XCFeedsDOMS

FasterSkier FasterSkierAugust 11, 2009

DOMSbr /br /Any of you who have engaged in training for anything have probably experienced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, DOMS. It is soreness that develops in muscles 24-48 hours after stressing the muscles to a significantly greater degree than they are accustomed to. Holy Wow, do I have it now! With the plan that developed for last weekend I was pretty sure that it would happen. br /br /I have been spending way more time sitting and typing than training. On Friday a plan developed, with the aid of friends and WebTeam members, to climb South Sister. It is a new mountain (100,000 + – BCE) that is Oregon’s third highest peak. At 10,358ft above sea level the summit is 4,900 vertical feet above the trailhead. The trail is 6 miles long from car to summit. Up and back, that sounded doable. The plan then expanded to include rollerskiing on the Sunriver highway on Sunday and paddling kayaks at Crane Prairie Reservoir Sunday afternoon. Hmm, this is getting close to the over-doable. br /br /Back to DOMS. Why the muscles get sore like this is somewhat of a mystery. Exercise physiologists have been studying the phenomenon since the early 20th century. Some things are known. It happens to all, trained athletes or off-the-couch athletes. It was once thought to be the result of the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle cells due to excessive activity. Problem with this theory is that nearly all lactic acid is processed after about 60 minutes and the muscle PH is back to normal. Others hypothesized it was small tears in the muscle fiber. But the repair of torn muscle fiber takes way longer than the couple of days the DOMS lasts. There is some evidence that it is the result of lack of coordination of the firing of muscle neurons in untrained muscle fibers. Because all neurons are not getting the muscle fibers to fire at once, there is some damage to the cell membranes between fibers. It is this damage that causes the pain. Nobody is sure at this point. br /br /DOMS most often occurs with extended bouts of eccentric muscle contraction. This is where the muscle bundles are lengthening against resistance instead of getting shorter (concentric contractions). The best examples of eccentric contraction would be running (hiking) downhill. Lowering a heavy weight, such as in squats, will do it too or lowering weights slowly after a biceps curl. The absolutely best way to get it is to descend South Sister at a rapid pace. br /br /Relief is natural and happens in a couple days. If the cause is damage to cell membranes or connective tissue between muscle cell bundles, it begins to heal right away. Seems that vitamin C is essential to the synthesis of new connective tissue. Supplementation of about 250mg/day should do it, along with eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Remember that aspirin interferes with the uptake of vitamin C, so don’t take it for pain relief. Ibuprofen with food and water would be better for pain relief. Remember, the DOMS will go away on its own in a couple days. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids will also aid the body in producing new and repairing damaged cell membranes. But you probably already know all this stuff.br / br /Other methods of gaining relief from DOMS would include ice bath right after the episode of overload. Easy, low impact exercise as soon as possible can help. This might be bike riding on flat to easy rolling terrain. Gentle massage can provide some relief. Studies show that DOMS comes on more quickly as we age (damn). This is partially due to the fact that most of us loose strength and muscle mass as we age. Then we do something silly like 7 hours of fast hiking gaining and loosing almost 10,000 ft elevation. The good news is that after a bout with DOMS we usually see a gain in muscle strength. This is the way our wonderful bodies adapt. When they are stressed they respond by getting stronger. That is if we listen to them, stress the right amount, rest the right amount and eat the right stuff. br /br /Anyway, I can assure you that if you go up and down South Sister (or Mt Washington or Camel’s Hump) and rollerski a couple hours uphill and paddle for a couple hours, you will hurt for a while. It is already getting better and almost time to start planning for another weekend of adventure.br /br /Have a good one,br /Bertdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6589659500745667109-7413136573513332002?l=www.webskis.com%2Fwebskisblog.html’ alt=” //div

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