How can I reduce soreness in my running routine?

One way to decrease the soreness after your runs is to perform a proper warm-up and cool-down. Very often, we start and finish our runs without giving our warm-up or cool-down a single thought. Warming up is important, because it prepares your body for the increased stress and demand you're putting on it by running. The cool down alleviates some of the stress you've just put your body through, and in turn helps you recover more efficiently!

To Warm-Up:

Foam roll muscles your muscles that are tight. Runners commonly have tight IT-bands (outer thigh) adductor (inner thigh) and soleus (calf) muscles. Foam roll these for 30 seconds on each side.

Next - stetch these muscles by holding each stretch for 1-2 seconds and repeating 5 to 10 times per stretch.

Go run!

To Cool-Down:

Do exactly the same as you did in your warm-up, but instead of 1-2 second holds per stretch, hold each for 30 seconds, and perform 1-2 sets per muscle.

Picture of runner
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
If your ankles are getting sore, please back off your distance by 25%. Also please make sure that you warm up. Often times, weakness in the core muscles (stomach, low back and hips) can contribute to increased stress and demand on other parts of the body, so try and add core training and flexibility training into your program along with your decrease in total distance. Finally, as part of your cardio training, make sure that you walk 10,000 steps/day. You can also add in interval training (walk for 60 seconds, jog/run for 30 seconds and then repeat this process for your 1 mile to begin). Interval training will burn more calories than slower, longer distance work. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.