DOMS Like Whoa

There was never really any doubt in my mind that I didn’t give 100% during the Run for the Water.  The race photos I recently received tell the story very clearly:

Mile 5: "Whee yay running is fun I'm swinging my arms awkwardly!!!"

Mile 5: “Whee yay running is fun I’m swinging my arms awkwardly!!!”

Mile 10: "I am #grateful because the guy in front of me threw himself a victory party and mostly blocked this moment of extreme pain from the finish line photographer."

Mile 10: “I am #grateful that the guy in front of me threw himself a finish line victory party and mostly blocked this moment of extreme pain from the photographer.”

On Sunday I didn’t feel too sore.  Mostly I just felt headache-y and nausea-y (technical terms).  I didn’t eat anything until several hours’ post-race, which I know is super bad.  Finally in the early afternoon I caved and took a full dose of Excedrin.  Then I had some pizza and wine and slept for 10 hours and all was right in the world.

Monday morning is when the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) kicked in.  Coincidentally, the NY Times Well Blog had a post that same day on muscle aches post-strenuous exercise.  I mostly agree with the post but take some issue with this part:

So if you do develop D.O.M.S., accept that, for the next five to seven days, you are going to be sore. Refrain from strenuous exercise during this time, Dr. Sailor said, although gentle walking is fine.

I won’t speak for recovery from all forms of exercise or race distances (I’ve never raced anything over 13.1) but there are two things that help me when I’m dealing with DOMS:

  1. More running.  I am not talking about immediately jumping back into speed work and long runs.  I haven’t done any of that this week and I’ve also had more rest days than running days.  But jogging 2-3 miles (followed by intense foam rolling) the day after a race helps me immensely.  “Gentle walking” or cross training aren’t as helpful for me in the first few days post-race.  I learned this the hard (and painful) way after my first half marathon.  Usually the DOMS will be gone by 3 or 4 days post-race.  (I’ve never had soreness last 5-7 days– marathoners/people in other sports, is that a thing?)
  2. Not sitting.  We got sit to stand desks at work recently (similar to these).  I usually still sit most of the day with a standing break in the early afternoon.  But I spent the majority of Monday and Tuesday of this week on my feet and I think it really sped up my recovery.  If you have a desk job, I highly recommend standing while you’re dealing with DOMS if it’s feasible.

A few other running related things I read on the Internet this week:

  • An Italian marathoner went missing for several days after the NYC Marathon (NY Times)
  • This is a really interesting article on gender and endurance (Also the NY Times)
  • From Racked: Why are sports bras so terrible? (For the record, my favorite is the RoadRunner Sports R-Gear Rock Steady T-Back Bra.  I am not small of cup and get zero bounce when I wear it.  I have never had chafing.  And I’ve had at least one of them for 6+ years and it’s still going strong.  My only complaint is that they don’t come in many colors.  I love the patterns on some of the Nike Pro bras but I can’t wear those for runs over an hour  Even with Body Glide everywhere it’s a chafing nightmare.)
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5 Responses to DOMS Like Whoa

  1. janerunswild says:

    Thanks for this info! I have experienced DOMS many times and you have some good tips. Happy running!


  2. Marie says:

    Agree on the DOMS. Even after marathoning I will probably do some form of workout this week even if it’s just gentle yoga or walking. I think laying off completely (barring an injury) just prolongs the soreness.


  3. Pingback: The Week of Minimal Running | Rungry

  4. Pingback: Coming Up Next | Rungry

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