Ow…ow…ow…ow…(dealing with soreness)

For runners (and athletes in general), soreness is a fact of life.

Whether it’s from training hard, racing hard, or just getting accustomed to a new activity, we all get sore from time to time.

And that isn’t a bad thing.  It’s actually part of getting stronger.  The trick isn’t necessarily avoiding soreness, but finding ways to manage it when it becomes an issue.  Here are four ways to soothe muscle soreness and get yourself firing on all cylinders again as quickly as possible.

Ice down.  A main cause of soreness is a subtle swelling in the muscles.  When you first start to feel sore (most likely the morning after your intense activity), cooling your muscles can provide fast relief.

Apply heat.  Once your soreness starts to turn the corner and begin to feel a little better, applying heat to problem spots can improve circulation and help you recover faster.

Get a massage.  Massaging away aches and pains, though sometimes uncomfortable at the time, can accelerate your journey back to feeling 100 percent.   You don’t need a professional massage  (though those work, too).  Simply kneading away on your own after a stretch or while you’re watching TV can do a world of good.

Run.  Yep.  Even if you can barely walk, more running can be the best remedy of all.  Just a light jog outside of your usual training program can help you loosen up and help tired muscles recover.

Soreness shouldn’t wreck your day or jeopardize your next workout.  It should be a badge of honor and a reminder that you’re working hard and getting stronger.  Just be sure to listen to your body.  Soreness is one thing…an injury is another.  If you’re feeling anything out of the ordinary, make sure to take care of yourself.

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