Running & Recovery: Treating our muscles right is such a key factor when it comes to achieving our goals. When it comes to running, it’s not only about the miles that you put in but about what you do before, after, and on your rest days. It’s important to do dynamic stretching before a run and it’s important to stretch out after a run. On top of that, you should have a clear recovery system set up to help your muscles and your body endure the mileage that you are putting on them.
Personally, I follow a very strict recovery plan for myself because I injure quite easily. Part of my plan is to foam roll every single day and treat myself to sports massages once a month. I take “prehab” very seriously, meaning I try to do everything in my power to avoid being injured and facing rehab.
In this edition of “My favorite things”, I’m showing you some of my favorite recovery tools. I own all of these items and stand by them 100%. These are items that I use after my runs and on my rest days to help my muscles and my body be in tip top shape as quickly as possible. Take a look below and feel free to share some items that are on your love list for recovery!
2XU compression sleeves : These are my go to the minute I am done with any hard running. I get immediate relief in my calves as soon as I put these bad boys on. The point of them is to help with circulation and recovery. After a hard speed workout or a long 15 mile run, these compression sleeves allow me to continue on my day without feeling fatigued in my legs. Cost: $20-$30
Trigger point foam roller : If you’re running and not foam rolling, you’re doing it wrong. Foam rolling is a way to relieve so much pain in your body. Have you ever heard the term Pre-hab vs. Re-hab. It’s a saying those of us in the running community use to talk about things you can do to help keep injuries away. A good foam rolling routine will help your body stay strong and muscles relaxed so that you can avoid injuries in the future. I use my foam roller every single day for about 15-20 minutes. The feeling after a good run, of rolling out your glutes or hamstrings, is something I can’t even begin to describe. Cost: $35-$45
Trigger point grid stick : I use this stick every single day on my calves. The smaller ridges in the middle make it easier to get it into spots on my calves that really need to be worked that the larger foam roller above just can’t get to. Cost: $35
Heal PT foot roller : My favorite of all my recovery tools. Our feet take such a pounding when we are in the midst of training. I’m not sure about you but when I’m done with a long run, my arches, my toes, everything is sore. I can sit at my desk or my couch and put this foot roller on the floor and roll it back and forth along my feet. It immediately alleviates the pain that I get in my arches and feels great on my toes. Cost: $10
Massage from Massage Envy: I have a monthly membership at Massage Envy where I get one massage per month. They have the options like deep tissue and sports massages. Each month I will anywhere from a 60-90 minute massage and add the sports therapy to it as well. My massage therapist knows that I’m training for a marathon and knows what muscles tend to be tight. I make sure that I go back to the same person each month so that she can keep working on the muscles she knows needs correcting. Anytime I have a big race approaching, I’ll go for a massage a few days prior to loosen my muscles and I’ll go after the big race so that my recovery is quicker. I highly recommend getting a sports massage to help with your training. Price: $60-$150
For the splurge:
Triggerpoint Cold Roller : Here is the item on my wish list. We all know that cold is a key factor in recovery. Marathoners will take ice baths after long hard runs and most runners should know to ice areas that hurt after a hard run. This item right here is both a roller & an ice pack all in one and it makes me swoon. Cost: $100
There you have it, my list of my favorite recovery tools. Is there something I am forgetting? Let me know what you love to use on your muscles. I’m always looking for new items to try.