The Important of Muscle Recovery for Runners

Muscle recovery is a vital, yet often overlooked aspect of running. When you finish a running workout you can feel the fatigue and any potential pain from your run. You need to give your body a rest to ensure that your muscles are healed and ready for your next running workout. Before you go trail running again, here's what you need to know about muscle recovery.

Muscle pain and fatigue are a common side effect of running. The cause of muscle fatigue isn't quite known. It used to be believed that a build up of lactic acid (which your body produces when your muscles are working overtime) caused the pain and fatigue, but these days researchers are thinking differently. It is possible that muscle fatigue is caused by other enzymes that are produced and released into the body during running.

Whatever the cause of muscle pain and fatigue, one thing is certain: it is vital to give your muscles adequate recovery time. Without enough recovery time, you are doing your body and your running a disservice. When you work your muscles, they get tiny tears in them. These tiny tears need time to heal in order for the muscle to become stronger. The harder you work, the more rest your body will need.You are more likely to injure yourself if you run too far too soon after a long distance run or a high intensity speed workout. You may also tire your body to the point where you need to take several days off to recuperate.

Most runners, especially those who are training for an event, like to avoid prolonged days away from their workouts. To avoid overworking your muscles, make sure that you are giving yourself at least one full day off per week. One to two other days should be "light" running days, where you take down the intensity and/or distance of your runs.

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