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How To Beat DOMS

Categories: Exercise, Massage

Have you ever had DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness)?

I know I have and this weekend was no exception. I was at Mud7, the OCR hosted by Obstacle Race Magazine. I pushed myself on the course and loved the challenge of the different sections, the farmers walks, and barrel rolls up the hills were particularly brutal towards the end of the race and that doesn't count the climbs and crawls on the course.

Oh and of course the mud. Wet mud, dry mud, sticky mud, thick mud, smelly mud, orange mud, you name it there was a lot of mud. I never knew you could get so much mud stuck in your ears?!

But that makes me back to DOMS, trying to wash kit out when your achy isn't fun, or the idea of chasing around after Monty the non stop two year old. Ouch!

It's like my clients were getting their revenge on me after i introduce a new training plan to them and warn them they may be a bit achy after the session.

What is DOMS?

In simple terms its when we feel stiffness and pain in our body or the area we've been training 24 - 48 hours after training. So if you've ever felt worse the day after, the day after training that DOMS taking effect.

Why do I get DOMS?

It happens when you introduce a new exercise and progress your training. It causes micro tears in the muscles, which as they recover and reform they become stronger. But as this process happens it creates inflammation in the muscles and that is the reason for the soreness.

Best Treatment for DOMS?

Put some Epsom Slats in a warm bath, the magnesium in the salts helps to widen the blood vessels and speed up your recovery. Lots of my clients swear by them after their long runs.

If your're crazy enough to endure the opposite of a nice warm bath, ice baths have also been shown to help combat the micro tears in the muscles. You'll see professional athletes sit in them after training.

For me personally knowing how much I hate the cold, I'll stick to the Epsom salt bath.

Foam Rolling and massage can help, so make sure after a hard session you're using your foam roller and trigger point ball on the knots and sore muscles to relive the aches and pains. Or even better go and book a sports massage and have somebody else do it for you.

Can I avoid DOMS?

If you're constantly progressing your training, at some point you're going to get DOMS, just look at it as a sign your getting fitter and stronger. Compression clothing has been shown to help your recovery, so could be worth investigating them if you really suffer from it.

If you know you're doing a session where you're likely to be in pain afterwards, make sure you've planned a gentle session or active recovery session the day after.

This could be going to yoga and stretching or going swimming. I took Monty swimming on the Sunday morning, not sure if it totally counts as a recovery session but it was good fun chasing after him in the pool.



PS What are your magic remedies for getting over DOMS?