Dealing with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

I woke up the morning after a grueling 15-kilometer run with pain in my quads, hamstrings, and calves. “Aaah, DOMS, we meet again,” I said while hobbling down the stairs like a grandmother.

Some people gauge the intensity and effectivity of their workout sessions by the soreness they feel the next day. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, is caused by inflammation of the muscle and surrounding tissue due to increased blood flow to microtears in the muscle tissue caused by exercise. While “tears” is an alarming word, this is part of the process by which muscles rebuild to become stronger.

Of course, there is a disadvantage to experiencing DOMS. Depending on how severe it is, you may be rendered partially immobile (reduced range of motion) and may find it difficult to resume working out. While it may be tempting to take the next few days completely off while waiting for the soreness to subside, you might experience a loss of fitness.

The best cure is prevention, or at least shortening the amount of time you feel sore.

Warm up. Time and again you’ve heard the same refrain, and for good reason. A proper warm-up will increase blood flow and heat to your muscles and take your muscles and joints gently through the range of motion you will be using them in. This prepares your muscles, making them more limber and ready to take on what’s on your workout schedule, putting them at less risk for sudden jerking and injury.

Ice down. Notice how professional sports players head to the locker room quickly after their games? It’s not just to wash off the sweat; they also ice down their joints and take cool showers to reduce inflammation. Some athletes even do contrast baths, alternating between cold and hot baths to speed up recovery. It’s believed this helps flush out waste products and improves the healing process.

While new research suggests some inflammation can be good for healing, it’s a huge bummer to be unable to get up the next morning. Icing allows you to be mobile again faster.

Elizabeth Quinn, an exercise physiologist and frequent contributor to’s Sports Medicine Guide, recommends these guidelines for cold-water therapy:

  • Ten minutes in 15-degree Celsius water should be enough; don’t overdo it.
  • Warm up with a hot drink or warm shower 30 to 60 minutes after.
  • If alternating between cold and hot baths, spend one minute in a cold tub followed by two minutes in a hot tub. Repeat this process about three times.

Eat and drink properly. Carbohydrates are a major component of what athletes burn during their training sessions and competitions. However, the longer these sessions last and as the body’s supply of carbohydrate and glycogen is depleted, the body begins to break down muscle protein for energy. This action damages the muscle tissue and contributes to DOMS.

Matt Fitzgerald, author of Triathlete Magazine’s Complete Triathlon Book, recommends the following ways to fend off muscle tissue damage and post-workout soreness through proper nutrition:

  • To ensure your body has enough carbohydrate and glycogen stores, consume a meal composed of low- to moderate-glycemic carbohydrates two to three hours before a workout (these are the kinds of carbohydrates that break down into blood sugar slowly and don’t spike your blood sugar levels).
  • During an intense session, make use of sports drinks by consuming a small cupful every 10 minutes to replenish carbohydrate and protein so that your body doesn’t have to go to your muscles for energy.
  • Consume 10 to 20 percent of your daily carbohydrate intake within two hours after your workout, and replenish your fluid losses.

These suggestions should hopefully have you back on your feet and back on the road sooner than later. See you out there!

Wave Mercury Aura: in action

A version of this blog post appeared in Total Fitness Magazine, April 2010.

ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay 2015

I’m back from last weekend’s Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay (formerly known as the Subic Bay International Triathlon). Let me tell you, it is super difficult to cover a race and not participate in it — not because it’s a long time to wait and watch, but because I was envious of everyone racing! But just looking at how tough the conditions were, I am thankful that I didn’t race and I want to give all kudos to those who did.

ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic
This is the first time since I started triathlon that I haven’t racked up at this race.

Continue reading “ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay 2015”

yurbuds powered by JBL Launch

As I type this I’m happily listening to music with a fresh pair of yurbuds by JBL in my ears.

yurbuds powered by JBL
Inspire 200 paired with iPod Shuffle 2GB from PowerMac Center

Last month I wrote about yurbuds becoming part of the JBL-Harman group of companies and the resulting new product lines that would feature their patented ergonomics with JBL signature sound. Yesterday, yurbuds launched the new Inspire and Focus models at Power Mac Center in Rockwell. Continue reading “yurbuds powered by JBL Launch”

Kikay Reviews: ROKA F1 SPCTRM Goggles

In open-water swimming, sighting is very important to stay on a straight course. Unfortunately sometimes the buoys merge into the horizon due to lighting conditions — especially if the buoys are yellow, which is what happened during last year’s Subic 5150. Thankfully these days organizers have learned their lessons and buoys are now red or orange. My other problem is sun shining directly into my eyes, which is usually what happens with the late starts given to the women’s wave.

