Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Last week, I decided that it was time to finally look into this whole rolling thing. 

I've toyed with the idea when I've trained for my last couple marathons, but have never been sure whether to go with the Stick or with a foam roller or what. I've also heard a lot of alternative solutions, like rolling pins, softballs, tennis balls or frozen water bottles.

So I decided to go the best sources I know for good info on what really works: DailyMile and Twitter.

And I got a lot of awesome responses, though I have to say opinions were pretty split between a foam roller and the Stick. 

Ultimately I decided to go with something a few folks recommended that might help me decide: the rolling pin method.

So I rolled for the first time on Saturday evening, and didn't notice a huge difference. I did notice that it felt like it took a lot of upper body strength (which isn't exactly, ahem, my strong suit).  I mostly rolled my calves, which is where I tend to experience a lot of tightness and fatigue.

Then last night, I did some speed work. I did a little over three miles, with six sets of strides. I went home, stretched, iced my shin and ate some dinner. Then it was time to roll.

I rolled my hamstrings and my quads, and it felt AMAZING. And I rolled them foam roller style, using my body weight, and it felt so, so good. I spent a little bit of time on my calves, but was icing them on and off throughout the evening (well, icing my shins). Using it like a foam roller, I found it to be a little too low. This whole experiment did help me decide that I'll be purchasing a foam roller sometime soon!

My weapon of choice


  1. One of the best things I did was take the free Trigger Point Therapy class at Jacksonville Running Company. They suggest you buy their crap, but I honestly do what I learned there with a tennis ball or a dog toy. It's amazing how great it works, especially on your calvs. I highly recommend it! Nice idea with the rolling pin. I'm totally trying that tonight after my run.

  2. I generally keep rolling limited to body parts that need it for potential injury prevention, such as my right hamstring being tight lately. I use The Stick, but find it tends to flex too much on some muscle groups, so a rolling pin can be much more effective.