Last Updated: November 26th, 2021
This is a relatively common question ‘can you run after leg day?’. The answer is not that simple and needs to be answered based on different scenarios.
We have included some of these ‘running after leg day’ questions below and tried to answer them as clearly as possible.
Can you run after leg day?
You can run after leg day only if your body permits. If you are too sore to walk, then running may not be an option. However, if you are able to walk and can withstand the muscle soreness, you can run after a leg day.
Running after a leg day can be very strenuous and depends on your ability to recover. The leg day in itself is very intense. It trains some of the biggest muscles and important joints of your body like:
After the leg day, you may be too tired to even walk around, let alone run. However, if energy is left in you after leg day, you can go ahead and run the following day.
Is it good to go for a run after leg day?
It is good to go for a run after leg day, provided you are doing a light run and not exerting yourself too much. This will ensure that you have good blood flow in your legs after a leg day and may aid in faster recovery.
However, if you have worked out until failure on your leg day, running around may seem impossible due to the soreness in your muscles.
If you start running despite how your feel after your leg day, you will start noticing pulls at different areas of your legs, especially in the calves and the quadriceps.
Your glutes may also be too tired to support your run and you will end up having a mediocre run.
Another problem may happen, if you try to run with sore legs, you may develop injuries. This may or may not be a direct result of the running or your leg day workout.
You may be trying to run after the leg day, but due to soreness, you run with a compromised form. This may develop into an injury if you run for longer distances.
So, it’s better to run a short distance after a leg day, and also, you should focus on your form all the time.
Can I do sprints after leg day?
You can do sprints after leg day if your glutes, calves, and quadriceps permits. However, it is advisable to wait for 48 hours for recovery before you do sprints. Also, you should be doing small quality sprints with longer slow running sequences. This will not stress out your already stressed legs after leg day and help you to do more rounds of sprints.
Sprints require a lot of stress to be exerted on your body especially on your legs in a short amount of time.
After a leg day, exerting so much force on your legs may not be feasible for many people and may leave you with pain. Especially if you are a beginner, after a leg day you will be terribly sore especially in the calf area. You may not want to get out of bed altogether, let alone sprint.
The soreness of your legs after the workout of your leg day may leave you with a bit of scare and lesser motivation.
Although your body may be able to perform the sprints, your mind may give up. So, the question is not about whether your body can run a sprint or not, but whether your mind is willing to run a sprint after the leg day.
Should I run on leg day?
You should not run on leg day because your legs will be too sore and you will be too exhausted to do something as strenuous as running. However, if you decide to run, keep the distance short so that you don’t exhaust yourself too much.
When you exercise on a leg day, you are training your legs hard for almost 45-60 mins. This is sufficient to leave your legs incredibly sore for days.
Now if this is how your legs are after a couple of days following your leg day, then on the leg day how stressed it might be.
It will have almost no strength left to carry you on your runs and if you continue, it will be purely due to your grit.
In such a situation, you will be able to perform but due to the lack of support from your body, your performance will be mediocre.
Now, here is a catch…
Let’s say you are able to perform well during your run, on leg day. In that case, rest assured, you did not put enough effort to train your legs on that day.
So, it may be a good idea, to take stock of why this happened and where you faltered during the training. We all have a fairly good idea, where we skimmed our efforts, but then again if you keep seeing this repeated pattern you can make an effort to change it.
Can you run a mile the day after leg day?
You can run a mile the day after leg day, however, you should be running slow and focusing on not making it a speedrunning session. Also, it is advisable to wait for 2 days before you run a mile.
However, if you still want to do it, follow this plan:
Warm compress and beetroot juice
Once you return from the gym after your leg day workout, soak some salt in a bucket of warm water. Dip your legs in the water for 10-15 min. This will help to reduce some soreness the following day.
Alternatively, you can take a warm bath. You may use water as hot as you can bear.
