• Downhill running benefits last 6 weeks

    A study done on downhill running found that one bout of downhill running on a -10 degree slope for 30 minutes, as expected, caused soreness otherwise known as DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness.) The maximal soreness was at 42 hours post-run.

    What might have been unexpected is that the benefits of just one bout of running downhill offered protection, or less soreness, following the same run 30-minute run for up to six weeks. Scientists theorized that the effect might be due to an increase in the number of sarcomeres or an increase in Z band (Z line, Z disk) strength.

    Technical description aside, the great news is that it doesn't take much stimulation for the body to adapt to a new load like downhill running and the benefits were notable at the three- and six-week marks. However, the group that ran at the nine-week mark, experienced the same level of soreness that they did on the first run.

    What does this mean to you? Don't let more than six weeks pass between your downhill running bouts if you want to minimize DOMS.


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