Running is the simplest way to exercise and has physical and psychological advantage to overall health. Regular running helps in maintaining overall fitness and health of a person. Many runners, both beginners and seasoned athletes can suffer from sore muscles, usually the calf muscles.
A beginner runner usually experiences pain in the calf and thigh muscle after running and in the next morning there will be difficulty in walking, inability in stretching the leg completely caused by pain that usually lasts for 1-2 days before it begins to subside.
- Sore muscles can be caused by buildup of lactic acid in the muscles and break up within 2-3 hours after the accumulation and soreness of the muscles starts the following day.
- A microscopic tear that occurs after straining a muscle and swelling in the muscles produces anti-inflammatory substance, fluid and other molecules that repair the damages. This microscopic change causes muscle pain after performing exercises such as running and usually intense running will cause delayed occurrence of muscle pain and discomfort in the legs.
- Immerse the affected legs in cool water. Apply an ice pack on the affected leg for at least 10-15 minutes in order to help in minimizing the inflammation and pain. Cool water helps in preventing inflammation in the muscles of the leg which causes pain after running.
- A gentle massage helps lessen post-run sore muscles. Massage flushes out the accumulation of wastes in the muscles and also help increase the circulation of blood which is needed in providing nutrients for the repair of the damaged mitochondria of the muscles.
- Perform gentle stretching after running in order to help lessen sore muscles. Gently stretch the lower and the upper part of the body in order to help prevent discomfort in a few minutes after running.
- Take plenty of rest for a few days especially if the individual experiences sore muscles after running. This helps promote fast healing of the microscopic tears in the muscles. The affected person can still perform regular normal activities like walking around the house and performing daily chores. Just make sure to avoid those that might cause pain in the affected area.
- Consume sports drinks during a long run in order to help keep the muscles well supplied with carbohydrate fuel and maintain the muscle glycogen stores for a longer period.
- Consume protein-rich foods or amino acids before running to lessen damage of the muscle during a run.
- Eat a diet that is packed with antioxidants to help strengthen the bodily defenses against exercise-triggered free-radical damage and the ideal sources of antioxidants include fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Increase the consumption of nuts, fish and flaxseeds and take omega-3 supplements.