If you find yourself experiencing some lingering soreness after your weekend long runs, there are some great tools for running recovery that can help you with self-massage and getting rid of some of those aches! Running long is great for building your aerobic endurance and getting used to spending longer periods of time on your feet.
However, as a result, you may experience muscle aches, sometimes delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which you might notice the day after your long run or tough workout. While it’s impossible to completely avoid the soreness, there are some cool tools and gadgets that can help you work through and eliminate some of the soreness.
Arnica gel is one of my go to items for muscle soreness. I was late on the arnica bandwagon–having a hard time believing that this homeopathic treatment would work– I was DEAD WRONG! It works really well for muscle soreness, and it’s a mainstay in my medicine cabinet now!
I have a few tools in my arsenal that I like to use to relieve soreness or loosen tight areas. A good, high density foam roller is a must-have to work out tight areas. It can do wonders with eliminating tightness and soreness with your illiotibial (IT) band, piriformis, and other common running injury areas. There are a number of resources to show you techniques for self-myofascial release or foam rolling as we like to call it.
Foam Roller, LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller 6 x 36 Round – Extra Firm With 1 Year WarrantyThe Stick Travel Stick – 17 Inches – Standard Flexibility With Red Handles – Therapeutic Body Massage Stick – Potentially Improves Flexibility – Aids Muscle Recovery And Muscle Pain – Provides Myofascial ReleaseTriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos, Original (13-inch), Orange
Compression Socks or Sleeves
Compression is another great tool for after long runs or tough workouts. When you get home, throw on a pair of compression socks for the remainder of the day or overnight while you sleep! The compression will help keep up good blood flow to your feet and lower legs–refreshing them.
CEP Women’s Progressive+ 2.0 Run Socks, Size III (Calf 12.5-15-Inch), Pink/BlackPRO Compression: Marathon Compression Socks, Purple, Small/MediumZensah Argyle Compression Socks – Best Compression Socks for Running, Travel, Working Out – Improve Circulation – Help Treat Shin Splints – Running Compression Socks
Another often overlooked recovery tool is post-run nutrition. You may have heard of the 4:1 carbohydrate/protein ratio. This ratio comes into play after tough workouts or long runs (not your every day runs). Within a half hour of finishing your workout, try to consume a recovery snack that contains the 4:1 ratio. The half hour window is key because that is when your muscles are primed and ready to refuel.
Pacific Health Endurox R4, Lemon Lime, 28 serving, 4.56lbsVega Sport Recovery Accelerator, Apple Berry, Tub, 19ozHammer RECOVERITE (16 servings) – ChocolateGU Recovery Drink Mix, Chocolate Smoothie, 1.86 lbs
Try working some of these recovery techniques into your training regimen, so you can recover faster and avoid injury!