Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Feeling sore? Don't sit around!

As you may know from reading a previous recent post, Val and I engaged in some serious cross-training this past weekend. Okay, so I wouldn't really call it the ideal cross-training for distance running, but playing soccer got us both moving and very engaged in the sport we have been missing for quite a while.

The next two days we were out of commission. As noted in the previous post, our bodies ached all over and we couldn't even lift out knees above our waist (think high-knees position). It is precisely for this reason and for what happened on the second morning after soccer why I thought this scenario make for an interesting blog post.

You may wonder how you can be in such great fitness shape (if you are) and still be so sore after doing some cross-training or participating in a new exercise or sport. Well that is exactly why you are so sore. When you do something that is new, it is very likely that you are engaging different muscles. It is likely that you never actually engage those different muscles when you perform your regular activity (for me: running; I don't typically run backwards, sideways, or kick a ball when I run) so exerting them so suddenly is certainly a recipe for soreness the next day or few days as is more likely (this is referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS). Unless, however, you do what I didn't to reduce the chances of next-day sore-and-stiffness. So what didn't I do? Everything that I am about to list below which I recommend you do (when applicable) after incorporating a new exercise or participating in a recreational activity even if just for fun:

-Cool-down; This can be a light jog or run or maybe a more brisk walk. I'd say 5-15 minutes should be enough to at least combat the stiffness you'll feel the day day if you fail to cool-down

-Light stretching; You don't want to overstretch. When you use new muscles, you are doing just that--stretching them. So only light stretching is necessary and should be done after your light 5-15 minute cool-down

-Don't sit around for the rest of the day; This is surely going to lead you to feel sore and stiff tomorrow even if you did your cool-down and light stretching immediately after the activity. You don't have to exercise again and overdo it, but just staying upright and moving will greatly reduce the stiffness to follow.

-Run a bath (such an odd saying) with warm-hot water; This is going to relax and loosen your muscles and prime them for some light stretching if you want. You could even massage your legs and arms while you're laying in there, but if you just choose to relax with some music instead...who could blame you!

Still feeling sore the next day? This is very possible, but don't use that as a reason or excuse to lounge around all day. Extra movement or even a light run or some cycling will do wonders for reducing stiffness and quickening your full recovery process. Val and I learned this the hard way. We didn't run the next day, and were so stiff  the second morning. I decided to go for a light 1 mile jog and after the first half-mile my whole body felt 100x better!

I've since recovered from my stiffness (just dealing with some bruised muscles from when players thought my leg was the ball) and proceeded to finally get in a good workout yesterday morning. I haven't done a tempo run in quite a while so I decided to hold a 6:20 pace for 16 laps around the track (4 miles ya newbies! Unless you're being really technical in which case a few extra meters are required). Needless to say, my legs definitely recovered from soccer and I have to credit eating right, finally moving around when I wanted to just sit, and good old father time for me being able to bounce back like that.

Now, there is a good chance I will be playing some more pick-up soccer late this evening and you can be assured I will run a light cool-down after, followed by some light stretching so that I am not immobile tomorrow.

Before I go, I wanted to share with you one of the greatest things I came across yesterday:

I couldn't agree more! But I still hope you celebrated National Running Day yesterday!

Happy Running!!

No comments:

Post a Comment