Running Day After Leg Day
I’m sure many of you out there know what I’m talking about when I say leg days are the worst. It’s like a day chosen to make life miserable filled with the worst kind of workouts ever designed by the evil human mind.
Back in the day I used to simply loathe leg days and I would do whatever I could to skip them. This went as far as faking illness but I did little to convince anyone. The only thing that saved me from constant ridicule was the fact that otherwise I really enjoyed training to be fit.
When I saw the true enthusiasts running after a leg day, I thought they must’ve been under something or aliens discoed as human beings.
Many people wonder if there is anything good that comes for Running After Leg Day. Let’s find out the truth behind this question.
What Is Involved in a Leg Day?
The legs contain the largest muscles on the human body which is quite understandable considering they support the weight of the entire body. Thighs, glutes, calfs and hamstrings make up the main muscles in your legs.
Since they are so large, it takes a lot of heavy weights to work them out. This invariably means that you will have to consume plenty of calories to keep up the training.
Some of the exercises involved in a leg day include calf raises, power cleans, overhead squatting and reverse lunges. If you want to see good effects you need to increase the load and push heavier weights.
At the end of a leg day, you will likely come out with very sore legs as a result of the lactic acid that accumulated in your muscles during the workout. This takes time to be taken out of the body and this is why running after leg days is so strenuous.
While a leg day comes with high demands which very easily could prevent you from taking part in after leg day running, there are a few procedures you can follow to prevent you from acquiring injuries. These center around a well prepared workout schedule. Let’s consider what it entails.
- Warm up time
Some people overlook this crucial step in your training but it is just as important as pushing weights. Warming up gets your muscles ready. It means that when you finally get to pushing heavy loads, your muscles will not be stiff. Such stiffness causes the muscles to rupture easily.
- Stretching time
This is another important part of the training that isn’t taken as seriously as it should. Note that you can include stretching in your warm up session or after training. One main benefit that you get from this is the improved blood flow. The muscle fibers are aligned in their proper place meaning that over time you will not wake up in pain.
- Using the right weights
Indeed if you want to see the best results, you will have to push heavy loads. However there is a danger in going beyond what your body can actually handle. Pick heavy weights but not too heavy.
- Taking time off
Never forget to take regular breaks throughout your workout. These prevent you from straining your muscles excessively. The best time is after completing a rep.
How to Recover Quickly from a Leg Day
The huge demands that trainers expose themselves to on leg days can make them immobile for the next day. If you pushed heavier weights, you can take even longer to recover. There are however a few things that you can do to ensure that you reduce your recovery time and be able to take part in running after a leg day. Let’s look at these below:
Your body regenerates fastest when you are asleep. This is why you need to get plenty of sleep after training. The muscles will take in the nutrients they need to grow bigger while getting rid of the excess lactic acid through respiration.
- Eat enough protein
Speaking of enough nutrients, proteins are among the most important. They contain the necessary building blocks to help your muscles to recover and grow. The recovery process is faster with the right nutrient consumption.
- Plenty of water
Drink water as often as you can. The lack of it lowers your metabolic rate resulting in less appetite. As a result, the muscles will not get all the nutrients they require and the recovery rate will be slow. Ensure that you are properly hydrated.
While you wouldn’t consider this an important part, getting a massage will help relax your muscles. Blood flow to the damaged muscles is increased helping to transport the necessary nutrients more efficiently. Oxygen is also delivered to the leg muscle groups allowing the excess lactic acid to be taken out.
- Anti-Inflammatory medication
Sometimes the pain is so severe that you will need to consult a doctor. When it gets to this, chances are you will not be running after the leg day. Simply get the right prescriptions from a qualified physician and take time to rest. Only then can your muscles recover quickly.
Is It Safe to Run after a Leg Day?
Let’s get one thing straight. It is not a requirement to run after a leg day. You can do so if you so choose. However there are a few points to keep in mind when running after a leg day. You will be working on the same muscles for two consecutive days. This is highly advised against.
- Avoid running for too long. The run should be less strenuous to give the leg muscles a chance to continue the recovery. You will also be able to avoid other injuries and inflammations.
- Ensure that you do not run more than normal no matter how motivated you feel.
By following the steps laid above for you, you can avoid skipping on running after a leg day. You will be able to recover better and quicker will little to no cases of injury.