Sore Muscles During Your Training Protocol? Here is What to do!
As a runner, you understand the importance of fast, hard runs or long, slow distance mile runs and working out as part of the training process. Have you ever enjoyed a run during which you felt strong, and experienced an incredible runner’s high – just to wake up the next morning with painful legs?
Sore muscles are par for the course with every type of exercise, and when you run, you place tremendous stress on your legs. It’s only natural that it would hurt for a few days. But how are you to deal with it and not impact your training? Should you still run more while your legs are sore?
Unless you’re actually injured (you’ll know if you are!) there’s a simple, proven process to follow.
#1 – Hydrate!
The first step in treating sore muscles begins the moment you cross that finish line. Grab a drink and hydrate – whether it’s an electrolyte solution, like RePlenish, or plain water.
And during fall training, it might be a cold day, but don’t let that fool you! You still perspire, even on a cold day.
#2 – Stretch
Once you’ve had a drink and rehydrated, it’s time to stretch your weary muscles. Try to start your stretching routine within half hour of finishing time and stretch for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The main muscle groups to focus on when stretching include the hips, calves, hamstrings and quads, as well as any other parts that might feel a bit tender.
If you’re injured or sore from previous runs, don’t forget to use a foam roller to roll out any tightness and knots.
#3 – Refuel
Many runners don’t feel hungry after a run, but a post-run snack or drink will help refuel. Your post-run snack should have a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio. Opt for granola with yogurt, a peanut butter and banana bagel and orange juice, or even chocolate milk.
You can enjoy a proper balanced meal about an hour or two after your run. At that point, your body will need something a bit more substantial, such as an omelet with vegetables and whole wheat toast, oatmeal with fruit, yogurt and fruit, or protein pancakes.
#4 – Ice Bath
Prepare your bathtub with cold water and ice to create a cool bath temperature of 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Immerse your legs and hips and hang in there. It should get easier after the first three to five minutes, allowing you to relax a bit. Try not to exceed 20 minutes.
#5 – Rest & Recover
Resting allows your body to recover from exercise and is a crucial component of the training process. Be sure to allow your muscles the proper resting time, typically 1-2 days, between hard or long runs.
#6 – Take Magnesium
While magnesium is known for the ability to help with restful sleep, it also reduces muscle contractions allowing muscle tissue to recover and it aids in electrolyte balance. Tack on the fact that magnesium is an essential enzymatic component in energy metabolism, cell growth and production, protein synthesis and blood pressure regulation and it is easy to see why this power supplement is a go to for your running protocol.