I have to admit that I sometimes really like that sore feeling in my legs after a tough workout or race. It's a little reminder of my hard work and makes me feel good about pushing myself.
It's very common for runners to experience muscle soreness or stiffness 24-48 hours after running or other exercise, especially if you're new to running or have made an increase in distance or intensity. This delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will go away on its own after a few days, but here are some tips for dealing with it in the meantime:
- Many professional runners use ice baths to reduce soreness after runs. If you can't tolerate an ice bath, use ice packs on sore areas.
- Don't take off from exercise completely - that may actually make your recovery longer. Active recovery works best. Just make sure you avoid vigorous activity until the soreness has subsided.
- Don't forget to do a 5-10 minute warm-up before your next run or workout. If your muscles are still sore after your warm-up, try some easy stretching.
- Yoga is a safe and relaxing activity to do the day after a hard workout, and it may help reduce DOMS.
- Some research has shown that massage can help ease DOMS, so treat yourself to a professional massage or gently massage your muscles with your hands or a massage tool such as a foam roller or Stick.
- If your pain lasts (or gets worse) longer than a week, make sure you check in with doctor.