You have started your training and you have started to notice things are a little tight. The greatest tool you can have as a running is a foam roller. They help in so many different aspects of training, especially keeping your muscles loose and fresh.
There are are so many different types of foam rollers. At one point, I owned five. Right now I have three that I use almost daily. They each have different functions and really help my recovery. Below are each of the rollers I use and a little video on how I use them.
The Stick I use for my IT Band. I have a terrible IT Band and The Stick has really helped get in there. I also use it for my shoulders and neck.
Trigger Point roller is my all purpose roller. I use this for my lower body. Trigger Point is just one type of foam roller. I like it because it is very firm and has different intensities on one roller.
Roll Recovery R3 is a foot roller. Since I have a history with stress fractures I love having a specific foot roller. I also use the R3 for my Achilles and sometimes my glutes.
I always roll after I run. I take note during a run if something feels tight. I will focus on that area a little more when I roll. I will roll each area for 10-15 seconds and move to the next one. Once I'm done I will drink a lot of water, just like after a massage. You are breaking up a lot of stuff when you roll, and you need to flush it out.
Training doesn't have to hurt. If you incorporated rolling early in to your training, it will stick with you. Make sure you find the right foam roller for you by heading to your local running store. They can help explain the benefits of each for your specific issue.
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What is your favorite type of foam roller? Do you incorporate rolling regularly in your training?