Muscle pain, the bitter aftertaste of a great day. Some people will say it's part of the deal, but pleasant it is not... But did you know that you can take various measures to prevent severe muscle pain? Like a wise man (maybe a Viking?) once said: "Prevention is better than cure." So it all starts with good preparation. In this article, you'll find all sorts of tips on how to prepare well and what to do best after completing an obstacle run to prevent severe muscle pain. This way, you can at least take the dog for a walk again the next day!

What is muscle pain?

Everyone has experienced muscle pain at some point, whether it's after exercising or after a stumble. But what exactly is it? Muscle pain is the feeling of pain or stiffness in your muscles after you've used them, especially in a new way or more than usual. This happens because small tears occur in your muscles during exercise, which is normal when you challenge them. These tears heal and make your muscles stronger, but it can feel painful.

The good news is that muscle pain usually goes away on its own after a few days of rest. So, it's actually a sign that your muscles are working and getting stronger! A little muscle pain is not a big deal, but be careful not to overdo it!

How do you get muscle pain?

There are countless ways to get muscle pain. Of course, it varies from person to person, but we've gathered below the most common reasons why people experience muscle pain after exercising!

  • Overexertion
  • Incorrect technique
  • Inadequate warm-up
  • Insufficient rest and recovery
  • Poor fitness level
  • Accidents
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor surface
  • Wrong shoes
  • Building up too quickly

That's a hefty list, isn't it? Fortunately, you can prevent almost all of these causes of muscle pain if you prepare yourself well for an obstacle run! But let's be honest, sometimes unexpected things happen or you push yourself just a little too hard, and before you know it, you've got muscle pain. Fortunately, you can also take various measures after the run to limit the pain!

Muscle pain prevention, muscle pain after exercising, what to do for muscle pain, cold bath

Preventing muscle pain, here's how you do it!

If you challenge your body, you'll almost always feel it. Fortunately, there are many ways to limit the degree of muscle pain after exercising! From getting enough rest to wearing the right shoes, below you'll find helpful tips to prevent/reduce muscle pain.

Training effectively for an obstacle run

To successfully complete an obstacle run, it's recommended to build up your fitness and train beforehand. This prevents you from having to overcome a variety of obstacles all at once while your body isn't accustomed to it. Create a training schedule and gradually build it up to avoid overexertion during training. Also, pay close attention to technique while training. If you develop incorrect technique, not only is it difficult to unlearn, but it's also harmful to your body!

Get enough rest

It's important to take enough rest between workouts to prevent muscle pain from getting worse. Give your body the chance to recover! So, don't train intensively and do exercises the day before an obstacle run, even if you think you won't feel it on the day of the run... You'll regret it the day after the run!

Eat the right nutrients

Nutrition is incredibly important, not only do the right nutrients help your body perform better, but they can also support recovery! Eating a good meal before exercising, as well as after exercising, is essential! The right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will give your body the boost it needs before, during, and after an obstacle run. eat a nutritious meal before exercising!, maar ook ná het sporten, is dus essentieel! De juiste balans tussen eiwitten, koolhydraten en gezonde vetten zullen je lichaam de boost geven die het nodig heeft vóór, tijdens en na een obstacle run.

Wear the right shoes

We can't say it enough: wear good obstacle run shoes! If your shoes don't fit properly, you can have problems with ankle support, your foot arch, and your balance. These problems can lead to muscle pain again. Well-fitting shoes not only reduce the chance of muscle pain, but they also make your obstacle run a lot more enjoyable. Nobody wants blisters, right?

Compression clothing

Compression clothing may sound a bit dull, but it's literally a miracle worker for reducing the level of muscle pain after exercising! Compression clothing helps with muscle pain by applying gentle pressure to your muscles. This pressure helps improve blood circulation, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to flow to your muscles. And when your muscles get more oxygen, they can recover faster from exertion, reducing pain and stiffness. So, by wearing compression clothing, your muscles get an extra boost to feel better after an intense workout or activity!

A good warm-up...

A good start is half the battle, that's why a warm-up is incredibly important! During a warm-up, your heart rate increases and blood flow to your muscles is enhanced. This helps to make your muscles more flexible and allows more oxygen-rich blood to flow to them. As a result, your muscles can work more efficiently and are less susceptible to injuries and muscle pain during and after the activity. That's what we like to hear!

...And a good cool-down!

Many people forget it: the cool-down! During a cool-down, you gradually reduce the intensity of your activity, allowing your heart rate and breathing to return to normal. This helps stabilize blood circulation and promote the removal of waste products from your muscles, such as lactic acid, which can contribute to muscle pain. By doing a cool-down, you help your muscles recover and reduce the risk of muscle pain and stiffness after the activity.

What to do for muscle pain after exercising

Despite taking all the measures to prevent muscle pain (or not...), you're now experiencing it. Which isn't all that surprising, of course, because participating in an obstacle run is no small feat! What now? Fortunately, there are handy tips to reduce the pain and promote your recovery!

  1. Rest: Give your muscles the chance to recover by taking enough rest.
  2. Warmth: Take a warm bath! Applying heat can help improve circulation and relax the muscles.
  3. Cold: Cold can also be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. For example, use cold packs!
  4. Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help relax the muscles. Gradually build it up!
  5. Hydration: Stay well hydrated! This helps keep the muscles supple and flush toxins from the body.
  6. Light activity: Light activities, such as walking or swimming, can help promote blood circulation and loosen the muscles.
  7. Massage: Give your partner a sweet look and ask for a massage! A gentle massage can help improve circulation and relax the muscles. No partner? Then use a foam roller!

Muscle pain after Strong Viking

Muscle pain after a Strong Viking run is normal, and preventing it is very difficult. After each Strong Viking edition, we ask you on social media how much muscle pain you're experiencing on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being no muscle pain and 5 being extremely severe muscle pain. A score of 4 is quite common, so if you can only lie on the couch the day after a run, that's very normal! However, it's important to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, massage the sore spots, and do gentle stretching exercises.

Never participated in a Strong Viking edition and want to test on which Strong Viking Muscle Pain Scale you'll score the day after the obstacle run? Buy your ticket for the next edition now!