Gabby Thomas: Tips on Recovery and Sore Muscles After Workouts

Gabby Thomas

When you compete in a sport where the difference between success and failure is a hundredth of a second, anything that keeps you from performing at your best can be a big setback. So when I suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain this past spring, I did everything that I could to rehab quickly and get ready for the second half of the season. My team and I put together a recovery routine that would help my hammy heal up fast and also give the rest of my body the strength to power through. Here’s how we did it.

Ice Bath

While I wouldn’t recommend it as a relaxation technique, ice bath’s reduce inflammation and soothes sore muscles caused by the high cardiovascular demand and stress from an intense workout. Getting the swelling down is the first step to returning a fatigued or injured muscle to full strength. So think warm thoughts and take the plunge.

Stretch

Everyone knows that stretching before a workout is the best way to prevent tears, pulls and other muscle injuries. But stretching after a workout is just as important, especially during recovery. A good post-workout stretch gets your heart rate back to normal quickly and safely, prevents the buildup of lactic acid which causes muscle soreness and improves circulation and flexibility, all of which are crucial to rehabbing an injury.

HOTSHOT for muscle soreness recovery

What you put in your body when you’re working through an injury can speed up or slow down your recovery time. HOTSHOT for Muscle Soreness works on the nerves around the muscles to prevent post-training aches and pains. I drink a HOTSHOT before my workouts because I know that tomorrow’s session will go a lot smoother without any residual discomfort from today’s efforts.

And when I’m training, I always keep HOTSHOT for Cramps close at hand. At the first sign of a cramp, I drink a HOTSHOT and get right back at it.

Hydrate

By now we’ve all heard about the benefits of drinking lots of water over the course of the day. Whether you’re working out or not, staying hydrated is one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy. Drinking a sufficient amount of water regulates your body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections and can even improve your mood. I typically drink at least a gallon of water a day because it increases blood flow and makes my body feel ready for any workout.

Sleep

I’m not a gambler, but if I were I’d bet that you’re not getting enough sleep. In today’s non-stop world of stimulation and distraction, it’s so hard to shut everything off and truly get the deep sleep we need. But it’s absolutely essential to our physical and mental health. Sleep allows the nervous system and the brain to recharge and come back stronger so that the body can fight pain and build energy. During recovery, I make sure I get plenty of sleep so that I can prevent further injury and build on all the gains I’ve made in my workouts.

A runner’s legs are her bread and butter and I do everything I can to care for mine properly. Despite my best efforts, though, injuries sometimes happen when you’re pushing your limits and training at an elite level. And when they do, I know exactly what it takes to heal up and get back to what I love doing most:

Winning.