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I'm sure we're all familiar with the soreness that comes from a new form of exercise that impacts muscles that haven't been overly stressed (or at least not for a long time).

For example, I recently switched from "normal" running shoes to minimalist shoes, and while I have always used a forefoot-first stride, and I've cut down drastically the length of the 3 runs I've done since buying them (no more than 10 minutes) my calves are definitely on the sore side.

If possible, I'd greatly prefer to keep my every-other-day upper body vs. run schedule, so what are some effective ways, to eliminate, or at least lessen the soreness?

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Any reason why you don't alternate between running with minimalist shoes and your normal running shoes? Just to allow you to workout more or is the pain so bad that it wouldn't matter? –  Ivo Flipse Apr 6 '11 at 23:43
    
@IvoFlipse - in my experience, the pain was so bad it wouldn't have mattered, and I have the same every other day schedule. @alesplin - I just finally got used to it (after a month or so), minus the fact that I'm a little prone to injury. –  Nathan Wheeler Apr 7 '11 at 2:56
    
The pain isn't that bad, and my regular shoes are pretty worn out and have started to give me blisters. –  alesplin Apr 7 '11 at 13:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Stretch, ice, heat, massage, ibuprofen & light activity

There is no real cure for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and some of these suggestions are unproven (while some have been proven not to work) there is some science and lots of anecdotal evidence that these things will help.

Stretching after your workout is a common practice which has many benefits. Some people report that it helps reduce DOMS but unfortunately the science says that it doesn't really.

Heating and icing help facilitate bringing blood into and pushing blood out of the sore area which help recovery. Ice/heat can have a soothing affect too but that depends on the person (personally I hate the feeling of icing).

Lightly massaging the sore muscles has also been report to help reduce DOMS but again there is no proof to back it up. I think it feels good though so it may just be psychological.

ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. I think this benefits of this are obvious, but I will say to be careful to understand the health risks as you should do when ingesting any kind of chemical.

Doing an Active Recovery (light activity) immediately after your workout will help reduce muscle lactate levels. Continuing to do active recovery activity in the days after your workout is a good way to keep the blood flow going to the sore muscles and prevent the muscles from tightening.

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Add creatine in your supplements. It helps in the fast recovery of torn muscles... :D You can find some details here...

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I don't believe creatine does this. can you provide some info to backup this statement? –  matt Apr 7 '11 at 10:47

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