Friday, September 5, 2014

Post-Beast Soreness

Post-Beast Muscle Soreness

With the Beast quickly approaching, it’s time to talk about reducing the pain and discomfort that ensues following the completion of the course.  Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the sensation of pain and/or discomfort experienced 24–48 hours after unaccustomed exercise, particularly exercise that requires primarily eccentric muscle contraction. Eccentric exercises were discussed in my first blog on Achilles Tendonopathy.  Eccentric muscle contractions are those in which the muscle is lengthening while it is contracting, typically to slow a joint down.  An example of eccentric muscle contractions are the quadriceps muscle while running downhill, or the contraction of the biceps muscles when lowering a heavy weight with your arms.
While the exact physiologic cause of DOMS is not fully understood, we know that stretching is an effective way for many people to reduce the amount of DOMS that is experienced post-race. A study by Reisman et al. 2005, showed that stretching following a heavy eccentric workout was able to reduce the amount of pain associated with DOMS.  A similar study by Jayaraman, et al., 2004, found that static stretching following intense exercise was able to slightly reduce the amount of pain caused by DOMS. More flexible athletes, however, tend to have no effect from performing pre and post-workout stretching.
In general, static stretching is advocated over the use of ballistic stretching. With static stretching, the stretch is held for 10-15 seconds then repeated for several repetitions.  In ballistic stretching, the stretch is not held, but the athlete moves quickly in and out of the stretch.  Ballistic stretching tends to put more strain on tendons and their attachments, leading to a higher risk of injury from the stretch alone.
It would be impossible to list the millions of stretches that are out there for various body parts, but it is important to stretch the large muscle groups, for sure, prior to the race, and again after the race.  Some suggestions are pictured here:  



Good Luck to everyone participating in the 2014 Barber Beast on the Bay, one of the most challenging next-gen obstacle races in the country!  Hopefully, the clinical information provided to you by the Saint Vincent Team has been helpful in your training, and I hope this blog helps with your post-race soreness.

Jason Dudzic, PT, MSPT, OCS, Cert. MDT
Board Certified Orthopaedic Physical Therapist
Saint Vincent Rehab Solutions

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cheer Zone Participants

You're struggling. It's the seventh mile and you've hit a wall. Perhaps literally, if you run into one of our obstacles. Suddenly, you hear it.

"Go, go, you can do it!"

You think maybe you're hearing voices. You've skipped a water station, and you're thinking maybe you should have had a drink after all. But then you hear it again.

"Don't give up! Yeah! You've got it!"

Then you see them. Members of the cheer zone. With four different cheer zone groups this year, participants will be cheered on as they run along the course, giving them a pep in their step as they work toward beating the Beast. Let's meet who will be cheering everyone on.

Dance Vibe Studios is made up of a group of dancers from various ages in the central PA area. They will be moving and grooving their way around Presque Isle in support of all the participants.

The East High Cheerleaders will be on the course cheering people on as well. They'll help you to "be aggressive, b-e aggressive" as you run your way through the course.

Step Into Action is for youth ages 7 to 17. Stepping is when the entire body
is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps,
spoken word, and hand claps.

The Gannon Frisbee Club is the final cheer zone participant. They'll be throwing around words of encouragement to help everyone achieve success.