As we're all in this strange bubble of lock-downs and social distancing, I'm sure that many of you are still out there running, trying to get the miles in as best you can, ready for whatever events you've entered to eventually re-open. Maybe even doing more than normal to keep yourself busy and get some head space outdoors.
All the gyms are closed so unless you've got your own gear, borrowed gear or have made your own. Strength training has taken a back seat too.
In which case, taking care of yourself is doubly important.
'Today's run will only be as good as the quality of your rest and recovery from the last one!'
Recovery is as important as all things training wise, helping to iron out the niggles so they don't bite you on race day.
I'm going to give you some tips and strategies on how best to avoid injury and remain pain free whilst you run.
First up is foam rolling, something I advise my clients to do following every run.
It may be painful at first, but it does get better.
It's not just for runners either!
For optimum results it's best performed before your static stretch.
Spend at least 1 minute per muscle group per limb.
Start at the calves and move up the body (hamstrings, glutes, lower back if necessary but be careful. Turn over then do hip flexors and quads. Tibialis anterior (shin muscle) is possible but wary of the shin bone).
Rotate the limb from side to side to ensure you get the whole area.
Move nice and slowly up and down the muscle.
If there is a painful bit, stop on top of it and wait for the pain to dissipate.
DO NOT roll over bone or joint (knees, ankles hip bones).
Use your weight to get pressure down into the muscle.
You don't necessarily have to only roll after a run, you can do it any time although just before a run has mixed results. If it works for you do it, if not then don't.
You're effectively re-aligning your muscle fibres before stretching them - to avoid any knots in the muscle tissue and fascia (membrane) that surrounds the muscle. Knots in either can cause pressure points and pain whilst running. This in turn can cause the body to compensate without you even knowing it and other issues may arise from here.
It's the closest you'll get to a sports massage without actually having one and if you've had a good sports massage, you know how good they are.
I've done a little video to show you how I do it. It's speeded up a little, as there's nothing more boring than watching someone foam roll. However, take your time with it when you do it.