Last Saturday’s intense weight session in combination with two hours of yard work left me a limping, crippled mess for several days. Monday was brutal. I was slow and walking in an awkward way. So awkwardly that coworkers were asking me what’s up. Oh and did I mentioned I had Icy Hot Patches on my thighs? Yeah, fun times.
Monday night, exhausted and ready to sleep for a week, I took a muscle relaxer and slept like a rock. I woke up able to walk! Thank the Goddess! No longer limping, I decided I’d try a recovery jog/walk/run…whatever I could do…at the gym Tuesday night. I needed to work out some of the stiffness and soreness.
How to Treat Sore Muscles
- Rest. No brainer. I took Monday as a rest day from working out.
- Ice. Did not ice. But if I was going to ice, I would have done it immediately after working out on Saturday–not days later. But that’s just me.
- Heat. I’ve been using my heating pad on my sore muscles because it feels sooo good.
- Massage. Can’t afford it right now because I’m saving some money for a surprise anniversary trip next week.
- Stretching. It does help. Maybe a yoga class would have been good…
- Foam Rolling. Thighs are too sore right now to foam roll but soon I’ll be doing it vigorously!
- Medications. I was drinking a ton of water, taking Advil and then the muscle relaxer. It does help.
- Topical Creams. See: Icy Hot Patches. Yes, they smell. Yes, I smelled when I wore them. 😉
- Active Recovery. I did this. For me it’s swimming. Swimming helps loosen things up and relieves discomfort. Thankfully! Walking has also helped me loosen tight muscles.
Unfortunately it just takes time for the muscles to repair. I’ve been eating more protein in hopes that helps.
By the time I went to the gym Tuesday night my legs were feeling better. I took it easy on the treadmill. I jogged slowly to warm up (at 4.5 speed). Then I was able to run at 5.0. Then I took a few walking breaks. It felt good to move. I did 3.75 miles total but didn’t get my heart rate up very high. That was okay–it was recovery!
After lots and lots of stretching I used the Foam Roller of Death. MAN that hurt! I just did my hamstrings, quads and shins. There was no way my IT Bands could have handled the foam roller yet. I would have been screaming in agony in the middle of the gym!
Calories Burned: 554
I planned on biking into work today but woke up to rain, so that was cancelled. I was disappointed because I was ready to try my new shoes. I hope tonight after work I can fit in a quick ride to practice. I miss biking to work!
QUESTION: How to you recover from a really hard workout?