The foam roller is an instrument I love to hate: I hate it because it's sometimes a painful experience, and love it for the benefits it can provide, such as relieving tight, sore muscles, and increasing blood flow. I have two foam rollers in my arsenal, pictured above (maybe someday I'll take a course in blog photography, but it's not happening in the near future). The black, spiky roller on the right is a Rumble Roller. I use this on my calves and hamstrings when I am feeling especially brave. I have never had the guts to attempt rolling out my quads or IT bands on it. The orange roller on the left is a Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller. We'll call this my everyday roller, because I literally use it every day on my IT bands, quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. I spend a minute or two on each muscle group, slowly rolling up and down the length of the muscle. If I find a tight spot, I stay there until I feel the tightness release. When I slack on foam rolling, similar to when I slack on my strength work, I end up paying for it in the form of tight muscles, which can wreak havoc on your running. Click here for a Runners World foam rolling routine that nearly mirrors what I do each day.
Below is a photo of the R8 Roll Recovery Massager, another form of deep tissue massage (or perhaps torture). I have never tried this, but I'm super curious about it. If you have one, message me! I'd love a review.
Today I had an easy 8 mile run on the schedule, sandwiched between 200 m repeats yesterday and a marathon pace run tomorrow morning. This is one of the days when my tendency to run easy runs too fast could sabotage tomorrow's marathon pace miles. I am happy to say I stuck to an 8:40 per mile average pace. I'm ready for tomorrow's challenge! After I foam roll, of course.