How do I feel after running a half marathon completely unprepared and undertrained? Actually, not too bad. My angry hamstring seems to have gotten happy again, but the lack of prep miles took a toll on my quads. Besides the usual soreness, I have a good knot in one thigh.
I've spent the week giving my legs a lot of TLC and it has worked really well to keep the soreness at bay. It's worked so well, that I thought I would share my tips with you!
Walk - On the way home from the half marathon, we stopped at the grocery. This forced walk around the store picking up dinner items got us up and moving. Sitting allows the muscles to tighten up, making it painful to get moving again.
Foam Roll - I attacked the foam roller multiple times the day of the half marathon and every day since. It literally feels like I have been pushing all the soreness right out of my quads! It also helped me zero in on the knot in my quad. When I feel the pain of the foam roller on the muscle knot, I hold it for 30 seconds.
Epsom Salt Bath - I took a warm salt bath the morning after the race and again after my easy run yesterday. I add two cups of epsom salt to the bath water and soak for about 15-20 minutes. The warm water and magnesium sulfates help relax and loosen up the muscles.
Massage/Self Massage - If I had time (or an appointment) I would get a professional to work out my knots, in the mean time I have been lathering up the lotion and digging into my muscles myself. Using a tennis ball is another good way to focus on the knots.
Exercise - Although I didn't do more than walk and stretch the day of the half marathon, I did get right back to my regular strength workouts the next day. Yesterday I took an easy 3 mile shake-out run and felt really good.
What is your favorite way to relieve the pain/tightness of sore muscles?