Back in 2015, I ran my first marathon ever. That year was probably the fittest I had ever been up until that point in my life. I was a student at university and had plenty of time to prepare for the 42 km run (in Berlin BTW), only to cross the finish line shortly behind the Brandenburg Gate. After having fulfilled one wish on my Bucket List, I continued doing sports, just not as regularly anymore.
Here comes confession #1: During the last couple of months, I didn’t go running at all. There are a number of reasons which I’m sure everyone can relate to: Work takes up a lot of time. It’s too cold and dark in the winter, too warm in the summer. You’d rather hang out with family and friends. I could go on…
So, imagine my first longer run last Sunday since what felt like was forever. I already felt a light tweak in my calves in the evening later that same day. And boy, did I have sore muscles when I woke up the next day!
Here goes confession #2 (and please don’t judge me 😉 ): Sometimes I like the feeling of sore muscles. Because I can tell that I have done something. That’s also why they say: “No pain, no gain.”
However, this time the pain in my calves was unparalleled. When I wobbled my way on over to work, I was desperate for relieve. I popped on over to one of my colleagues. After all, he himself is a former pro soccer player and sure to have excellent advice in order to reduce the pain I was feeling at that moment and prevent muscles soreness like that from happening again in the future.
Here’s what I found to be extremely useful:
Warm up and stretch
Straining your muscles without adequate preparation not only increases your chances of getting severe muscle soreness, it also puts you at risk for a pulling a tendon, ligament, or muscle during your workout. Therefore, first things first: Warm up with easy cardio exercises, stretch, and only then go full speed.
Sufficient hydration before, during and after the workout helps decrease inflammation (sore muscles) after exercising. Believe me, the next time I’m planning a longer run, I’ll be sure to have the FitLine Fitness-Drink as well as Restorate on board. The carbohydrate electrolyte solution Fitness-Drink contributes to maintaining endurance performance during prolonged endurance exercises. It is easily digestible and can be used before, during, and after strain. It improves the intake of fluids and magnesium contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Restorate, also rich in magnesium, is the ideal “night cap,” because it supports the regeneration.
Ice, Ice, Baby!
Cold baths immediately after an intense workout have been found to significantly reduce muscle soreness. It’s something that almost all pro athletes do. And all amateurs are encouraged to do the same, if they have the means.
For example Felix Tan, competitive triathlete and FitLine fan, trains 6 days a week, with 1 off-day. On off-days he relaxes at home, does some yoga and a lot of foam rolling for his legs and back. After each competition, he dips into an ice bath. Brrrr….but it helps!
They see me rollin’
Massage is a great treatment for sore muscles. Now, since most of us usually don’t have the luxury of hiring our own massage therapist after workouts, a self-massage with foam rollers (black rolls) is an easy and cheap alternative. These techniques will relax sore muscles and stretch them to relieve tension. Jana Stewart, professional fitness model and user of the FitLine products, swears by this technique.
Overall, time will heal all soreness—as long as it’s not something more serious. As for me, the muscles ache is gone, and I’ll be hitting the street again soon for another workout session.
If you’re participating in the Shape Challenge with Rolf Sorg, I’m sure you’ve had your share of pinching muscles. Share your experiences in the comment section.