Essential Foam Rolling for Marathon Training
The foam roller has always been a staple for me. Having issues with my IT bands, I used it all through my high school and collegiate athletic careers on pretty much every day that I trained. It was a quick tension release / massage that basically made bending my knees less painful.
Luckily now, I use it for injury prevention rather than management. I know that in marathon training there's so many things that they say to do and don't do. But I've found foam rolling to be a pretty consistent recommendation, and I can really tell the difference on days that I use it post-runs versus days that I don't.
If you're new to foam rolling, Runner's World offers a great guide on the positions and recommendations on which foam roller to use. I use this TriggerPoint GRID foam roller, but a simple one will also do the trick.
I typically foam roll about 3 times per week, once on a recovery day and the other two after longer runs.My routine is pretty simple and takes about 15-20 minutes total:
- Calves 60 sec per side
- Shins 30 sec per side
- ITB (side of legs) 60 sec (plus) per side
- Quads 60 sec per side
- Hamstrings 60 sec per side
- Piriformis/Glutes 60 sec per side
Finish up with stretches for your lower body, focusing on the muscle groups you just foam rolled. I always pair this routine with a recovery drink to feel my best the next day.
What's your favorite way to recover from a long distance run? Comment below!