Running a marathon is tough. And training for it is even harder! If you’re running a spring marathon, you’ll be hitting the final long runs and will soon start to taper. As you get those last long miles in, beware: the long distance that improves your endurance also lays you open to niggles and injuries before the big day.
Mile after mile at race pace puts immense strain on the body – especially if you’re pounding the pavements instead of taking it off-road. Without implementing sufficient recovery work, final stage marathon training will potentially catch up with you and result in injury and a hindrance in the build-up to race day.
Long distance running is incredibly taxing on our muscles, resulting in cramping, inflammation and soreness throughout the body. For this reason, ample recovery time is advised to improve overall fitness, maximise performance, and prevent injury. Fortunately, this does not have to be time-consuming and better still, the best piece of apparatus is the humble, affordable foam roller.
Myofascial Release for Runners
One of the simplest ways for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike to take care of their bodies is through self-myofascial release – a form of therapy that treats skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing tight muscles and improving blood circulation. With the right foam roller and proper execution, running performance can be improved and injuries prevented. Therefore, the foam roller is a valuable tool in any runner’s kit bag!
While many runners will only pick up a foam roller to rehab injured muscles, a short routine as part of both the warmup and cooldown will pay dividends. Smooth foam rollers are OK, but if you really want to get to those niggles, opt for one with a patterned surface to break down knots and relieve stored tension in muscles. Due to its unique design, the Performance Roller is the perfect choice to increase circulation and range of motion to get the body better prepared for the demands of a workout, while also reducing the risk of injury and improving recovery times.
Foam Rolling Recovery Routine
So, if you’re heading out for your last training session this weekend or next, you’ll do well to add the following movements into your programme:
Maximising the benefits of Foam Rolling
To maximise the benefits of foam rolling, spend 15-20 seconds rolling over a muscle at a rate of one inch per second, keeping the movement as smooth as possible. As shown in the videos, if you discover a tender spot, hold your body weight on it for 10-15 seconds and perform one of the recommended mobilisations to create width and expansion into the muscle with the roller to try and release the knot. (Accurate placement will re-introduce movement into the tissue and increase blood flow, nutrients and oxygen to the muscle).
If you’re new to foam rolling, or would like to know more movements, the Physical Company Performance Roller is equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which gives users access to a complete library of exercises and information, by simply holding a smart phone over the NFC Tag.