Don’t be fooled by the title – I’m not talking specifically about Chief Organiser of Helping Hearts 2013, Dom. I’m talking about that exercise phenomenon Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) – that muscle pain you sometimes feel 1-2 days after exercise.
As long as you haven’t actually sustained an injury (that pain would be felt at the time of exercise), this pain is GOOD. It is essentially tiny microscopic muscle tears which then repair themselves and make you STRONGER. It’s typically felt after trying new exercises, after an event, or a particularly long exercise session.
So what can you do about it ? I don’t think there’s a tried and tested way to minimise it but there are a range of things that can help – make sure you cool down and stretch properly after the exercise, have a rest day or two, try an ice bath (ick!) or a sports massage (yes please!) Just be sensible and listen to your body – don’t try to smash another PB or big exercise session if you’re suffering from it – although lighter exercise will be fine.
Dom and I knocked out a 17k run last weekend – and while my muscles felt sore and tired for the rest of the day, Dom felt fine. The next day, it was complete reversal – I felt fine, and Dom was suffering from DOMS… damn, it possibly made him faster!
Moral of the story – embrace the pain people, it will make you stronger!