How to handle the post-WOD soreness
Even though I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for a little over a year now, that means I’m basically still a newbie. I’m OK with that. In fact, one of the things I like most about CrossFit is that I’m always learning more about what I’m capable of and what I still need to learn.
But one thing I haven’t investigated too much is that post-WOD soreness that comes a day or two after a hard workout. I’ve heard and read some stuff about lactic acid, which sounds right. I’ve run a few marathons, and I read in Runner’s World that chocolate milk is a good recovery drink for reasons that I actually can’t explain. But I like chocolate milk, so I’ve got that.
The question is, How do I keep myself from walking like someone beat me up? What about the lower back soreness that is currently making it difficult for me to walk down steps without holding the handrails?
This is technically described as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS. (Here’s a great in-depth article about Muscle soreness and where it comes from at CrossFit Journal.) It’s called DOMS so that it’s not confused with the soreness that comes with immediate injury. It can also last from up to 24 to 72 hours after the WOD that did this to you.
Now that you know this, what should you do about it?
- Listen to your body. Movement is good for getting rid of soreness, believe it or not, but maybe you should take it a little easy next time.
- Remember that getting sleep helps with recovery. CF Games Athletes say they prefer to get 8-10 hours of sleep when they can.
- Although stretching before and after your workout doesn’t necessarily keep the soreness from having an impact, you should do some dynamic stretching. Here’s a good video that can help: