It can be increasingly common for a lot of runners to experience various types of muscle soreness after an extended run. This is especially true after 24 to 48 hours post-exercise. This is whether they are new or not. For newer runners, this soreness is expected to be even more severe. This is known as “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).” This soreness typically goes away by itself after a bunch of days, but there are certain things you can do to speed up the recovery process.
- Get Stretching
One of the best ways to speed up the entire recovery process is by stretching. Stretching is an effective way to get yourself recovered quicker. This is especially true after hard-running sessions. If you have run for an extended period, try to fit in at least 10 minutes of static stretching. That way, you can get your muscles loose before you rest. Try to focus on key muscles that have been worn out during your run. These include various leg muscles like your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
- Start Icing
When you are looking to improve your muscle recovery, you should turn to ice. Using ice is one of the best ways to reduce swelling and inflammation post-run. This can be a very effective way to speed up your recovery process which is why you will see a lot of professionals using ice baths. If you can tolerate it, an ice bath is easily one of the most effective ways to recover quicker because it stimulates blood flow and helps boost circulation throughout your body. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t need to sit there with ice on your muscles for over 15 minutes.
- Replenish Your Nutrients
Another thing you need to do when you are looking to improve your recovery efforts is to replenish all of your lost nutrients. You want to look to replenish as much energy as possible after a hard run. There have been studies that have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding stored glucose within one-hour post-exercise. Therefore, you should attempt to eat something after exercising and try to fill it with carbs and protein. Carbs can help you refuel your muscles and protein can help with protein synthesis to repair your muscles after a hard workout.
Typically, you want to have a solid ratio of 1 gram of protein to 3 grams of carbohydrates. Thus, you want to use various health bars like a Clif bar for a healthy and convenient post-exercise snack. These bars are specially formulated for active people to help you replenish lost nutrients and help you recover from intense workouts.
If you don’t think you can stomach any real food after a long and hard run, you could always turn to something like chocolate milk. This will deliver you plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins that your muscles can use for recovery.
- Don’t Stop Moving
A lot of people assume they need to completely get off their feet to recover. The truth is, you should keep moving. Moving is one of the best ways to speed up your recovery efforts. When you sit for too long, it’s likely to cause your muscles to become even sorer. It’s only going to make your muscles increasingly stiff which can increase soreness overall. Try to get up and on your feet to keep the blood flowing to avoid stiffness.
While you don’t want to continue to do the excessive exercise until your soreness goes away, you do want to stay active. Don’t sit all day try to keep moving and do some stretching the following day. Orthotic sandals will make this a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience as your feet are supported.
- Warm Up Better
If you are looking to avoid a lot of the soreness you may experience, you’ll want to try to do some more warm-ups before running next time. This can be a good way to keep your muscles primed for exercise. That way, you can avoid a lot of preventable soreness. This can help minimize your risk of suffering an injury too. If you are already sore and you want to get back into running, you can do the same thing. Try to warm up your muscles and see if you can ease your way into your run.
- Do Some Yoga
Yoga can be one of the best and most effective ways to reduce soreness in your muscles. Yoga is not only a good way to incorporate more stretching into your routine, but it can help you increase muscle strength and it can be relaxing.
Getting a massage can be a great way to reduce muscle soreness. It works because it helps to decrease inflammation and it can help to boost circulation.
- Don’t Ignore The Pain
If you are experiencing pain that lasts over a week or the pain gets worse, you may want to consider checking in with your doctor. They will be able to look more closely to see whether or not you are dealing with some kind of injury.