A Painless Day After (Bloomsday)

Kristi Gorenson / KREM 2 News

When 50,000 people run Spokane’s Bloomsday every year, you can bet that several thousand of them will “feel it” the next day.

“There’s nothing worse than being all sore and uncomfortable the next day, and the way to avoid that is to do some “cool down.” said physical therapist Charles Gallagher.

Avoiding soreness begins immediately after you cross the finish line. Gallagher explained, “You’ve got little micro tears in there, and you’ve got all this blood in there, and you’ve got some lactic acid built up in there.”

It sounds serious, but Gallagher, of the Institute For Physical and Sports Therapy says all you need to do is slow down after the race. Don’t stop completely, just walk or jog for at least 10 to 15 minutes after the race. Only then is your body ready to stop and stretch.

For example, you can focus on your quads with this stretch. Simply bend one knee, keeping it behind the other knee, and pull up. You can lean against a post with one leg back for a good calf stretch. And you can get down on the ground to stretch your hamstrings. Put one foot forward, and pull on your toes.

The next step to a pain-free day after is hydration.  Sports drinks replace important electrolytes that you lose when you sweat.

Then it’s time to eat. Gallagher says, “Indulge yourself. Have a couple of chocolate chip cookies, right when you’re done. And then get some protein into you a little later.” Gallagher says you should go out to dinner that evening, and if you concentrate on protein, your muscles will recover faster.

And besides, you’ve worked hard for Bloomsday. You deserve a reward.