My order of ROKA goggles arrived while I was away in Phuket, so I had to wait until I got back home to try them out. ROKA’s new SPCTRM performance optics offer a range of goggle tints for every condition. I chose three to start with.

ROKA F1 SPCTRM goggles
ROKA’s SPCTRM optics has goggle tints for every occasion

Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: ROKA F1 SPCTRM Goggles”

One Week to ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic

Yesterday, I attended the press conference for the ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay (née Subic Bay International Triathlon) as a media partner for the event. This is one local race with so much history behind it and I’m happy that at 22 years running, it’s one of the oldest triathlons in the region!

SuBIT 2014

So it is with some disappointment that I realized there is no way I should race the Olympic distance I signed up for this year. And I was on a nice long streak too: I’ve been competing in this race since 2011. However, after a month-long bout with illness and low immune system, I haven’t been able to train, especially on the swim. I really do not want to resort to backstroke. Also, my doctors have warned me that should I attempt to compete I could be digging myself a deeper hole of illness to climb out of. Yikes!

But here’s what you can look forward to in this year’s Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay. The new swim venue, bike, and run courses will allow participants to obtain new personal records. Yes, folks, it is flat and fast (but still certainly hot, the trademark of every SuBIT).


Last year’s swim course at the container terminal is no longer available for use, as the shipping companies have complained about the necessary road closures. It’s a shame because that was a really nice clean swim. However, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) have found a new swim venue at Malawaan, along Argonaut Highway.

It’s a fishing area with rocky banks and deep water, so it’s going to be a pontoon start (much like last year). Sprint participants will go around the course once, while Olympic participants will need to climb back onto the pontoon and jump off to go around the course twice. It’s very ITU-style…


Due to the new swim venue, there’s a new Transition 1 just along Argonaut. Participants will ride going past the airport and Sands of Triboa all the way to Hanjin Pier, then turn around. They will then ride going toward the commercial center. Sprint participants will proceed one loop and return to Malawaan for Transition 2.

Olympic participants will take a U-turn to do the course twice before heading to the Transition 2 at Harbor Point Mall.

If you’re familiar with Subic you know this is relatively flat with lots of potential to push big gears and go fast. However, Argonaut Highway can be blustery and offer headwinds and crosswinds.


For Sprint participants the run is along Argonaut Highway toward Puregold and will finish on Argonaut Highway.

For Olympic it’s also an all-new run route still going around the boardwalk area, but this time they’ve created a 5-kilometer loop, so Olympic participants will do the loop twice before running into the finishline at Harbor Point Mall.

Just describing this course is making me salivate — and then I have to remind myself I’m not doing the race. I want to cry!

Although I’m not racing, I will be there to spectate, take photos, and cheer as loudly as I can. Best mechanical luck to all participants. See you next week at the ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay!

Get Your Training Plan for Challenge Camsur

I’m getting back to proper training this week (finally!) after being unwell. While it’s probably too late to be fit for the Asian Triathlon Cup which is in two weeks, it’s the perfect time to start an eight-week training plan for Challenge Camsur.

I got my training plan for only $39 from MaccaX. Unlike most training plans which are generic unless you get a coach to customize them, the eight-week MaccaX Challenge Camsur plan is custom-designed for the specific challenges of the Camsur course — it’s hot, flat, and fast!

I’ll let Macca explain further in this video he posted two weeks ago:

The plan was designed by Justin Granger, Belinda Granger’s husband and coach, with input from Belinda and Macca. It assumes you have some level of fitness, but the sessions are simple and doable.

What I like about this is I don’t even have to think about what I need to do. I just look at my plan (which is exportable to Training Peaks), do the session, and check it off my daily to-do list. And I know if I do these sessions I can be fit enough to race my fastest half in eight weeks!

This is what you get when you sign up:

get your Challenge Camsur training plan now!

  • race-specific training plan written by Justin Granger with input from Belinda Granger and Macca
  • 1 month free membership on MaccaX (with access to Macca and his team of experts and coaches)
  • exclusive member content
  • 30+ of Macca’s favorite training sessions in HD video
  • local ambassador support (that’s me!)
  • race strategy meeting with Belinda Granger

If you’re racing Challenge Camsur, this plan is a must-have! Sign up here.

By the way, if you sign up for this training plan and still haven’t signed up for the race, you will also get a nice discount on the race entry fee. Just let me know if you’ve bought the race plan so I can give you the discount code.

See you on the starting line!