Recovery/Flexibility Tools For Training

My Week In Review:

Monday – Yoga/Stretch
Tuesday –  Over/Under Tempo 6K Run.  Road conditions were awful with tons of ice but I managed to get it done.
Wednesday – 10K easy run
Thursday – temperature was a “feels like” -35ºC so I chose the treadmill, did speed intervals and played with the incline, felt good.
FridayPiYo (Strength and Flexibility Training at home)
Saturday – 1hr. run was scheduled BUT I did not get it in.  I was on my feet working the Health Expo most of Friday and then 14hrs. on Saturday.  I was just too exhausted.  My quads were done from the unbelievable amount of stairs that I repeatedly went up and down!
Sunday – 1hr. 10min. snowy run.  Footing was challenging at times but I enjoyed the run.

November and most of December was spent trying to figure out why I had this lingering pain in my foot.  I’ve been taking it easy and getting treated and I’m almost pain-free now.  Turns out I experienced a small tear of my peroneus longus tendon at some point leading up to or during my marathon in October.   Thankfully, I am on the mend and January is all about building my base again.  I’ll be adding to my Sunday long run and mixing up some strength training but the bulk of my weeks will look pretty much the same.

Monday and Fridays are my days off from running.  Monday will be for active recovery only and Fridays I’ll play around with some at home DVDs that will focus mostly on flexibility and mobility moves.  I might even get out on the canal for some skating.

Favourite Tools

Here are some of my favourite tools that I’m trying to use consistently.

Thermaband

Thera-Band Foot Roller

TheraBand Foot Roller is great for rolling the underside of my foot. It can help with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and tired feet.  It helps to stretch the plantar fascia and it will help with flexibility.  The massage just feels good.  It’s also great because it can be frozen and then used to help reduce inflammation.

Foam Rolling

Foam Roller

Foam Roller is a must for anyone who is running consistently.  It will help with flexibility and recovery.  Runners World has a great article on it here: Foam Rolling Tips

The Stick

The Stick

The Stick is a great tool to help self-massage enabling you to break down knots or trigger points in your muscles.  It can help relieve pain, increase your range of motion, help with flexibility and speed up your recovery time.

Lacrosse Ball

Lacrosse Ball

This little lacrosse ball was recommended to me by my massage guy who is truly brilliant when it comes to helping athletes get back in the game.  This gets in areas that are hard to get at, like your groin or rotator cuff.  It helps get in deeper than a regular foam roller.  I’ve heard that massage therapy balls are a better choice but this works for me.

Yoga Mat

Yoga Mat

A Yoga Mat is also essential as you should be doing Yoga a minimum of once a week.  I am trying to do a little more than that but Monday is a must for Yoga.  It helps after the Sunday long runs for me and helps set me up for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday runs.  I have a few favourite home DVDs that I choose from that help give me some variety but also I can work it into my schedule better than trying to get out to a class.

I will break up when I use these tools throughout the day or evening.  I’ll do more on a Monday and Friday as I’m not running.  I keep the lacrosse ball in my family room and will randomly pull it out and spend a few minutes hitting some sore spots.  The Stick is a great tool to ask a family member to get at your hamstrings or calves and it helps to not tire them out easily.  My kids actually take pleasure in causing me pain. 😉 So this is not a difficult task for them.

There are numerous foam roller options to choose from, so do some research. I would, however, recommend that you invest some money in a good one as the cheaper ones will not last very long and this should be a long-term investment into your running.

What kind of tools am I missing out on?  Do you have a must have favourite that you are using? I’d love to hear about your suggestions.

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