walkhighlands

This forum is for general discussion about walking and scrambling... If writing a report or sharing your experiences from a route, please use the other boards.

Newbie with sore legs and feet

Newbie with sore legs and feet


Postby kilima36 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:05 pm

Hi - I've now done 9 Munros since July with the the last 3 being done on Sunday - Beinn Narnairn, Beinn Ime and Ben Vane.

I'm still struggling with really (really really) sore legs for at least a couple of days afterwards (not just tired) meaning that trying to walk down stairs is a real struggle (even one step at a time) or when I've been sitting a while trying to get my legs to function in some sort of a normal walking stride takes a few moments of deep concentration. I'm hoping that my muscles get used to this type of exercise through time but wondering how others more expereinced on here reduce not just the tiredness effects of a day out in the hills both during the walk and afterwards.

My other pain is my feet. I've just bought new insoles which were fitted by an established outdoors shop (no name just in case I'm sued :crazy: ) and I was wearing merino socks. My feet do feel better overall but were still sore for the last 1/3rd of the walk with a couple of blisters where the heel cup rises. Just wondering whether it'll just take time or is there anything I can do to toughen up my feet to make them a bit more resiliant in the meantime. Thanks for reading.
kilima36
Walker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 5, 2021

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby jmarkb » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:51 pm

Your legs will get used to it, to some extent at least! Narnain-Ime-Vane is a big day in terms of the amount of ascent and descent, so it's not too surprising you feel sore afterwards. You might want to choose days with less up and down (but maybe more horizontal distance) for the time being. A warm bath and/or a short walk the day after may help ease off the stiffness. Also worth ensuring that you are well hydrated both during and after your day out.

As for the feet, it unfortunately probably means that your boots don't really fit very well, and hoping your feet toughen up probably isn't going to work. There are a few things you can try, such as adjusting the tightness of lacing, changing the thickness/type of socks, or adding a volume reducer if your feet are moving around too much. You should use a blister plaster (e.g. Compeed) as soon as you feel any discomfort (don't wait - it's not going to magically get better!), or even proactively before you set off.
User avatar
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4834
Munros:241   Corbetts:98
Grahams:81   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:46   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby BAZ1893 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:17 pm

I would definitely recommend spending 10 minutes or so at the end of the walk doing some stretching exercises, before you jump in the car to head home. Thighs, calf muscles, hamstrings etc. There will be plenty online guides if you're not sure of the exact techniques.

I used to suffer badly after a day on the hills but since I started doing this it improved things greatly. It is just to get rid of the lactic acid in the muscles I think.

Plenty intake of fluids helps too.

The sore feet I would say could be a bit of trial and error with boots and socks, different folk find different results as feet and walk patterns vary.
BAZ1893
Walker
 
Posts: 21
Munros:110   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jan 5, 2011
Location: Blairgowrie

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby simon-b » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:35 pm

Hi Kilima
Good advice already from JMB and Baz. I'd add that foam rolling your legs may help.
Also, nutrition is very important for recovery of sore muscles, so it's important to make sure you're getting enough protein in particular. Four of us, a pescatarian, two meat eaters and a vegetarian used to go walking then have a pub meal afterwards. The vegetarian found she had longer lasting problems with post walk soreness than the rest of us, until she started consuming extra dairy protein in addition to her regular meals.
User avatar
simon-b
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2077
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:155
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby jmarkb » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:39 pm

BAZ1893 wrote:I would definitely recommend spending 10 minutes or so at the end of the walk doing some stretching exercises, before you jump in the car to head home. Thighs, calf muscles, hamstrings etc. There will be plenty online guides if you're not sure of the exact techniques.

I used to suffer badly after a day on the hills but since I started doing this it improved things greatly. It is just to get rid of the lactic acid in the muscles I think.


Your personal experience is interesting here - it doesn't seem to be supported by research results such as https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21735398/ that show stretching after exercise has little effect on DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). But it it easy enough to try it out and see if it helps!

The precise causes of DOMS are still not well understood, but it is more likely that micro trauma to the muscle fibres causing inflammation is the problem, rather than a build-up of lactic acid, as once thought.
User avatar
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4834
Munros:241   Corbetts:98
Grahams:81   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:46   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby kilima36 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:07 pm

Hi - and thank you all for your replies which are appreciated. I'm sure I'm suffering from DOMS and will look into this more as my muscles are very sensitive to touch just now.

I suppose I'm in the transition of my mind is willing but my legs need to catch up. As I've been reminded both hydration and nutrition are key too. I had 4 slices of bread with chocolate spread on the drive up and then just 2 gels as well as my 2 litre bladder. I did have lunch with me but was concerned for time so just kept going. I hadn't appreciated the time it would take from Ben Vane to Arrochar. Anyways as long as I keep learning and thanks again for your replies.
kilima36
Walker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 5, 2021

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby simon-b » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:11 pm

jmarkb wrote:
BAZ1893 wrote:I would definitely recommend spending 10 minutes or so at the end of the walk doing some stretching exercises, before you jump in the car to head home. Thighs, calf muscles, hamstrings etc. There will be plenty online guides if you're not sure of the exact techniques.

