Most running conditioning programmes take an all or nothing approach. When you’re training, you’re working hard and when you’re not training, you’re doing nothing at all.
This especially applies to runners training for half or full marathons, spending hours and hours grinding out the miles yet seldom do anything to aid their recovery.
Your workout is only as good as your rest.
The body will only improve and grow stronger if you give it enough time to rest. It’s the only time the body can adapt to the stress you have been putting it under.
So, doesn’t it makes sense to optimise that recovery period?
And I’m not talking about lying on the couch catching up with the latest series of Homeland!
I’m talking about foam rolling.
The foam roller
Yes, that’s right. That nasty looking foam cylinder that sits all by itself in the corner of the gym.
About 18 inches long, 5 inches in diameter and usually gathering dust.
It’s time to introduce yourself to it and become acquainted.
It can be your best friend, especially if you are picking up aches and pains after your long runs.
Although, you may feel it’s your worse enemy when you first try it out!
Give yourself a massage
Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage but a lot cheaper and saves you a trip to the Spa.
It uses deep compression to help roll out the muscle spasms that can develop over time when absorbing up to 8 times your own bodyweight whilst running.
The pressure of the foam roller causes the nerves to relax, loosens up the muscle and helps the blood flow.
It’s just like a massage in the sense that there will be a few ‘uncomfortable’ moments but these will pass after the first few weeks.
You may well shout out a few expletives but this is a barometer of the quality of your connective tissue.
Keep at it and those cries for mercy will subside and your muscles will thank you for it.
Just think that our tissue is like an elastic band, so we need to keep it supple and elastic. When an elastic band gets all knotted up, it doesn’t store as much energy. We need to undo the knots by softening them and making the tissue more pliable.
Watch the videos below and follow this routine as often as you can. Try to knead out the knots by working in a small pattern back and forth for 30 seconds and then holding it on that tight area of the muscle for 30-60 seconds.
Enjoy and talk under your breath!
1. IT Band
5. Gluteus Medius
If you’re training for a Half Marathon then check out our online conditioning programme! It includes the routes for the Bermuda Half Marathon but the rest of the programme can be applied to any half marathon training.
Find out more at www.BermudaMay24.com