Monday, 6 May 2013

Away with DOMS!

The bane of multi day endurance athletes - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Know anyone who's run a marathon and can't walk downstairs the next day? Or sometimes the day after that? Well that's DOMS for you.

I also call it concrete thighs - because as well as the soreness your quads become slightly swollen in their sheaths and feel solid. Either way it's really unpleasant to have to start running again feeling like this - every step hurts. And I know it will happen - but I reckon practice can mitigate it.

How so? Well your average caveman didn't say to his mates - "Sorry can't join you today boys - a touch of the old DOMS. So you'll have to catch that woolly mammoth without me." And he didn't because he either hunted every day or died.

So after every long run you go out again the next day no matter what it feels like. And even if you only get going for 20 minutes or so at little more than a walk. It tells your mind and your body that this is what is expected. And it does stop the DOMS. So don't waste a long run by having a complete rest the next day!

Think I'm crazy? Well that maybe so but I can point you to elite athletes you all know who do the same. Tour de France cyclists - what do they do on their rest days? The whole team goes for a ride.And they do it to prevent DOMS and stiffness.

So for me the crest of my current training cycle this bank holiday weekend was a great test. 34 of your hilly Peak District miles on Saturday morning. 10 miles of extreme hills on Sunday - a bit difficult to get going but ended up running well. Followed by gym this morning - heavy leg session - and 10 miler round the rolling local hills this afternoon which went superbly. No DOMS!!

Finally - why 34 (or more than marathon) on so many days at the moment? Well it's all about time not about distance. I will be out on the road for at least 6 hours on many days during the 30. And I have to get used to it. At the moment without an accumulation of miles if I stay out for over 5 hours I happen to do 30 miles or more. But it's about the time not the distance.

"Pain is inevitable : Suffering is Optional" - a wise quote from my wise friend Nick Sutherland.

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