How did I go 25 years without using a foam roller? And how did I survive training for three 1/2 marathons without falling in love with this awesomely simple device?
Let’s backtrack, shall we?
After running the NYC 1/2 Marathon in March 2010, I realized just how much I liked running, and I seriously upped the ante.
I ran 5 miles almost every morning and frequently did a long run — anywhere from 7 to 12 miles — on the weekends.
I haven’t been giving myself many rest days. I know that’s bad.
When I stop, though, they tighten up, and I’m finally realizing that they are probably fatigued. I’ve become terrified of injuring myself and know that I need to start protecting my body better before I lose all cartilage in between my joints.
I’ve been reading about runners who swear by foam rollers for a while, but I’ll admit that I’ve been totally intimidated by them. I don’t know how to use them and I want someone to show me.
Tonight at the gym I looked up a tutorial online from Running Times magazine and did a simple foam roller exercise.
I worked out my IT bands with this exercise:
And then moved onto my quads:
Those were the only exercises I did tonight for fear of doing too much and injuring myself.
Oh. My. Awesome.
It felt weird at first, and a little painful, but then it felt oh so good. When I got up and went to spinning, my legs felt worked out, loose and immediately less prone to injury.
I know I’m being super dramatic. Two little rolling exercises probably didn’t change my body a whole let yet. But I can’t wait to try out more exercises with the foam roller and learn as much as I can about what it can do for my sore ole’ body.
Santa, is it too late to ask for a foam roller for Christmas? Preferably a lime green one…
DISCUSS: Are you a foam roller fanatic? I’d love any type of feedback about what types of exercises you do, how they’ve helped your fitness and what you recommend. I do plan to seek out a professional at the gym who can give me a breakdown of what to do, but I love hearing from all the real-life runners out there!