If you’ve ever seen photos of a friend climbing up a rope over a muddy water or leaping through fire on your Facebook feed, there is a good chance you’ve been exposed to the obstacle course race aka “mud run” phenomenon. These mud runs, such as Spartan Races and Tough Mudders can be a lot of fun, but are no joke. There’s a reason they make you sign those waivers. After this kind of intense muscle activity over a challenging course terrain, you can expect some bruises, scrapes, and aches the next day. However, with these simple tips you can shorten recovery time and get back to training like a warrior.
Pain Relief Cream
The number one complaint after any kind of race is muscle soreness. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, but heat and ice therapy will do the trick to treat these aches and pains. Topical creams like Icy Hot and Bengay use a combination of ingredients to relieve pain and relax muscles. The warming and cooling sensations on the sore areas block pain signals sent to the brain.
Besides medals, you also get to bring home other badges of honor known as flesh wounds. From scrapes and blisters to the “how-did-that-get-there?” injuries, it’s important to take care of open wounds quickly to avoid complications by cleaning them thoroughly, applying an antibiotic ointment and, if needed, covering them with a sterile dressing.
Foam Roll and Stretch
Obstacle course racing is a whole body workout. Massage and stretch your legs, hips and back through foam rolling and stretching exercises as soon as possible to minimize the adhesions in your muscles and connective tissues. Foam rolling and stretching also increases blood flow to your muscles which helps with recovery.
Thank your body for its hard work with the best sources available: wholesome foods! During the recovery phase, you will want to load up on dark colored veggies, fruits, fresh fish/poultry/beef and lots of water to replenish your body.
Recovering from anything, be it a hard workout, a surgery, an accident or a race, is an active process that starts right away. With the right attitude, tools, and knowledge of recovery skills, you can have a plan of attack for your next race.