Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When DOMS attacks

An enforced break from training fills me with dread. Not that I don't enjoy staying in bed until a civilised time in the mornings, instead of arising at Oh-My-GOD o'clock when it's dark and cold and I'm cranky...

Nope, the issue is the sure knowledge that I'm going to lose some of my hard-earned fitness and that it is going to HURT when I get back into it. My heart and lungs will struggle, my muscles will burn and the after-effects will be very, very, ugly.

My recent illness saw me take almost four weeks off from any kind of activity, other than a few walks and some gentle rehab work for my shoulder - and even that was skipped most days whilst I wallowed in my snotty, wheezy misery. So although I was happy to be heading back to the gym last week, my brain was sending out all sorts of messages of dread and gloom, and I found myself feeling quite nervous about the whole thing.

The common sense part of my brain (yes, there IS one) told me to stop worrying about it, forget about whatever I was doing four weeks ago and just approach training with a little restraint. No jumping on a bike in RPM and cranking the gears up to Hell, yes, I'm so fit! So I listened to the quiet voice of sanity, dialled resistance down a couple of notches, built up speed gradually and waited to see how I felt.

Surprisingly, I performed better than I expected all around. The DOMS over the next few days was pretty ferocious, but I know from experience that you don't die from DOMS...

I've gradually upped the intensity a little over the past ten days, and this morning's RPM class saw my performance only slightly below where I was when I got sick.

Seems my inner voice of doom was being a bit of a drama queen after all.

How do you psych yourself up for a return to activities that you know are going to cause short-term pain?



Magda said...

For sure!! This is my reality right now. Leg training last week after 3 weeks off - OUCH!!! The DOMS was ferocious. Yesterday I caned back and chest and this morning , well before the 24 hour mark my chest DOMS had already set in. 'Nobody ever died from DOMS' LOL - we just feel like we are!!!


Sara said...

Yup, I'm doing this too at the moment. My trick is just to start small, so it's not too heinous. I think the type of training I'm into now gives me less DOMS anyway. Oh, and I take the glutamine - lack of scientific evidence or not, it really seems to work.

Debbish said...

Yes I certainly do. I tend to expect the worst! I worry less about DOMS and more about my fitness levels though! I'm struggling a little at the moment after 3-4 weeks of minimal activity (injury, illness etc). My Zumba classes last week nearly killed me!


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