THE 4TH WEEK OF THE 10 WEEK TURKEY TROT 2020 TRAINING PLAN STARTS today. Your mileage is increasing, so performing the Foam Roller (FR) session sometime this week becomes more important. If you have not yet performed this routine, you might be surprised at the experience and how it helps you to recover after longer runs. No doubt, the first several times rolling can be uncomfortable. But with repeated sessions over time, it feels wonderful. An ice bath, also a recommended method of recovering from the aches of extended sessions, doesn’t ever feel wonderful.
Before I knew anything about FR, I would attempt to ease post-run leg stiffness by sitting in an ice bath. To prepare I put on a bathing suit and a short-cropped warm sweatshirt, made a cup of hot tea to drink, drew a tub half full of cold water, and filled a bucket with ice. First off, I eased into the cold water, then gradually added ice. I never spent the recommended full 10 minutes in the ice bath, so that’s possibly why it did not provide relief from my stiffness. To those who think foam rolling is painful, I would argue that it in my experience FR is much less uncomfortable and is more effective, compared with icing.
It’s the reason behind my encouraging you all to try foam rolling!
It’s best to start this practice early-on in training, before your soft tissues (muscles and surrounding connective tissue) significantly ‘tighten’ from repeated cycles of micro-injury and repair. At a later point in training you will likely experience exquisite tenderness (otherwise known as pain) when the tight tissues are compressed by your body weight during rolling.
Recommendations have included foam rolling immediately after running and every 24 hours on subsequent days as needed up to 72 hours (3 days later), to prevent the delayed-onset of muscle soreness, called DOMS. Even though you might be able to grit your teeth and endure the DOMS, another reason to foam roll is that it can help prevent injury. This may be especially welcome if you are planning to run or exercise 24-72 hours after a tough long run.
A bonus of this session is that you work arms, core, and upper body as you FR. Feeling a little DOMS in these areas the day afterward will be proof that they were exercised during your first FR attempt!
If you find yourself forgetting it or skipping it due to lack of time, foam roll at least one time each week. I’ve confessed in other posts that I find it best to hit my tightest spots (piriformis, calves, quads, back) PRIOR to a long run, and then hit all areas AFTER the run.
Try it, at least once, before deciding to skip these sessions. The RESOURCES page lists some demonstrations.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
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Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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