I am a runner. I may have also been referred to, on more than one occasion, as a ‘marathon bore’. I may talk about running a lot. I may have a tendency to fall into a ‘running bubble’ and assume everyone cares. Just last week I was astounded that my friend couldn’t find the decency to act suitably awestruck regarding my latest 15 miles of thrilling adventure, aching achievement, and blisters.
I am trying out a new thing where I don’t focus solely on showering upon uninterested interlocutors a monologue of techy running details and will speak on the topic when spoken to. So I was ecstatic to find myself recently involved in a conversation on the benefits of foam rolling. With cheeks flushing and sheer joy pouring from my eyes, I was able to connect the two. Foam rolling and running. A dynamic duo.
I will spare you the full transcript and squeeze them into 4 bite-sized nuggets of reasons why foam rolling will improve your running:
It prevents injuries.
Prevention over cure. Whether you’re new to running, an occasional jogger, a marathon bore or even a dramatic mutation of one such as ‘ultra-marathon bore’… those who pound the pavement are at a higher risk of injury. It’s a lot of work on your joints and soft tissue. Foam rolling before a run will warm up the muscles, increase circulation and after a run will relieve tension built up during exercise.
It’s a workout in itself.
The mighty foam roller is an incredible tool for overall fitness and health. Not only can it help release muscle tension but some exercises help strengthen the muscles too. It prepares your body for stretching. Foam rolling and specifically the GatorTail, will break down knots that limit range of motion and prep your muscles for stretching out. With deep ridges that cover every square inch of the roller, it delivers a deep and consistent massage to every area of your muscles. Static stretching and too much of it can cause tears in the muscles. Foam rolling improves flexibility but doesn’t impair strength.
It manages and treats injuries.
Tight and fatigued muscles are part and parcel of most runner’s lives. The iliotibial band, which runs on the outside of the leg from the hip to the just below the knee is one of the parts of the body susceptible to injury. Rolling the foam back and forth toward the top of the leg, particularly on the quad will aid healing.
It’s an inexpensive massage.
As much as we’d all enjoy a daily jaunt to the spa for a massage, it’s not a wallet-friendly solution. Daily foam rolling goes deep inside the knots and sore spots to prevent tension building up. It might even make you so relaxed it prevents you from reporting the state of your knees in physiological detail to those nearby…