is being treated!
Once I overdid the right turns and started to feel a bit uncoordinated in the right side, even as my left side was improving! Its all abt balance, and careful monitoring of what u do in training.
Hope I satisfied yr queries....
Wow. I can't believe the great number of people with this problem. Shouldn't doctors be concerned and aware of it? I have suffered with this for almost 20 years. Never in XC, just in road and track races about, 75% of the time. Very frustrating to be racing great and then have one leg lose half its power. People don't understand and have no idea the exrta pain you are forced to suffer through when you are determined to keep your pace. I've run 50,000 miles over those 20 years and 2/3 of my races have been negatively affected by this condition, but I love running so I deal with it privately, because no one can understand. It's great when you have a race where the leg retains its strength. It's like "Hell, I'm thrilled to simply suffer the pain of effort," rather than the additional pain of trying to go all out with only 1 & 1/2 legs.
A creeping weakness and numbness up the calf, around the knee, and into the upper leg. Foot splaying out and loss of coordination. I cheer on you fellow posters who don't give up on the sport even though we have been dealt a very unfair deck.
Are you a healstriker?
I\'m in the same boat. However, I start to feel a general tightness in my left lower leg and it progress up to my knee and ITB. After about 1/2 mile of running on a hard surface it feels like my left leg is completely rotated out and I have to stop to stretch it.
damn this is my exact story...tightness in right lower leg, progresses to knee and ITB.
It makes me slow and leaves my calf mutilated after easy runs.