Training for a race can be exhausting and painful. When you put your body through intense workouts each day, it is going to respond with soreness and fatigue. This is true for both experienced and new runners.
Have you ever completed a long run and felt great all day, only to wake up the next morning stiff and sore? You are probably experiencing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is your body’s reaction to overexertion, and it causes tight, painful muscle movements that makes even the thought of exercise seem impossible.
Follow these tips to help reduce DOMS and stick to your routine!
Listen to Your Body
If you are going to demand an entire race (whether it’s a marathon, half marathon, 10K, or quick 2-mile jog) from your body, your body will make demands of its own.
Listen to your body. Don’t ignore pain, don’t ignore fatigue, and don’t ignore dehydration. If you do, your body won’t perform the way you want or need it to.
Take the time to warm up properly. Try to get a good dynamic stretch. Dynamic stretches stretch muscles by improving immediate range of motion—unlike static stretches (like the butterfly stretch) that prohibit immediate flexibility. Most dynamic stretches require a partner for assistance, as force needs to be applied.
If you want to achieve a dynamic stretch but don’t have a partner to offer assistance, try a stretching tool like the TheraBand Stretch Strap. Research shows that the Stretch Strap is as effective at increasing range of motion and improving flexibility as traditional partner stretching.
Warming topical analgesics are also great for warming up and preparing muscles for a long run. Topicals like Perform Atomic Heat are great for relieving any pain or soreness you may have, so you can exercise without the distraction.
Once you’re sure you’re warm, you can exercise comfortably knowing your muscles have received the proper attention they need.
Typical recovery articles talk about using ice to reduce any swelling and inflammation you may have after a run.
Perform Cooling Gel is like the girlfriend ice brings to a family reunion that everyone ends up liking more than ice.
Just like ice, Perform works to cool the skin and reduce pain. But it does this without making you lug an ice bag around the house, and it lasts up to four hours. Apply to any painful area, and you can forget about the pain and focus on your training.
Feet feeling especially sore after a run? Try the Perform Foot Roller Kit, which includes Perform Pain Reliever and a TheraBand Foot Roller, to give your feet a cooling and relaxing massage. The best part? You can freeze the Foot Roller for an even greater cooling sensation.
Rest, Rest, Rest
Don’t burn yourself out by going to bed late, waking up at 4 a.m. and training your heart out every day. You need rest to encourage muscle recovery and allow your body to repair itself. And who doesn’t love sleep?!
Don’t underestimate the importance of proper warm up and recovery practices. If you don’t focus on what you do before and after exercise, you might not be able to enjoy your run. Follow these tips to make sure your next race is a success, and remember to listen to your body!