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Have you heard about DOMS?

We have all experienced DOMS, but not all of us know it has a name: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

What is DOMS?

This is the pain or discomfort felt 24 to 72 hours after a good exercise session in the gym or running. The symptoms are tender and aching muscles felt during movement and touch that usually disappear within 2-3 days. You will probably know you have DOMS when you try to get out of bed the second day after over- training.

Why do we get DOMS?

It was originally thought that a build-up of lactic acid was the cause of DOMS, but now it is thought to be due to tiny tears in the muscle caused by eccentric exercise, especially downhill running. Instead of exercising and conditioning the muscles, we have caused damage to the muscles.

Basically, the exercise conditions at which muscle damage can be induced are unaccustomed exercises and exercises with higher intensity or longer duration than those to which the subject is used to. The resulting metabolic overload and mechanical strain have been suggested to be the main factors generating muscle damage.

How do we prevent DOMS?

Do a thorough warm up and cool down specifically when you do strength training, fartlek, speed work and hill repeats. Gradually increase the amount you train over several weeks. Avoid making sudden major changes in the type and amount of exercises you do.

Take home message?

DOMS is not a good sign that we did a really good training session. It is a sign of overtraining and muscle damage!!!



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