Friday, July 27, 2012

Foam Rolling

How is it even possible that I have made it over 10 years a distance runner and have never used a foam roller until today? After a weekend of long running, a tough strength workout, speed work (followed by an attempted second run at night) and then boot camp tormenting my legs I decided today was the day. Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release that releases tension from muscles and causes relaxation leading to increased flexibility and improved range of motion, more information about Foam Rolling here. I found this article on the benefits of Foam Rolling with a lot of great information and exercises. And in case you really want to read more here is a great literature review showing the self-myofascial release improves flexibility and isometric strength.

I have resorted to using wooden cylinder blocks in the past to roll my calf but now am the owner of a shiny new foam roller and yikes it works! I positioned my hamstring on the roller and immediately knew this would be painful but good. I did a routine of 1 minute rolling with focus on tight areas and releasing tension. The more Areas I tried rolling the more areas or tightness I found. I soon lost my foam roller to a little dancer and gymnast who must also have sore legs...


A little more rolling and I moved on to pilates/yoga combo DVD to help with my lack of flexibility. This and the yoga workout at boot camp this morning have given me the idea to write more on ways to improve strength and flexibility in runners while decreasing injury, so look for more to come. I am happy to say I managed an easy 3 mile run this morning prior to boot camp and my legs actually felt better. Hoping the a regular routine of this helps even more for easier long runs and recovery.

Happy Friday and after a busy couple weeks looking forward to a relaxing weekend of running and boating. What are your weekend plans?

Runners, take a minute and check out A Girl Runner read her touching story, support her and pledge your miles. I am pledging 50 miles but hoping for even more, what can you run?
Linking at Fitness Friday, see what others are up to...

18 comments:

  1. I love rolling! It's part of my pre and post run routine!

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    1. Great idea to add this both to pre and post workout and get in the routine.

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  2. I've never used a foam roller either. Haven't had any specific issues to warrant it but perhaps it is also used for general recovery as well? I don't like the sound of the pain!!!

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    1. I bet using one for general recovery wouldn't be as bad as wen there is an issue. I hope with regular use my pain lessens with each use.

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  3. I don't have a foam roller either! I used the Tiger Tail when I did a relay and someone else in my van had one, and it was nice! Painful but nice. I should probably buy one...

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    1. I used a stick similar to the Tiger Tail on the relay last weekend, such a great thing to have n our van to help with tired muscles.

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  4. My husband has a foam roller that I would love to try... too bad he's always loaning it to someone else so that they can try it!

    As for weekend plans... 14 miles tomorrow...

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    1. He needs to loan it to you intead! Hope you had a good 14 miler :-)

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  5. I wish foam rollers had been around when I was running lost of mileage. I thank goodness for them now!

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    1. I am s glad I own one now. Who would have thought such a simple thing does so good :-)

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  6. I need to get one.. I mostly use the stick and tennis balls, but the big roller can cover much more ground more quickly. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. I don't own a stick either, should gone of those too to take with places. I love the tennis ball for foot rolling.

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  7. Rolled at the gym today and it hurt so good:) I need to buy one but haven't found just the right one:(

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  8. Thanks for the link to A Girl Runner. It was an incredibly touching story and I pledged 25 miles (which pales in comparison to your 50). I have a total love / hate relationship with my foam roller - especially when it hits a tight area. Ugh!

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    1. Thanks for pledging, I know she appreciates every mile :-)

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  9. I love my foam roller and I'm sure I'll love it even more as I train for my first marathon this December.

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    1. It is a great tool to have during marathon training! but I'm sure it will be more a love/hate relationship ;-)

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