This morning, following a long(er) run on Sunday and a half hour strength session yesterday, I felt an unusual heaviness in my legs. It was a sensation that I, oddly enough, welcomed with open arms. I interpreted this feeling as a sign of muscle growth, an indicator of my training effort, and my body's way of responding to different stimuli.
I found myself paying close attention to the heaviness because, in the past couple of weeks, I've actually been resting more than usual. Between traveling, battling jet lag, and yesterday's dreadful weather, I've taken more time off than is typical for me. Even while in Italy, I rarely ran for more than an hour at a time. As a result, a couple of more intense training days quickly manifested as DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
This got me thinking. As odd as it may sound, I don't experience enough DOMS! My default state hovers somewhere between sore and fresh, a sort of limbo. Just like perpetually running at medium intensity doesn't trigger growth, my "in-between" soreness suggests that my body isn't getting enough variation. It points to the fact that I might be in a training plateau, of effort, intensity or simply not taking enough rest days.
Reflecting on this, I can't recall a day when I woke up too tired to run or lacked the desire to head out for at least a quick jog. Not even the day after a long ultra. And while this suits my love for running and my requirement to move to feel mentally better, I realize that it may not be the best thing for muscle development.
It's probably time to shake things up, to grow, to DOMS more often!