Foam roller, how I love thee, let me count the ways!
Back when I first started running at the beginning of 2009, I had heard of this “thing” called a foam roller, but didn’t really care about it or feel the need to get one. I was running injury free, so why would I or should I be cautious or preventative? Oh, how naive I was! I can’t help but think if I had been proactive the whole time, I wouldn’t have had to go through the battle that is my IT band injury.
By the time I finally broke down and got one, it was too late to be preventative, and now I was having to use it to heal and loosen an already incredibly angry IT band. So, do I have your attention yet? So, let’s review. If you are NOT injured, I personally would still foam roll to loosen tight muscles and help prevent injury. If you ARE injured, you should be living on the floor and that thing should be welded to your body.
The best part about a foam roller is they don’t have to be expensive. I have the cheapest one from Wal Mart and it does the trick. (Was maybe ten bucks?) I am currently on my second one.
You know you are a runner when your husband gives you a foam roller for Christmas. Oh, yes he did!
So, you may be wondering….how do you do it?
HERE is a good website to show you how to properly foam roll. There are tons of videos out there if you are looking for something specific.
Is it supposed to hurt? Yes and no. It is what I like to call “a good pain.” It should feel like you are getting a really deep massage. It will definitely hurt at first, but the more you do it, the less it will hurt and it will be more feel good than ow I am going to kill you for making me do this!
How long do I do it? I usually stay on mine for about 5-10 minutes after short runs, and if I am feeling super tight or doing a long run, I will use it on and off with rest breaks for about 20 minutes. I focus mainly on my IT bands, but I also roll other parts as well.
When do I do it? I personally roll before AND after a run. Before a run I just do my IT bands for a couple of minutes to loosen up (on top of stretching once I warm up) just for that “extra” loosening to help me not get tight as quickly while running.
Please don’t be like me and wait until AFTER you get injured. Sometimes stretching just doesn’t cut it and you need some pressure to loosen up those tight areas. (I have also been known to use a tennis ball on particularly tight days, but be careful it leaves bruises.) aannnddd your dog may think it’s playtime and try and snatch the thing right out from under you.
This is the half marathon I injured my IT band in. ug.
OK! So, I am thrilled it’s the weekend, we are headed to my parents this evening. My cousin is getting married tomorrow, so we are going to stay with the fam and go to the wedding outside of New Orleans together.
Don’t forget I still need one or two more guest bloggers, your post doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but I would love to have YOU write a guest post for the blog! Please e mail me if you are interested!
QOTD: What do you do for injury prevention?