Ahh Doms, my old adversary… for so much of this year I though I have evaded you, but waking up this morning with that familiar feeling I knew you were never far away.
For those of you who don’t spend your life at the gym, you may not be familiar with the name, but you will probably have known Doms at some point in your life. This is not actually a person, and instead stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is the aching feeling you get after exercising particularly hard or lifting heavy weights – not straight away (hence the delayed part), but usually a day or two later when you wake up and realize your legs / arms / body no longer works.
Due to the volume of training I am doing at the moment, Doms can cause a lot of problems as if it gets too bad it could potentially disrupt sessions and put me behind, so I have been using various strategies to try and mitigate its effects, which in fairness have actually worked fairly well. Some of these include:
- Stretching, massaging, foam rolling and even the ludicrously expensive Vibro Plate machine as part of warm ups / downs
- Compression clothing, such as my classy calf guards and obviously well fitting trainers
- Various nutrition strategies including cherry juice (apparently a lifesaver) and (my own favourite) milkshakes
- Alternating hot & cold showers (I have not quite gone down the ice bath route yet)
- The fact most of my training involves 3 sports and the same muscles, swimming (back & shoulders), cycling (glutes, quads, hammies) & running (same again but in a different direction).
Unfortunately I ended up breaking most of my own rules on Friday night whilst at a Ceilidh (nope, I had not either but if you are too lazy to Google it the closest comparison I can make is the lacrosse match in Last of the Mohicans, a kind of organised chaos set to Celtic music, with plenty of injuries but everyone enjoying themselves):
No warm up (check), impractical clothing (check), beer instead of electrolytes (check), room hotter than the sun (check), unfamiliar moves involving jumping up & down with one particularly crazy dance involving some kind of helicopter spins (check check)!
This was a lot more intense than I had expected, and at one point I seriously thought I was close to having a heart attack and started to worry for my Dad, until he apparently pointed out (in the way only he could) that he was actually the safest of all of us as he had a pacemaker to kick in if things got rough!
Fast forward 48 hours and I was in a bit of pain this morning around my calves, although on the plus side it did not stop me getting another PB on the bike – two sets of 30km negative splits on the bike (59 & 57 mins), which I was pretty happy with and is getting me closer to a sub 3 hour 90 km before the Avenger in June…