Home / News

Why will you be sore the next day after running?


Many people think it's lactic acid build-up, but it's not.


Lactic acid is the metabolic waste produced by the anaerobic metabolism of the body after the exercise reaches a certain intensity, which makes you feel fatigue and muscle soreness - that is, the muscles have a burning sensation and make you feel that you can't run.



But you will also find that when you slow down or walk a bit, this feeling lessens again and you can continue running again.


This is because when you reduce the intensity of your exercise, your body has time to get rid of the waste: most of the lactic acid is broken down by aerobic metabolism into water and carbon dioxide and releases energy, and within an hour after you stop exercising, the lactic acid is reduced to normal levels.


So lactic acid buildup is not the culprit that keeps you out of bed the next day.


The real "culprit" is it - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)


The prevailing view is that delayed muscle soreness is due to sudden and heavy exercise, which overloads the muscles and causes minor damage to the muscle fibers and fascia.



It takes some time for painful substances to be transmitted to the receptors of the fascia, so delayed muscle soreness usually appears a few hours or a day or two after exercise.


Although "minor muscle fiber damage" sounds terrible, in fact, without any treatment, the soreness will naturally disappear after just resting for 3-7 days.


For some people who do not exercise regularly, sudden strenuous exercise is prone to symptoms of DOMS.



How to relieve delayed-onset muscle soreness?


1) Stretching, massage


Static stretching can relax tight muscles, improve blood circulation, accelerate the discharge of metabolites, and relieve the symptoms of DOMS. However, before stretching, it is best to use a foam roller or a massage gun to relax the fascia and deep muscles.


Briefly explain the fascia.


Have you noticed that the surface of raw pork has some white flowers and thin, flexible tendons?

That is the fascia.


The fascia not only wraps the muscles, but also divides the muscles into several bundles, so that each bundle of a muscle can contract independently without affecting each other.

Imagine a rubber band is clenched tightly in your hand, can it still be pulled?


In the same way, if the fascia that wraps the muscles is too tight, the contraction and relaxation of the muscles inside will be limited, and it will not be able to relax completely.


Fascia tension coupled with muscle fiber entanglement, if you do not relax and comb for a long time, the muscles may "knot". The technical term is called "trigger point"-certain points on the surface of the muscle are particularly painful when pressed.



Therefore, first relax the fascia and then stretch the muscles to completely relax.


Don't be too troublesome. Treating your body well is the highest investment return ratio.


2) Alternate hot and cold bath


Some athletes claim that alternating hot and cold baths can make them recover faster and at the same time reduce muscle pain. This is actually based on science.


Because hot water relaxes your blood vessels, cold water shrinks them, alternately continuously, which can speed up the body's metabolism and expel waste from the body.


Be careful not to switch the temperature too fast or too quickly, turn it slowly, and let your body adapt. Generally, wash with hot water for 2 minutes, then rinse with cold water for 30 seconds, and go back and forth 3 to 4 times.


3) "Active Recovery"


Studies have shown that continuing to exercise after the emergence of DOMS will not increase the degree and duration of DOMS, but can relieve pain to a certain extent and help recovery.


But you need to choose some simple, gentle aerobic exercises (such as brisk walking, yoga, jogging) to promote the body's blood circulation, accelerate the absorption of nutrients, and repair damaged cells.


4) Eat well and sleep well


Supplement protein and vitamins, eat more white meat, and ensure adequate amounts of alkaline foods such as vegetables to accelerate muscle repair.


Maintain good quality and adequate sleep. During sleep, your body produces growth hormone (GH), which is mainly responsible for tissue growth and repair


How to avoid DOMS?


1) Warm up carefully before exercise, relax and cool down after exercise


2) Gradually increase training volume and training intensity


How to control the amount of each increase?


You can refer to the "10% rule"-the added mileage or running time per week should not exceed 10% of the previous week


3) Increase resistance training


Proper exercise of lower limb strength, such as squat, lunge squat, hip bridge, etc., can make the lower limb muscles adapt to higher-intensity running, and it is also effective in preventing muscle pain.


And DOMS is not harmful in nature, it is the body's innate self-protection mechanism. It is also a necessary process to increase training intensity, adapt to muscle strength and endurance enhancement, muscle recovery and growth.


As Nietzsche said:


That which does not kill us makes us stronger.