Over the last few years, I have used various different foam rollers and stretching techniques after runs. I have learned that when I take the time to foam roll and stretch, my body feels better after a hard work out. However, I don’t always make time for those activities. Why might you ask? Working out already takes 30-60 minutes out of each of my day, I really should spend the 5-10 minutes to foam roll or stretch. Time management can be hard, and I always find myself running late anyways.
Foam rolling helps the daily health of connective tissue in our muscles. It will also help with post injury tissue mobility, even after recovering from an injury, using a foam roller will help build those muscles and help your body to function properly. For example, if you had a left hip injury, you may be able to run but your body is overcompensating by putting extra pressure on your right hip. Foam rolling will help rebuild the tissue in the left hip. Lastly, foam rolling helps with performance of your muscles. Flexible muscles perform better and this type of stretching will help you out! I recommend foam rolling 3-4 days a week for a few minutes at a time.
For me, stretching is one of those things I learned about in elementary school and sometimes forget about. Group fitness classes help me because I usually stretch with the instructor/trainer/coach after the class. A few tips, its good to warm up through dynamic (or moving) stretches when your muscles are cold. Hello Denver winter and outdoor running. It’s also important to stretch after you exercise with static (not moving) stretches.
One fun thing I did in the past couple weeks– sign up for Chicago Marathon 2017. For Chicago marathon, there are guaranteed entries (mostly for good times) or non-guaranteed entries which are done for a lottery. A few of my friends are big racers, and we all signed up for next year! Cross your fingers that we get in!
Do you stretch often? How does your body feel when you do?