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Running After Leg Workout (Positives & Negatives)

If you are someone who enjoys running and doing workouts as well to be able to improve your form and stay active, maybe you are wondering if you should do running after leg workout.

After finishing leg day your legs are sore and tired, so is it actually a good idea to follow it up with a run? In this article, we give you an answer to this question and explain the reasons behind it including the benefits and disadvantages that come with it.

Key Takeaways


  • Low to moderate-intensity runs after leg workouts can provide benefits.
  • Running after leg workouts will help you burn fat and lose weight.
  • Going for an easy run can enhance blood flow and enhance recovery.
  • Running after leg workouts can be negative for muscle mass gains.
  • Remember to take time to do warm-ups to prevent injury.
  • It is important to create balance in your training plan and set your priorities.

Is it okay to run after leg workouts?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Generally, low to moderate-intensity runs after a leg day is totally fine and can provide some benefits.

But it is important to note that high-intensity runs after leg workouts can cause more harm than good as they can delay muscle recovery and increase the risk of injury.

After getting leg workouts done, you will be tired and your legs sore so the last thing you want is a run, but actually your lower body can benefit from it as it helps with blood flow.

A gentle run could make you feel more energized as long as you don’t force yourself excessively. Again, this depends on your fitness experience and goals.

Leg workouts target specific muscles in the body to build more strength, but they cannot increase heart rate in the same way as running so that’s why it is important to combine the two.

This way you will be able to have your muscles recover better and keep your cardio on a good level. Your legs will be able to improve muscle memory as well.

Benefits of running after leg workout

Running and strength training combined are perfect to achieve your training goals. If you go for a light run after leg workouts, blood flow will be encouraged and your muscles will soothe.

This could help with recovery and help you become a better runner as you are able to achieve your mileage goals. Don’t forget to take care without putting too much pressure on yourself as these runs are meant for your muscles to loosen up, not get overworked.

Running after leg workout can help you with burning fat. Your muscles can become more flexible and burn fat more effectively while sparing glycogen for workouts with higher intensity. So running after leg day can be especially beneficial for marathoners or athletes that want to train their bodies to burn energy effectively.

Another thing running after leg workout can help you with is weight loss. If you go running after working out you will burn a high percentage of calories so this will result in weight loss.

There is also confirmation that active recovery can in fact enhance it. Going for an easy run can increase the blood flow and circulation to the already tired leg muscles which will bring healing nutrients and oxygen to ease the soreness.

If you are dedicated enough to be able to run after doing difficult leg workouts, it will also help you build more endurance, be a stronger runner, and be mentally prepared to push through and keep on going no matter how challenging it might get.

Disadvantages of running after leg workouts

When doing hard workouts, it is natural for the muscles to need time to heal. As the recovery from leg workouts takes a day to 2 days or more, adding more stress and strain through running can overwork the already exhausted muscles.

After a leg day, many people have sore trembling legs and poor coordination that might make it even hard to walk for more miles the next day.

Because of this, running when you feel very weak and you are aware that your legs can easily give out is not recommended as it can increase the risk of stumbling which might lead to injury.

Gaining muscle mass takes a big supply of calories hence running after leg workouts can be negative to your energy balance. So if you are someone who wants to build muscle mass, then you shouldn’t opt for running after leg day as you don’t want to lose the progress you have already made.

Another risk to running after leg workouts is that, especially for beginners, it is quite easy to accidentally get into a high-intensity run which delays muscle recovery instead of doing the recommended low-intensity run.

Don’t forget that running after leg day is painful no matter at what intensity is done, so don’t take up more than you are able to achieve.

How to do running after leg workouts properly to avoid injury?

Warm-ups are always important, especially when you are running with sore legs. Remember to always take some time to do proper warm-ups as they will help your body and muscles to get ready for the run. This way you can prevent various injuries.

The type of run you should do after leg workouts is a recovery run as you are focused on the blood flow and recovery rather than the duration or reaching speed.

It is recommended to eat carbs after leg workouts as they are the body’s source of energy and having a lack of those will worsen your performance level.

Another important thing is to create a balance in your training plan. When doing so you should have your priorities clear to know what to focus on more and where to make improvements.

If you are training for a marathon then your priority would be running and you will have to cut down on leg workouts. You could still do leg workouts, but at a reduced amount as you want to keep your muscles ready and healthy for long-distance runs and be able to obtain more miles at a faster pace.

On the other hand, if you are someone who is more focused on building strength and muscle mass, then easy runs are the best choice for you to be able to achieve better results during high-intensity strength leg workouts.

Final thoughts

If you still have some worries about not being able to endure running after leg workouts, remember that as long as you keep it easy and at a low intensity you will be totally fine.

Again, you should listen to your own body as it will show you best what you can and cannot do. If you follow all the tips we have given in this article you will be able to nail it down without having any problems. Let’s go!!!