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Newbie with sore legs and feet

Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby kilima36 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:08 pm

I do have a sedentry job but cycle commute and I've come from a cycling endurance background - more recently audaxing.

I suppose I've got used to tired legs and then get up the following morning to do similar mileage again without thinking about it too much. I suppose this has set in some laziness re stretching etc etc. What has surprised me was how painful my legs have felt the following days and hence my intial post.

I am grateful for all the sound advice including a dip in cold water (or ice packs) immediately following a walk.

I'm heartened that my muscles will adapt through time as I'm really enjoying walking some munros. I've cycled in remote areas as well as some MTBing which for me anyway means I have to concentrate a large part on the cycling bit. When walking I do feel more at one with my surroundings and therefore I'm able to take more in.

Thanks again.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby al78 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:38 pm

Regular cycling is good for building up stamina and cardiovascular ability, but hiking up munros is a lot more demanding on your legs than cycling, so going from one to the other is suddenly ramping up the demand on your leg muscles, hence DOMS.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby kilima36 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:10 pm

Thanks al78 - and my legs certainly agree with you :)
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby cruachan06 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:03 pm

I definitely agree on the post-stretching, makes a big difference to me after running a 10K for example.

Regarding blisters, I've found the compeed sticks (they look like a big lipbalm) to be very helpful with prevention, liberally apply it to areas that you're prone to getting blisters and IME it helps a lot on long hikes. I used to suffer badly running until I switched to Under Armour wicking socks, now I can run through a puddle and not worry about it.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby simon-b » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:19 pm

1Magnus wrote:
Also, girls: regular iron tablets...


It's true that young women have a higher iron requirement than other adults. But it's questionable to take iron supplements if you're not prescribed them. Although I'm a male who eats fish, I am prescribed iron due to an intermittent gastrointestinal issue which sometimes causes anaemia. On the other hand I know female vegetarians who have never been anaemic including during child bearing years. A good balanced diet should provide adequate iron. Vegetarians and vegans do need to take more care to absorb enough, for example not drinking tea within an hour of meals.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby 1Magnus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:06 pm

Sorry to be confusing: what I was alluding to, about iron supplements, was the period. (I'm female, despite my username). If you bleed once a month, that may not affect some women and their ability to do sports, but some women will feel fainter around the time of their periods, or during menopause, for example. Iron supplements don't require a prescription - you buy iron tablets from Boots, and take one a day: sorted. And lots of women do that.

The situation is similar for blood donation. I donate blood, but only during the winter months, when I don't go hillwalking. I couldn't donate blood and then go on a munroing trip the next weekend, iron supplements or not! (But perhaps that's another thread, sorry).
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:08 pm

Surprised Caberfeidh has not offered some sort of surgical service.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby simon-b » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:19 pm

1Magnus wrote:Sorry to be confusing: what I was alluding to, about iron supplements, was the period. (I'm female, despite my username). If you bleed once a month, that may not affect some women and their ability to do sports, but some women will feel fainter around the time of their periods, or during menopause, for example. Iron supplements don't require a prescription - you buy iron tablets from Boots, and take one a day: sorted. And lots of women do that.

The situation is similar for blood donation. I donate blood, but only during the winter months, when I don't go hillwalking. I couldn't donate blood and then go on a munroing trip the next weekend, iron supplements or not! (But perhaps that's another thread, sorry).

Thanks, Magnus. I did realise the reason for women's higher iron requirement, and you do make some strong points here. I'm fully aware iron tablets are available over the counter, as are proton pump inhibitors, another medication I'm prescribed. Both these products come with the risk of side effects, so I was just highlighting the risk of taking things people are not prescribed or don't really need. But I accept what you say, in that some women may benefit from taking iron at certain times, and absolutely you'll want to build your Hb back up after donating blood. Like when I need to build mine back up after a gastro bleed!
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:27 am

litljortindan wrote:Surprised Caberfeidh has not offered some sort of surgical service.