Also, if possible have some beetroot juice with a mix of chia seeds. This will help you to improve your recovery time.
If you don’t want to take a bath in hot water, maybe because you are already in a tropical region, you can take help from foam rolling.
Foam rolling will help you to :
- Reduce soreness
- Minimize inflammation
- Improves muscle recovery time
- Removes stiffness and tension in your muscles
Break it down into chunks
Running a continuous mile may be possible the day after your leg day, but for a beginner, that may seem a never-ending distance.
So, it is better to break down this mile into chunks. What you can do is break the mile into 3-6 chunks and include some walking in between the chunks.
Also, if you can’t carry on and feel like the sky is falling, you can take a bit of rest before moving on to the next chunk.
Warmup is mandatory
Since you will have a lot of soreness the day after leg day, you will be tempted to skip the warm out. However, today, warm-up is more important than ever.
A proper warm-up will ensure that you have:
- Proper blood flow
- Reduced stiffness
- Improved flexibility
- Fewer chances of injury
- Reduction of soreness
You can follow your routine warmup and then follow the plan as mentioned above.
How long should you run after leg day?
You should run for around 20-30 min after leg day. This will help you to recover faster and leave feeling refreshed. Anything more than that may make you feel fatigued and lethergic.
After a leg day, you may be tempted to run a marathon but hold your horses. Leg days are one of the most strenuous days among your training sessions.
If you put in too much running the following day, your body will have to deal with extreme fatigue. You may not be able to carry on with your day to day activities or at best, you will do some shoddy job at it.
But what if there is no choice for you other than to run longer following your leg day?
Such a situation may arise if you are preparing for a race.
If that is the case, you should talk to your trainer and coach and rearrange the days, so that such a clash doesn’t happen in the future.
This way you can be sure that you can do away with shorter runs after the leg days and still feel refreshed for the entire day.
Should you jog on leg day?
You can jog on leg day if you are going for leg training afterward. If you want to jog after leg day, you should not jog as your legs require at least 48 hours to recover.
If you are planning to jog on your leg day before your workout, that may be good. It will act as a warm-up exercise and you will be much more flexible when you go for leg workouts.
Also, this may also help you to minimize the soreness afterward. The movements during the workouts will also get easier.
However, if you are planning for a jogging session, you should skip it for the reasons mentioned above.
You can resume light jogging the following day after the leg day. And you can go into full-blown running or jogging after 48 hours.
What should I do after leg day?
After leg day you can do any kind of exercise that minimally involves your lower body. You can do upper body exercises, abs exercises, light jogging, etc.
Giving your legs the time to recover will help them to become stronger. Also, you will not have to deal with the soreness every time you move for some workout.
The exception to this is your running. Light running after the leg day is always encouraged to speed up your recovery.
However, whatever you choose to do on the day after your leg day, always remember to not exhaust yourself too much.
This may lead to severe fatigue that you may have to take a break to deal with. So, always listen to your body and it doesn’t give a go-ahead just relax.
Sato, K., & Mokha, M. (2009). Does core strength training influence running kinetics, lower-extremity stability, and 5000-M performance in runners?. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(1), 133-140.
Cannell, L.J., Taunton, J.E., Clement, D.B., Smith, C. and Khan, K.M., 2001. A randomised clinical trial of the efficacy of drop squats or leg extension/leg curl exercises to treat clinically diagnosed jumper’s knee in athletes: pilot study. British journal of sports medicine, 35(1), pp.60-64.
McEndree, Ashley. “What is the effect of weight training on leg strength and speed in college athletes?.” Cantaurus 18 (2010): 26.
Bernard T, Giacomoni M, Gavarry O, Seymat M, Falgairette G. Time-of-day effects in maximal anaerobic leg exercise. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology. 1997 Dec;77(1):133-8.
Zhou, Bo, et al. “Never skip leg day: A novel wearable approach to monitoring gym leg exercises.” 2016 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom). IEEE, 2016.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.