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How to Deal With Muscle Soreness After Running

Tips for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness


Updated July 01, 2012

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.

Try some ice.

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. 

Keep moving.

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.

Do your warm-up.

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.

Try some yoga.

Yoga is a safe and relaxing activity to do the day after a hard workout, and it may help reduce DOMS.
More: Yoga Moves for Runners

Go for a massage.

Some research has shown that massage can help ease DOMS, so you can go for a professional massage or try doing some gentle massage your muscles with your hands or a massage tool such as a foam roller or Stick.

Don't ignore lingering pain.

If your pain lasts (or gets worse) longer than about 7 days, make sure you check in with doctor.

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