Running has many health benefits, we get healthier, feel better, stronger and happier. Feeling sore muscles after some runs is very common for many runners. Muscle soreness comes from the breakdown of muscle after runs or strength training, it tells the body to build it back stronger. To feel light sore muscles is very common, but to feel intense sore muscles after a run is a side effect of going way beyond our physical limits, pushing too hard and running a long distance we are not used to.
Tips to Avoid Intense Muscle Soreness
Following the 10% rule of increasing the weekly kilometres. No more than 10% extra kilometres weekly is good training to increase the distance and prevent intense muscle soreness.
Remember 80% of your weekly runs should be easy pace runs.
Don’t forget that your body needs FUEL to recover, which means carbs, protein, healthy fats and hydration.
If you can’t walk down steps or stairs, don’t push hard during a run to protect some muscles (quads, knees).
How to Relieve Sore Muscles From Running
The best recommendations to relieve muscle soreness
Epsom salt bath
Compression tights or socks for recovery
Magnesium gel or lotion
CBD cream or oil
Hydration with electrolytes
Good quality sleep
1. Epsom Salt Bath
Heat is also a great way to loosen up tight muscles and is very relaxing. Any type of Epsom salt is a great option, and to add some lavender if we take a bath before bedtime, it will provide extra sleep time and sleep quality.
2. Compression Tights
Short runs in compression tights can provide extra support, but to wear compression socks or tights for long-distance runs will cause some muscle tightness.
To wear compression tights after long runs can increase blood flow to help increase recovery.
Muscles that are tight or spasming feel better with compression, again by increasing blood flow.
3. Magnesium Gel or Lotion
Reduces muscle cramps.
Helps with muscle fatigue.
Can improve mood and fat loss if we are depleted of magnesium.
4. CBD Cream and Oil
Even for post knee surgery, using CBD oil will increase recovery and speed up healing.
Oil is great at night to help with whole body inflammation.
Oil is great at night to improve sleep.
Cream is perfect for a localized ache or pain.
CBD bath bombs will help sleep like a dream.
If you need to take a pain reliever, then you’ve gone from soreness to something more. You should not take pain relievers before running as it can cause liver damage and stomach issues.
Turmeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory.
Don’t consume Turmeric immediately after a run or training session, we need that short term inflammation to help for the build-up of our muscles, and recovery.
6. Light Stretching
Not everything we do needs to be hard core, high intensity or sweat breaking.
Restorative yoga for runners, or light stretching are a great way to get some movement in the legs which helps to increase the blood flow and that can help remove the waste build up causing soreness.
Recovery is about helping the body to reset.
We need SLOW activities to focus on good breathing.
We need SLOW activities to lower cortisol (total body stress).
Restorative yoga helps to open up tight hips.
Light stretching is also about opening up range of motion, not about building extensive flexibility.
7. Light Activity
Similar to the stretching, an easy walk or even easy bike ride is what we like to call active recovery.
Sometimes we need a day to simply rest, but active recovery helps to keep the body from getting stiff and the simply slow easy movements, get the blood flowing which improves recovery and our mood.
We talk about running being mental, but it turns out that our recovery is mental therapy as well.
We have to work on stress to optimize recovery and getting outside for some Vitamin D is hugely helpful in that recovery process as well.
8. Hydration & Electrolytes
Muscles that are dehydrated often feel more fatigued and sore, electrolytes help so much to support muscle strength and avoid muscle soreness and cramping.
Step 1 just carry a water bottle and start sipping all day long.
Step 2 include some electrolytes if you need some rehydration.
Electrolytes aren’t just about replacing the sodium lost during sweat. Calcium potassium, magnesium and chloride are part of the mix as well to help maintain fluid balance and muscle contractions.
One of the BEST recovery tool that we all need is sleep. Multiple studies have shown that an increase of our sleep pattern helps to improve performance. We also know that elite runners rely a long night sleep and a daily nap to support their training goals.
Add a minute of sleep for every kilometre you’re running.
Get in to a good sleep routine so that you start making it a priority.
If you can, take a nap after long runs.
Sleep is when our body produces growth hormone which stimulates muscle growth and repair.
Good Muscle Recovery, Low Level of Muscle Soreness, Better Runs and Great Training!