Hey ATRC folks,
Philip again. I’ve been upping my mileage lately in preparation for a race I have in late June. It has presented its own joys and challenges. I’ve been spending more time in nature than usually. I’m a lot more fit and in better shape than I was previously. Running more gives me extra time to think and meditate after a busy day.
There’s certainly some drawbacks to my increased mileage as well. I’m in my mid 20s and I enjoy an active social life, but I’ve had to cancel or refuse invites from friends due to my need to get more miles in for the day. I recently came down with a bout of poison ivy due to getting lost on a trail at night and running through brush to get back to my car, which I partially attribute to my increased time on trails. But the worst part of increasing mileage are all the aches and pains of your body hating you for running. 🙂
Usually the first ache that hits on a run is the shin splints. My left shin especially likes to let me know that I should not be moving at more than walking speed, and is willing to give me reminders if I forget. Usually it fades after about a mile or so, but it always creates anxiety for me because I’ve DNS’d from shin splints before.
The next thing to hit is some kind of IT band issue. I’ve been struggling with that as well, and I’m doing just enough strengthening exercises to keep it in check. I usually start feeling this in later miles of my run, especially if I’ve been practicing downhill running.
The third thing that usually hits is extensor tendinitis. This manifests in pain on top of the foot, usually caused by excessively tight calves. This usually hurts at various points in a workout, before, during, or after a run.
All these aches and pains suck. They can be mitigated by strength exercises and by being careful to not over train. But what do you do when you’re aching and it hurts? Preventative measures won’t help you at that point. To be honest, these situations suck, and part of what you need to do to prevent injury is to rest. But you should also spend time actively recovering by eating protein after a workout, stretching after a workout, and foam rolling.
I currently have a favorite foam roller called the Rollga.
If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of the name, but it’s one of my favorite products that we carry in the store. When my shins hurt, I roll them on this roller. When my IT band hurts I roll my glutes on this roller. When my extensor tendons hurt I roll out my calves. What separates this foam roller from the rest of them is that, because of those notches in it, its got nooks and crannies that put the proper pressure in all the sore spots. It works really well for me, and I sometimes sound a little obscene with all the happy groans I let out while using this amazing tool. We have a demo model in the store, and I encourage y’all to come in and try it out.
Rollga also has a youtube channel to show how you can roll out all those ache-y muscles, which you can visit by clicking this link. Come into our store and check the Rollga out!
Thanks for reading,