Heavy Legs post Bells Bash? 

The Bells Bash is a challenging, undulating course from the Jan Juc surf life saving club to Bells Beach. You are rewarded well for your efforts, with the stunning scenery it provides along the route.

If you have recovered well and are feeling fresh, fantastic! But if you your legs are still feeling like concrete, we have put together a few tips to aid in your recovery to get you back on track.

 

CAUSE

The reason for heavy legs post any run, is “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS), which is the result of trauma to muscle fibres. Soreness results due to the inflammation of the muscles and the process while they repair.

Running recruits your calf, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. Hill running specifically requires additional power through the posterior chain, which is why you may pull up with increased soreness. Additionally, initial contact with the foot when running uphill is more forward towards the forefoot, which increases calf loading. Depending on how adapted you are to this position will determine your recovery.

 

SOLUTIONS – 2 to 3 Days Post Event

1. Stretching/ Self Massage – Target specific areas

  • Foam roller on calves
  • Tennis ball underneath the feet
  • Lower your heel off a step

These are easier to perform once the inflammation has settled within your muscles. The key is ensuring you perform these purposefully ie. hold stretches for 20-30 seconds and move slowly on foam roller/ball work.

2. Massage

  • A professional soft tissue massage with a Massage Therapist or a Myotherapist is always beneficial. Doing this 2-3 days post run will allow the treatment to be targeted to a specific area and allow for greater tolerance of pressure. Massage increases blood flow and flexibility within the muscles and a faster return to your training program.

3. Footwear

  • Wearing structured and cushioned shoes will allow your lower limb to recover in an ideal position whilst absorbing shock. Your soreness will generally increase if you are barefoot or in thongs.

4. Light activity

  • A short, low impact walk will aid in recovery by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your muscles.

5. Recovery Boots

  • At TSMC we have the Recovery Boot system available to our clients. To learn more about accelerating your recovery see our blog here.

 

PREVENTION

1. Preparation

  • Ensure your training is specific to the event. For Bells Bash, ensure you are doing hill running as well as strengthening exercises.

2. Runners

  • A pair of runners that are suited to your foot function. Ensure you have not used these over 800km and are not brand new.

3. Warm up

  • Prepares your muscles for physical activity by increasing blood flow to key areas

4. Hydration and Nutrition

  • Fuel your body with plenty of water and wholefoods.

 

It is important to determine the difference between general soreness and injury. If you are experiencing pain in a specific area after 1 week, we highly recommend you seek a professional opinion ASAP.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the team at TSMC.

Madeleine McMahon (Podiatrist)