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!
I then did some weight lifting–no free weights this time. I did lighter plates than normal to give my body a break. Then I stretched it out like nobody’s business. It felt sooo good!
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!
The workout was decent but not great. I had low expectations honestly, so no biggie.
Calories Burned: 554
Dinner was simple and high in protein, thankfully. Sirloin steak, steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing and leftover butternut squash.
I also had dessert. It was just one of those nights and I totally ate my emotions.
A slice of banana bread with some butter and fresh strawberries. Delicious!
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?
Beth @ Beth's Journey
I usually just rest and take advil if it’s really bad. My calves have been KILLING me the last few days and I don’t even know why! I’ve been trying to drink lots of water to flush out my system… we’ll see if it works!
Usually when I’m sore some kind of movement helps me. It helped this week to walk.
Thank you for these tips! I’ve been increasing my weights with my weight lifting routine and I can feel some soreness on the following day. Not too bad yet, but I am increasing pretty dramatically sometimes (I think I started way too light), so I’m afraid I might end up too sore one day.
I think as long as you increase the weights slowly you’ll be okay. I increased the free weights too much too soon because they were too easy to lift for me. All the weight lifting I’ve been doing with the machines gave me the impression I could do more. When in reality I should have done less because it was NEW routine. Doing something new will ALWAYS cause soreness!
Oh the dreaded foam roller…so very painful but in such a weirdly good way! Sounds like you had an eventful weekend! I’m glad you are feeling better. You’re braver than me–I’m not sure I could handle the smell from the topical creams. 🙂
Oh the foam roller….! It hurt!!!!
I just roll on the floor and drool… jk! 😛 I’m a fan of resting, IBProfin and active recovery the most.
Active recovery works well for me, most of the time!
Hi! I’ve been reading your blog a long time–absolutely love it! I lurk every single day–and wanted to let you know that I’ve now started my own blog @ lighterwithlove.wordpress.com. I’m totally new to this (and my blog doesn’t have exciting colors, fonts, or photos…yet), but I want to let people whose blogs I read know that I’m out here!
Thanks for reading, Liz! I will check out your blog. 🙂