Friday, May 18, 2012

DOMS!

I made an error of judgement this week and it's triggered a rather severe episode of DOMS. Yes, that evil 'Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness'. It is so severe that even after 72+ hours I cannot run and walking down stairs is painful. I've always had severe DOMS responses after what I would consider fairly mild changes in exercise. Going back to the gym after a bit of time off can end up leaving the muscles VERY angry. Alas this week, I went too far with my running! I purchased a new pair of shoes last weekend. Minimalist shoes by Inov8. It's always a struggle getting shoes to fit on account of my feet being very long and skinny. Most shoes end up being too wide and that predisposes to blisters. I tried these shoes on in the shop and they fitted like a glove! Such a pleasant change. Hence I was so keen to test them out. Rather than being sensible, I headed out for a loop around Black Mountain figuring if the shoes were going to be a problem I'd know sooner rather than later ..... wrong! It wasn't until I was beyond half way that I realised my calves were working a bit harder than they would in my other shoes. It was too late to turn around as either way I was set for a ~12K run. The calves were a bit tight at the end of the run. By the next day they were ANGRY and have remained that way ever since. I have attempted a couple of jogs only to be met with STRONG calf opposition. Some say a bit of light exercise can loosen things up, but not in this case!

My new snug fitting DOMS causing shoes
There's been a fair bit written about DOMS and the reality is there is no guaranteed successful treatment. It is a clever protective mechanism in the muscles and the degree of pain is highly variable amongst individuals. Indeed individuals with stiffer muscles get more severe DOMS and there is evidence that some people are predisposed to a greater inflammatory and pain response. I suspect I am one of those individuals! It is better to avoid in the first place. Alas I just didn't think my calves would react this adversely to running in these shoes!

Here's an interesting review article on DOMS for those that are interested:

Cool DOMS review article

It is pointless reporting on my latest training as all I have is the 12K run on Tuesday and 2 aborted attempts since then. It feels like at least another couple of days will be needed before the calves will be willing again. Lesson learned! That said, I love the feel of the shoes, I just need to ease into using them a bit more slowly to avoid a repeat episode i.e. follow the "repeated-bout effect approach".

5 comments:

  1. I'm getting DOMS just looking at those shoes ;-) They look fast though. I'm sure it's just a matter of gradually having the legs adjust. A bit like the Frees. Took me a while to get used to them.

    P.S. Have fun in the half tomorrow!

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    1. Thanks ET, they do feel fast. Yes, maybe 12K first time wasn't wise ;-). No HM for me, I chose to do the Mother's Day Classic 10K rather than the HM. A good thing as I still can't run, this is a nasty case of DOMS! I hope your 5K is close to 20:12 ;-).

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    2. Ah, that's a shame. You might have to do the 2Fs mountain biking x-training routine. Sadly not close at all - found it hard to push to the nth degree as there were no dragons around to slay - just a kermit frog who was slain well before 1k.

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  2. The shoes have a good reputation, bit of a shock that they are such a source of calf pain. Guess shorter distances to break them in is the answer. Take care.

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    1. Thanks TF. I do like the feel of the shoes. It doesn't take much to get my calves sore, so 12K probably wasn't wise. Even 800m in spikes can give me DOMS.

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