Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the foam roller

This item to the left has changed my life. And, no, I'm not being dramatic. The foam roller entered my life on Monday, when my body was so beat up that I was afraid I'd never walk again (ok, that was dramatic). In accordance with the half marathon training schedule that I'm following, I ran (more like stumbled through) 17 miles on Sunday afternoon. Yes, I realize that 17 miles is way more than the 1/2 will be, but just bear with me. I'm a little crazy when it comes to being prepared for things, so I chose this training schedule knowingly, and it was created by Jeff Galloway.

I had run 16 miles two weeks ago with no problem at all. But, as it always is with running: a different day, a different reaction. And apparently I had totally exhausted the muscle that supports my IT band. Reaction: sharp, sharp, almost unbearable PAIN.

Thankfully I've got some co-workers who know their stuff when it comes to races, competitions, and taking care of your body. I iced, stretched, and they sent me out for a foam roller. I had seen one before (Courtney had one in CA last year), but hadn't used it. An article in Running Times Magazine summed it's purpose up well, so here it is -

"The best way to eliminate and prevent muscle knots is the foam roller. The foam roller is a firm foam log that is six inches in diameter. Use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate the direct pressure. Imagine using a rolling pin to roll out lumps in bread dough...Bottom line: The foam roller is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to treat and prevent the most common injuries seen in runners. A few minutes a day can help keep you on the road for years to come."

The above position is the MOST painful for me right now. But it's totally doing it's job. If you're a runner, biker, swimmer, walker, any type of exerciser, I would absolutely recommend this!


Team Bourlon said...

Woohoo, roll those muscles out! It kills my hamstrings because they are always so tight. Happy training!

nLk said...

you have to think i'm your biggest stalker because i comment on EVERY post you write...but i always have something to say ;) i LOVE these things...i always use them at the gym after my workouts and sometimes i get embarrassed because i tear up while i'm doing it and have to hide my face. they're painful, but a life saver. i'm so impressed with your 16 miles!

ron said...

With consistent use, foam roller exercises become much less painful. At that point, you can consider upgrading to a RumbleRoller for even more relief.

Good luck with your 1/2!