Quality Time with the Foam Roller

It’s the last official day of Recovery Week, and I’m happy to report that my IT band does seem to be steadily improving.  Today was my first back-to-back run since the trouble started, so I was anxious to see how I would feel. I did quite a bit of foam-rolling and trigger point massage yesterday, both before and after my run. All the hotspots were extra sore this morning, which I’ve actually found to be a good indicator that the trigger points are loosening up. Still, it’s never any fun running when you’re sore, and today was no exception. I only had seven miles to do, so I did my best to relax into it and just let the motion work out the soreness.

I realized today that I’ve been reaching for my NB Minima after my runs for the last few weeks. It seems counterintuitive that shoes that provide less support would be good for recovery, but they really have become my preferred option, particularly after long runs. I think the fact that they require all the smaller stabilizing muscles to engage helps to relieve the larger, overworked ones a bit. The ultra-low heel also gives the calves a nice stretch, which I can always use. The other major benefit is that they don’t aggravate the blisters and chaffings of my regular running shoes.

And while we’re on the subject, let’s discuss the chaffing for a moment. How do ultrarunners do it? It seems that somewhere around 16 miles, a whole different set of criteria starts to apply to running bras, and seams of any form become the enemy. I’m pretty liberal with the Glide, but there seem to be new surprises every week. It’s not even so much that the long run chaffing is so unbearable, it’s just that as soon as it’s getting reasonably well healed, it’s time for another one and the process starts all over again. I feel like all this re-opening of wounds is going to leave me permanently scarred, and chaffing scars just don’t sound all that tough. “Well, you see, that one was where the seam of my shirt roughed me up pretty good. It was a wicking fabric, but they can get mighty ornery once they get a little salty.” Does anyone have any advice on this?

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One Comment to “Quality Time with the Foam Roller”

  1. One of my chaffing fears is that at a lady-doctor checkup they’ll find the marks and suspect domestic abuse…

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