If you are training for your trek with us at Base Camp, or online through our programs at Big Mountain, there is a good chance that it’s a completely different type of movement that your body is used to. And whilst this is a positive change, these changes can incur some muscle soreness and discomfort whilst the body goes through its process of adaption. Part of this process is a certain amount of discomfort and tightness, what is often referred to as DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
Ain’t nobody got time for that! We’ve got mountains to climb.
So here are 8 tips you can implement right now to help minimise the occurrence and severity of DOMS, so you can get back to training and having a kick ass time in the mountains.
- Rehydrate – You lose a lot of fluid during your training session (if you’re working hard enough!) so you’ll definitely need to be drinking water regularly during the sessions and especially afterwards through the day! Your muscles will be tight, sore and more than likely pumped full of lactic acid, so drinking plenty of water to flush out some of that waste product.
- Magnesium – Adding powdered magnesium to your increased water intake will drastically reduce DOMS brought on by the increase in training you are experiencing. Magnesium plays a pivotal role in energy production so it can also increase your readiness for the next session! Other forms of magnesium include spray on oil and tablets, but I find powder the most effective.
- Massage – Massage is an excellent way to recover from muscle soreness as it decreases inflammation and increases blood flow to tired overworked muscles. Again, drinking water to flush out waste products after a massage is essential.
- Foam Rolling – Furthering the discussion above in regards to massage, having to rely on a masseuse or a true friend to help you out with a rub down isn’t always possible. You can instead get yourself a foam roller online and engage in some deep tissue self love! (that came out bad). What I mean is, self myofascial release, foam rolling or trigger pointing, is perhaps the most accessible form of physically releasing tight and sore muscles. Watch our video here for foam rolling overview. As a bonus tip, get ahold of a Nalgene water bottle which can double as a very hard foam roller you can use on your trek!
- Eat! Fuel your body – Eating whole foods, non processed foods which are absorbed easily by the body are, as always, the smart choice. Think vegetables, fruit, seeds nuts, red meat, poultry and seafood. Limit the amount of simple carbohydrates (wheat, breads, pasta etc) you eat, especially if you plan to lose weight. If you can’t possibly eat within 30 mins of finishing your session, a protein shake after a workout is recommended. Remember this, you can’t out train a bad diet.
- Sleep like a log – Your muscles must have sleep in order to repair and get stronger? Why? When you do training, especially weighted strength training, you are tearing the muscle. In order for this to repair you need two things, a source of protein and protein synthesis, which happens when you sleep.
- Walk it off – Brisk 20 minute walk around the block is perfect – one of the best ways to rapidly recover from your heavy sessions is to flush the waste product out of the muscle by engaging in some very light movement.
- Selective stretching – Both our online and face to face delivered programs involve a small amount of in session stretching, these are designed to rectify common muscle imbalances in modern postures, not as a way of recovering. Adding more stretching to the end of a sessions only causes further muscle damage. So only stretch lightly on rest days. Instead, opt for gentle mobility, foam rolling, trigger pointing and flow sequences taught in your training!
There we go, that’s my 8 tips to fight muscle soreness! Follow these consistently and you’ll be minimising your muscular soreness and recovering as quickly as possible for the next session or the next big sojourn into the mountains.