30 Good Things Before 30: #24 – Foam Rollers

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks out there!

I wanted to mark the holiday with some Olympic-level sleeping in to make up for my very late night last night. Sadly, it was not to be.

I was awoken somewhere around 7 a.m. by the vibration of construction equipment outside. Unfortunately for me and for the workers who are putting in a sidewalk on our street, there are no holidays when it comes to summer roadwork.

I’d like to say I bounded out of bed, got my run out of the way early and then had the entire day to do with as I pleased, but that’s just not true.

It was only after much procrastinating, humming, hawing, and some flailing about in my workout clothes like a four-year-old having a tantrum, that I finally got around to completing my steady 5-mile run.

It’s Week 3 of my marathon training and I feel like fellow blogger hellyontherun had it totally correct this week when she wrote:

I feel like Weeks 3+ are when the real deal starts. Like, you’re excited and gung ho about training at the start but once you’re settled into a plan and the weeks go by, that’s when the discipline really starts happening.

30-good-things-before-30That’s exactly where I am.

It’s become clear that there are a few things I will need in order to survive marathon training unscathed: many, many Clif Shot Bloks, copious amounts of strawberry-banana smoothies, and #24 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30.

Foam Rollers

So the funny thing about my foam roller is that I actually bought it as a Christmas gift for my husband. He saw one while we were out shopping and said it was something he’d like to have as he’d used it in physio.

I took a mental note and went back a couple days later to pick it up.

Fast forward to my marathon training. My legs are starting to feel really tight and I’m trying to figure out how to work them out. Then I see this guy in the corner of my home gym:

Just a simple foam roller. Something similar here.

Just a simple foam roller. You can get a similar one here.

I searched YouTube for “foam rolling for runners,” clicked on the first video and that was it. Life changed forever.

Pretty much every runner I’ve talked to feels the same.

According to the experts at Runner’s World, the benefits of the foam roller are two-fold:

  1. It breaks up knots that can limit range of motion.
  2. It also improves circulation, which can help get you warmed up for a workout and speed up recovery afterward.

I generally just use mine to work out tight muscles. And it hurts so good.

Totally worth it though. A good roller session means my legs will not only feel a million times better but also way more prepared for the next run.

Anybody else in love with their foam roller?

What muscles do you target with your foam roller?

Ever give a Christmas gift to someone that you then ended up using yourself?

8 thoughts on “30 Good Things Before 30: #24 – Foam Rollers

  1. allisonfiorini says:

    I was just on my foam roller yesterday thinking how much I love that little torture device. Did you know that foam rollers can come in different levels of “hardness” (that’s what she said)? I didn’t until I bought a travel sized one that beats me up more than my full sized one! I target my calves. Achilles problems and plantar fasciitis means I have tight calves!

    • mostlyhealthyliving says:

      I did know about the varying levels of hardness but only because the intro to foam rolling YouTube video mentioned it. All I know is I’m not ready for anything harder because this thing kills me! In a good way… My hubby used his for plantar fasc too.

      • allisonfiorini says:

        Yeah, I think the key with it is to be consistent. I suck at that. I’m trying to work on it – even just 5 minutes each day makes a huge difference! I sometimes forget about it…but your post reminded me today! Yay!

  2. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    My foam roller was a Christmas gift from my husband ( I requested it). I love love love mine though it hurts at times 🙂 I’m a big fan of rolling my glutes as they are a problem area for me post running. Foam rollers are such a key game changer for improving your recovery and running!

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