I used to suffer badly after a day on the hills but since I started doing this it improved things greatly. It is just to get rid of the lactic acid in the muscles I think.


Your personal experience is interesting here - it doesn't seem to be supported by research results such as https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21735398/ that show stretching after exercise has little effect on DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). But it it easy enough to try it out and see if it helps!

The precise causes of DOMS are still not well understood, but it is more likely that micro trauma to the muscle fibres causing inflammation is the problem, rather than a build-up of lactic acid, as once thought.

There's a possibility that both views are right here, for different reasons. JMB's right regarding current doubts raised about stretching and DOMS, but Baz's advice about post exercise stretching could be useful anyway, for maintaining flexibility and mobility. I've found personally that hillwalking stiffens me up if I neglect stretching. Current concensus is that it's better to stretch after exercise than before exercise. It's always worth listening to your own body, of course, and stretching post walk seems to work for Baz.
User avatar
simon-b
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2077
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:155
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby JohnSound » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:27 pm

Do you use poles?

If you do, you'll know the benefits. If not, give them a try. Using them spreads the workload on the ascent and shares the load of the impact on the descent. I find my legs are significantly less fatigued after using poles than they would be if I hadn't.
User avatar
JohnSound
Wanderer
 
Posts: 13
Munros:3   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:18
Sub 2000:27   Hewitts:3
Islands:3
Joined: May 17, 2016
Location: Criffel

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby kilima36 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:37 pm

Hi JohnSound - thanks and yes I used poles and I really appreciated them ascending Ben Vane from Beinn Ime as I followed my own route up. I appreciate the poles descending too.
kilima36
Walker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 5, 2021

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby jmarkb » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:28 pm

simon-b wrote:There's a possibility that both views are right here, for different reasons. JMB's right regarding current doubts raised about stretching and DOMS, but Baz's advice about post exercise stretching could be useful anyway, for maintaining flexibility and mobility.


Oh yes, absolutely - stretching is very good for you - every day if possible!
User avatar
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4834
Munros:241   Corbetts:98
Grahams:81   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:46   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby davekeiller » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:29 pm

Hydration and nutrition have a big role to play here.
Make sure you drink plenty of water. Also be disciplined about stopping for food regularly.

On the feet front, some degree of soreness is to be expected, especially if you drive a desk all week. If you've got blisters, then that suggests your boots don't fit properly, and you need to adjust the fit. It sounds like your heel isn't being held securely, so maybe heel lifts or volume reducers might help.
davekeiller
 
Posts: 738
Munros:149   Corbetts:29
Grahams:4   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:19
Wainwrights:20   
Joined: Oct 25, 2013

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby kilima36 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:10 pm

Thanks again for all the replies. I've definitely taken on board the need for stretching. I've found out that getting to the finish of your walk isn't necessarily the finish as time should be taken for post-walk care. In starting to climb Munros I'm also recognising there's a 'steep' :wink: learning curve.
kilima36
Walker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 5, 2021

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby AdamR » Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:39 am

With regards blisters, prevention is better. I tape up my heels with sport tape & kinesiology tape & have regularly done 40km walks since. I've not had a blister since taping up. Good quality merino socks help too.

Your legs will get used to the effort.
AdamR
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 12
Munros:75   Corbetts:3
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: May 21, 2018
Location: Kirkcaldy

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby al78 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:43 am

Do you have a sedentary job? I work in an office and when I went on holiday to Aviemore, the first day I went to the ski centre, climbed up Cairn Gorm, across the plateau to Ben Macdui, back along and above the Lairig Ghru, and back to the ski center via a long descent around the northern corries. That descent was fairly steep and is about two and a half miles sustained, and it was that which resulted in huge DOMS in my hamstrings next day.

My experience of DOMS is that it happens when my muscles are suddenly subjected to a workload well in excess of what they are accustomed to day to day, and it is eccentric movements that are the primary culprit (like long sustaiined steep descents). Building up activity slowly can help avoid the worst, but otherwise it is something you may have to endure until your muscles adapt to the workload (i.e. get stronger). It should get less each time you climb a hill. On my holiday I didn't suffer after I did the glen Feshie munros.

You could try doing some low intensity exercise which targets the affected muscles such as gentle walking on the flat, which will increase blood flow into the sore muscles and may speed up recovery.
User avatar
al78
Walker
 
Posts: 981
Munros:28   Corbetts:8
Donalds:1
Joined: Feb 1, 2018

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby 1Magnus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:42 am

I've had good experiences with exposing myself to very cold water at the end of the walk - like in a loch that you pass by... Feels shockingly cold at the time, but when you come out of the water after 10 mins, you feel like a new-born baby, and the effect still lasts for days afterwards, with less pain and tiredness, in my case. Professional athletes do something similar, I think, with ice tubs.

Also, girls: regular iron tablets...

And: good water intake in the days before the walk, so you don't start the walk with a fairly empty tank...
1Magnus
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 43
Munros:126   
Joined: Apr 18, 2015

Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: davemorrissey and 30 guests