Throughout my race yesterday, I realized that I was running pretty hard, but definitely didn’t expect to feel like I got run over by a bus when I woke up this morning.
I did. I felt like I got run over by a bus when I rolled out of bed this morning.
My legs hurt. My abs hurt. My back hurts. My brain hurts.
It’s pretty standard to be sore after race day. Here’s why:
What I’m experiencing is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - or DOMS for short. DOMS is soreness experienced 12-48 hours post exercise (I’m usually most sore about 36 hours following events). The soreness is a product of various chemicals that are released within the muscle cell (due to muscle breakdown), and these products stimulate the nerve endings within the muscle (which is what produces the pain).
They say muscle breakdown is at its peak 48 hours post exercise - therefore the accumulation of repair/damage fluids within the muscle only stops after this period. The pain is a combination of damage and pressure caused by the extra fluids within the muscle that stimulate the nerve endings.
How to reduce the effects of DOMS:
1. Ice Bathe post exercise. This will help reduce the inflammation as well as help flush some of the fluids out of your muscles.
2. Massage. I use my trusty foam roller and get some circulation going in the affected areas. It’s painful, but worth it.
3. Get moving! As long as you are not injured, exercise can be beneficial. Low intensity, no impact activities (such as cycling or swimming) can do wonders to help get the blood to flow back in those legs.
Happy Valentine’s Day :)