Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) appears on day 2 or day 3 after a more intense workout, race, long run, or hilly run. The DOMS phenomenon is puzzling to most newer half-marathoners and marathoners because it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. It isn’t fatal, but it does get your attention. Why? Because you had the best workout! You felt great the day after a harder effort. But then, WHAM! You felt quite a bit of discomfort or pain later. We often have runners in the store who think something has gone horribly wrong with their training because “I felt so good yesterday, now everything hurts!”
Warm Up – Especially before Intense Workouts
To minimize Delayed Muscle Onset Soreness be sure to Warm Up before entering the “workout” portion on any run. It will help you lessen DOMS discomfort. Susan and I have always emphasized “starting off easy!” Start every run with a progression of walking, to light jogging, to jogging, to easy running, building to your intended pace over the course of 10-15 minutes. 48-72 hours later your body will be thanking you!
Another way to minimize Delayed Muscle Onset Soreness is to stay properly hydrated. Even a little bit of dehydration can have a dramatic effect on your post-workout soreness and discomfort. Muscles repair best when they are rested and well fed. Hydration and the appropriate “EZ pace” help muscle repair and recover quickly. Just cuz you feel good doesn’t give you permission to go harder. You will pay for that extra bit eventually.
Patience Pays Off
As always, be patient! If you are in a hurry to get in shape, you better factor in some time to recover from the injuries and aches and pains that will follow. There is no rushing the human body. If you push yourself too hard, too long, or too quickly your body will respond by making you sore enough to slow you down and make you re-think your enthusiasm! We call those the “too” injuries and DOMS is their calling card.
Follow a Plan
A solid training plan will guide you to your race goals and help you avoid DOMS. Read about the training plans that Gallagher Fitness Resources offers on our TEAM GFR Saturday Mornings page. The Team GFR Training Plans provide suggestions to balance out your intense days and race days with properly placed recovery workouts. Sign up for a Team GFR Training Plan through RunSignUp. Give them a try this year!