What's the deal with DOMS
“Big session yesterday, I’ve got DOMS.”
“serious DOMS today mate”
DOMS, a term that gets thrown around a lot, but what on earth does it mean.
FGS Striver, Tej Thaker (@tej121) gives us the low-down on DOMS. Tej is a Team GB AG Triathlete & Duathlete. Coming from a non-swimming, cycling or running background, Tej has had his fair share of DOMS throughout the years.
So, what does DOMS stand for?
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
And what exactly does that mean?
It’s when you feel very sore a day or two after a big workout.
High-intensity workouts cause microscopic tears in your muscle fibres which will result in the muscles you’ve worked out to feel very sore, stiff, and ache.
There is inflammation round your muscles and blood then rushes to these areas to help repair the muscle fibres.
Does this mean I’ve injured myself?
Not at all. In fact DOMS is an indication that you’ve started a new type of workout or you’ve pushed very hard and now your body is adapting, recovering and as a result getting stronger.
How long will this feeling last for?
The onset of the soreness is normally after 12-24 hours of your workout (hence “Delayed Onset”) and can last for up to 2-3 days.
Should I stop all exercise until my muscles don’t feel sore?
Rest is definitely the best form of recovery, however doing nothing at all will in fact prolong your recovery time.
Low impact and gentle exercise is a great method to help speed up this process.
I often opt to swim, do an easy yoga session on YouTube and take out the dreaded foam roller.
Is there anything else I can do to speed up recovery?
Magnesium has long been used for its muscle-relaxing qualities and has proven effects to widen blood vessels and therefore sped up recovery.
You can get magnesium tablets from your pharmacy (seek advice from pharmacist), or a great method to get this into your body is to take a bath with Epsom bath salts which are rich in magnesium.
Should I eat anything specific?
There isn’t one specific diet that suits all, therefore I’m a big advocate of a balanced diet.
Your meals and food intake should be reflective of the type of training you’re doing on each day, and your goal.
Within 20 minutes of finishing a long bike ride, or run I love a Chocolate For Goodness Shake Recovery drink. It has a 3-to-1 Carb:Protein ratio an contains Vitamin B12 and Niacin which contribute to reducing tiredness and fatigue.
Is there any way to prevent DOMS?
Yes and no.
If you continue to do different and difficult sessions, DOMS are unavoidable.
However your muscles will repair themselves and get stronger. Then as you continue to do these training sessions you’ll notice your body has adapted and you won’t suffer from DOMS as much or your recovery will be much quicker.
DOMS are necessary for growth and that ache and stiffness you feel can be an indication that you’ve worked hard.
Well done and good luck training!!