Soreness And Pain After A Race
Congratulations to all those who completed any of the Standard Chartered marathon runs. Whatever your distance, you should feel a huge sense of achievement, if not a little tired and sore. We thought it would be worth reminding you of some of the post-race recovery information. First of all, it is normal to feel sore after such an event. By taking part in such an event your muscles will have become depleted in glycogen (the body’s way of storing sugar). The repetitiveness of running will have also have taken its toll on your muscle fibers. To maximize your recovery it is advisable to eat a diet high in protein and carbohydrates. The protein will help your body to repair micro-damage to your muscles.
Meat is the best source of protein. For vegetarians, it is important to consume a variety of protein-rich sources. Examples may include lentils, beans, rice, milk, soya, brown bread, and tofu. Often the proteins in non-meat sources are incomplete. By mixing your intake of protein from various sources you will supply your body with complete proteins. To rebuild up your glycogen levels you should eat carbohydrates. Remember the sooner you consume carbohydrates after exercise the better and quicker your recovery will be. Good sources of carbohydrates include rice, bread, pasta, and potatoes, but the list is endless.
“Remember the sooner you consume carbohydrates after exercise the better and quicker your recovery will be. Good sources of carbohydrates include rice, bread, pasta, and potatoes, but the list is endless.”
Let’s not forget water.
Being in Singapore with its heat and humidity, this is probably the most important issue. One way to know if you have drunk enough water is to look at your urine. If you are not going to the toilet every couple of hours you are most likely dehydrated. When you do go your urine should be clear or light straw color.
If it is dark you are not drinking enough water. This can make you feel tired and affect your mood. It is worth noting that if you consume caffeine it can sometimes act as a diuretic and make you urinate more than normal. This can cause your urine to be clear even though you are dehydrated. We are not saying don’t drink caffeine, just don’t drink too much and drink extra water with it.
An Advice To Recover Your Muscles
As for those tight muscles, it is advisable to take a break from running for a few days or maybe a week until your legs have had an opportunity to recover. We advocate active rest. That means that even though you are not training for a couple of days you should keep moving. Go for walks or a gentle swim. This will help with the muscle soreness and will help to loosen you up.
It is good to stretch little and often. If you are suffering from DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) you will need to be more patient with your stretches. If you take your time you will normally be able to encourage your muscles to let go during stretching. We have attached some stretches which you should find useful. Why not print them off and put them somewhere to remind you, like your fridge door or a mirror.
Once you feel your legs are starting to recover you may decide to return to training. Sometimes it is good to do a few gentle sessions on the bike or cross trainer just to get everything moving again.
This way you are able to maintain your hard-earned fitness level whilst at the same time recovering from your big run. Now you have completed one event it may be a good time to think about what you are going to do next. To help keep motivated it can be useful to book yourself a place for another event, maybe in 6 weeks' time. This way you will be able to keep the momentum going and build on your hard-earned fitness level. Just follow the above tips and return gradually to training.
If you have noticed any symptoms such as soreness, tightness, etc that you experienced during your training or on the race, now is the time to seek help and try to prevent it from bothering you in the future. Sometimes people have an area of their body that plays up and gives them trouble from time to time. For example, your lower back feels sore during or after a run.
Or you have a hamstring that pulls once every year whilst running or playing football. We tend to accept these types of injuries as something that we need to live with. Normally there is a solution. Every time you get injured it means time off training as well as pain and discomfort.
For some, it can mean they end up giving up exercise altogether. Here at The Osteopathic Centre, we believe that one of our roles is to treat injuries, to enable you to keep exercising. Often there is a solution to your injury; you don’t have to “just put up with it”. And remember prevention is better than a cure. So once again well done!
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