Ahem... I must be getting slow... Apart from amputation of both legs, you may find that knee-length anti-embollism stockings help with the leg pain. These can be bought in Boots pharmacy for £16 a pair, or get fell-runners support socks from Decathlon for I think £12 per pair. Also hydration plays a part in having your muscles glide smoothly together; isotonic drinks powders available from sporty shops (including Decathlon, [where I get mine, I am not getting commission from them, I just appreciate their low, low prices and quality merchandise]) will help with the adsorption and metabolising of fluids. Another trick up our sleeve is the good old Scottish tradition of stopping to bathe our feet in burns on the hillside. Find a suitable place to sit by a burn. Take off your boots and socks/support stockings, roll up your trousers/ kilt and ease your aching tootsies into the cool, frothing waters. Sit for ages, appreciating the soft caress of nature on your skin...
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby xtina89 » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:48 pm

I used to get really sore legs after big mountain days but it dropped away over time as I increased my 'hill fitness' (which I found to be quite specific - very different to say 'gym fitness' or 'running fitness').

With the feet - I also used to get really bad lower heel blisters but got some really great advice from this board about it without needing to change my boots. The most useful bit of advice I got was around how my boots were laced up - here's a quick video of the way I lace my boots now:



Genuinely found this technique so helpful and haven't had a problem since.

Hope things get easier for you! :)
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby kilima36 » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:44 pm

Apologies for the delay in getting back. All the replies are very much appreciated as they are providing valuable advice. I'll try the new lacing technique for my next climb :D.

Now up to 16 Munros after climbing Ben More and Stob Binnein yesterday. Whilst I slowly adapt physically as well as getting used to my equipment that's why I find the forum so helpful as it provides great discussion / advice from those that are a lot more expereinced.

Thanks again.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby Sgurr » Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:19 pm

kilima36 wrote:Apologies for the delay in getting back. All the replies are very much appreciated as they are providing valuable advice. I'll try the new lacing technique for my next climb :D.

Now up to 16 Munros after climbing Ben More and Stob Binnein yesterday. Whilst I slowly adapt physically as well as getting used to my equipment that's why I find the forum so helpful as it provides great discussion / advice from those that are a lot more expereinced.

Thanks again.

When I started long distance cycling in my 40s I got the impression that the cycling muscles "cannibalised" the going uphill muscles which is why I thought it was REALLY UNFAIR that all the youth hostels seemed to have women upstairs and men downstairs. Pro being upstairs 1. the men couldn't casually walk past and pretend they had lost their way 2. Marginally quieter. Anti being upstairs 1. SORE LEGS 2. Harder to get out in case of fire 3. SORE LEGS 4. Harder to get at breakfast 5. SORE LEGS.

Experts will tell me that one set of muscles can't possibly cannibalise the others, but how come I started off with perfectly serviceable going upstairs muscles and ended up having to crawl?
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby Bonzo » Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:48 pm

I don't know if anyone else reacts like this but stiffness and aches after the toughest hill days disappear once I get going again. I've really struggled the morning after a big day but after a mile or two all is fine. Obviously if the aches are down to injuries then that's a different matter but don't discount the option of walking through the 'ache barrier' as you'll be surprised as to what happens.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby AyrshireAlps » Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:09 am

No amount of stretching or compression socks will sort your issue, basically every time you climb a munro, you're shocking your major muscles. You will get better with time, but you can also accelerate this by doing some specific exercises.

Squats and Lunges are your friends, and once you're comfortable doing lots, add some weights in. I find Kettlebells extremely effective, and you'll also protect your knees and ankles by building the foundations around them.

Feet are a different issue, maybe worth engaging a good podiatrist.

Bonzo has a point too, it's amazing how you can push through these things.

Best of luck.
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Re: Newbie with sore legs and feet

Postby al78 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:44 am

AyrshireAlps wrote:No amount of stretching or compression socks will sort your issue, basically every time you climb a munro, you're shocking your major muscles. You will get better with time, but you can also accelerate this by doing some specific exercises.

Squats and Lunges are your friends, and once you're comfortable doing lots, add some weights in. I find Kettlebells extremely effective, and you'll also protect your knees and ankles by building the foundations around them.

Feet are a different issue, maybe worth engaging a good podiatrist.

Bonzo has a point too, it's amazing how you can push through these things.

Best of luck.


I have wondered if strength training will help with backpacking alongside double figure mileage walking. My theory is if you get stronger all over (in particular your core muscles), a loaded backpack will not feel as heavy, and you will be using a lower percentage of your muscle's peak strength to carry it, which will help with endurance.
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