Dealing with DOMS: exercise recuperation
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is also known as muscle fever; the concept that the muscles are suffering, particularly after exercise. If you completed the Virgin London marathon last weekend, then your muscles are suffering. 26.2 miles is a distance that is not regularly completed by us humans, so to put your body through this strenuous exercise expedition will result in some muscle soreness, alongside the euphoria of completing the race.
This muscle soreness usually reaches its peak between 24-72 hours after the intense exercise, hence the name ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’.
DOMS: recuperation tips
There has been much research into DOMS, but the general consensus is that the pain is brought about by inflammation caused by microscopic tears of muscle fibres.
So what can you do to aid your recovery, whether from the marathon or from other exercise?
Put simply, massage reduces inflammation of the muscles and actually speeds up the recovery process. The science behind post-exercise massage can get quite deep, literally. Do you really need us to present the science to convince you to book a massage? Probably not!
Protein aids muscle repair and carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores. Eat as many protein-filled sandwiches as you wish!
Water is the substance of life. We need it for nearly every bodily function. After 26.2 miles of exercise, you will have lost a lot of water through sweating, breathing and urinating (in a Portaloo, we hope!). Rehydrate your body and drink lots of H2O.
We have to admit, we’ve have never tried this, preferring piping hot baths too much. However, the ice bath is common practice amongst the elite athletes out there. The basic thinking behind this punishing approach to recovery is that the ice-cold water reduces the inflammation of the tiny muscle tears, reducing the pain.
Our favourite recovery method. You have every right to a lie-in if you have just completed the London marathon. This is the period your body goes into recovery mode at its best. Get a minimum 8 hours’ shut-eye.
If you’ve just completed the London marathon, congratulations. Show off your medal, enjoy the post-run high, recover fully and then enter your next running race!
What tips do you have for dealing with DOMS in your exercise regime?
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