We all know how it feels – soreness is part of running. Mild soreness can be enjoyable, like that little relaxed ache you feel when you put in a good workout. But when you’re too sore to walk, you know it’s getting excessive. Between prevention and treatment, there are plenty of ways to alleviate excessive soreness. When you reduce soreness you’re able spend more time being active, making your training that much more effective and your life that much happier. Here are a few simple tips for keeping sore muscles at bay:
1. Ease Into It
Over-the-top soreness generally means your workout was too hard. If you’re too sore, try running fewer miles or running at lower intensity to start out. Work your way up to higher mileage gradually. You should be mildly sore, but not excessively.
Post-workout nutrition is critical for good recovery. Eat high quality carbohydrates and protein shortly after each workout to give your muscles the nutrients they need to repair. Or better yet, drink Fluid immediately after your run to get the ideal mix of nutrients for the best recovery possible.
The cells in your muscles need water to function properly. When you exercise they become dehydrated, reducing their ability to self-repair. Be sure to re-hydrate fully after each workout to give the cells in your muscles the best shot at repairing themselves.
4. Get a Massage
With any repetitive exercise such as running, muscles can become knotted. These knots prevents muscles from stretching out like they should, which keeps circulation from delivering nutrients to the affected muscle. Schedule a sports massage once per month and/or use a foam roller after each workout to break up knots and keep the circulation in your muscles strong.
5. Keep the Blood Moving
The more blood that passes through your muscles, the more toxins are removed and the more nutrients are delivered. Keep your blood flowing after workouts and on off days by staying moving. Go for a walk or a casual bike ride to keep blood flowing and prevent soreness.
In much the same way foam rolling, massage and casual off-day exercise helps, so does stretching. Stretch after each workout (and during if you can) to keep your muscles pliable. By opening your joints and lengthening your muscles with stretching, you’re helping to eliminate toxins and deliver fresh blood to the parts of your body that need it most.