Run and Roll: The Why and How of Using a Foam Roller

Today I went for my first run since the injury hiatus and it felt pretty good. I did an easy 3.3 miles at a 9:40 pace and neither of my knees nor my toe hurt. VICTORY! 

HOWEVER….

….my quads were sore killing me after 2 days of CrossFit in a row (my first time ever doing that) and after my run this morning I was pretty concerned about how I was actually going to make it biking or walking to campus. They were so tight I felt like I had rocks in my legs, it was rough. So after I showered and ate some breakfast I took to my yoga mat and foam roller for some serious stretching and loosening work. I realized while thinking up my blog post for today that I often list foam rolling as one of my exercises and I talk about it a lot, but I’ve never actually elaborated on what foam rolling is/does for you and how to do it. I’ve also been shocked to learn many runners DON’T use one! 

Allow me to Vanna White my foam roller! I bought mine with a Living Social deal for an online yoga store. You can get them in a variety of sizes and with or without the extra bumps – although I think the bumps add to the massage for me. 
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Foam rolling is basically a form of self massage. There are tons of websites and guides online on various exercises to do. I mainly just plop down my hips, quads, butt, hamstrings, etc on the foam roller and use my upper body to roll back and forth putting a lot of weight into the roller. I usually do a round before stretching or yoga and then another round after. Here are some great sites with foam rolling information: 

Runner’s World 

BodyBuilding.com

Prevention Magazine

Foam rolling is meant to speed recovery, increase flexibility, improve joint mobility, and prevent stiffness that may result in pulls or tears. I think, along with yoga, it is the best way for a runner to stretch and recover. 

I am making a super exciting recipe I found on pintrest on Friday so be on the lookout for the link and my review! 

Mileage – 3.3 miles, yoga, foam roll

QOD – One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.

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2 thoughts on “Run and Roll: The Why and How of Using a Foam Roller

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