7 tips for runners with muscle soreness

Mirjam Steunebrink
Mirjam Steunebrink Vrijdag, 2 oktober 2015
7 tips for runners with muscle soreness

Muscle soreness after a workout: everyone has had it. But why exactly does muscle soreness happen? And more importantly, how do you get rid of it? And can you keep running when you have muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness is caused by small tears in the muscle tissue. The pain usually starts a few hours to a day after the effort. The damaged muscle heals and makes it more resistant to exertion in the future. During the healing process, the muscle is therefore a bit more sensitive and vulnerable, but in the end it winds up stronger. Moreover, you can also experience muscle soreness during exertion, but this is a different kind of muscle pain.

Muscle ache is a harmless pain and usually disappears on its own after a few days. You don’t have to do anything for this. However, there are some tips for when you suffer from muscle pain.

1. Active recovery

When you have muscle ache, it is recommended that you keep exercising. This is also called ‘active recovery’. This can include some easy cycling, walking or swimming. Exercise promotes blood flow in the muscles. Better blood flow ensures faster recovery, as more oxygen and nutrients can reach the muscle tissue. Waste products are also disposed of more quickly.

2. Fluids

Getting enough to drink is also a good tip when you are suffering from muscle soreness. By taking in enough fluids, the waste products can be removed more quickly. This speeds up the process, as a result of which you can get rid of the muscle pain faster.

3. Massage

A massage by a sports masseur can also be effective for muscle soreness. However, a massage such as this is usually quite painful. So it will not be really relaxing, but it can get rid of muscle soreness faster.

4. Good warm-up and cooldown

If you do exercise with muscle soreness, make sure you have a good warm-up and cooldown. This will ensure that your muscles are warm enough before starting the sporting activity and will give your body time to relax and get rid of waste products during the cooldown.

5. Stretch carefully before and after exercise

You can also stretch your muscles slightly before and after exercise. This does not have to be done in extreme positions, but it can be nice for your muscles.

6. Keep your muscles warm

By keeping your muscles warm, your sore muscles will also recover faster. You can, for example, take a hot bath or take a sauna.

7. Sufficient protein

Finally, nutrition can also do a lot for a quick recovery of muscle pain. Eating enough protein will help this process. Proteins can also be preventive in case of muscle soreness. So a high-protein bar or shake or a good recovery meal after a tough workout is not unwise!

Mirjam Steunebrink
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Mirjam Steunebrink

'Mirjam Steunebrink (45 jaar) is sportarts bij het Martini Sportmedisch Centrum in Groningen. Daarnaast is zij bondsarts bij het langebaan schaatsen, waarbij zij meegaat naar internationale wedstrijden. Zelf is zij gepassioneerd (ultra/berg)loper en momenteel in voorbereiding voor een halve Ironman voor KiKa