For the runners out there, racing looks quite different this year. Some races have gone virtual, while others have been cancelled completely. This hasn’t stopped dedicated runners from putting in the miles. I’ll be sharing some tips on post-race (or post-long run) recovery with you this week.  

After a long run, the legs often feel tight. Here are some things I like to do to support recovery with my foam roller:  

Hip stretching directions:  

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended, the foam roller positioned underneath your hip.  

Lift your body up so your weight is resting on the foam roller. Cross your left leg over your right for extra pressure.  

Begin to slowly roll your right hip back and forth on the foam roller, navigating your body forward and back with your arms.  

Spend as much time as you like to, depending on how sore you are.  

Switch legs and focus on your left hip.   

​Hamstring stretch: Same as hip, but reposition the roller to your hamstring, starting on one side.  

​Calf stretch: Continue with the same directions above but reposition the roller to one calf. I like to adjust and roll the side of my calves out, as well. Just reposition the roller to the side of the calf (inside and outside) after you finish rolling straight on.  

Quad stretching directions: 

Start in a forearm plank position with the roller under your quads.  

Bracing yourself with your upper body and core, begin to slowly roll down the roller until it reaches just above your knees. Then, roll in the opposite direction until you reach your hip flexors.  

Spend as much time as you like to, depending on how sore you are.  

When you hit a tender spot, hold yourself there for a few breaths.  

IT band stretch: There are mixed opinions on whether or not rolling out the IT bands is actually beneficial. I will leave that up to you; if you feel better after rolling them out, go for it!  

Hip flexor stretching directions:  

Start by lying down, facing the floor on the foam roller, once again in a forearm plank position. Make sure the foam roller is underneath your left hip flexor and your right leg is bent comfortably to the side.  

Resting on your forearms, begin to roll slowly up and down and side to side on the foam roller to target the hip flexor, paying close attention to trigger points.  

Switch and repeat on the right hip flexor.  

Upper back stretching directions: 

Begin by lying on your back with the foam roller positioned underneath your upper back. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor and your arms can either be down by your sides or crossed in front of your chest.  

Brace your core and lift yourself up into a shallow bridge position.  

Slowly start to roll up and down between your lower neck and mid-back, stopping at tight areas along the way.  

Repeat as long as you like.  

Please note, we aren’t trying to get aggressive with these, as our muscles are sore. Go gentle when working through each rolling sequence.  

It is interesting to note some of the benefits of foam rolling:  

  • alleviates soreness  
  • reduces inflammation that occurs during the muscle repair process  
  • aids in muscle repair recovery  
  • helps injury prevention by maintaining muscle length and remedying tension and tightness  
  • increases blood flow and elasticity of muscle tissue, joints, and fascia — the body’s connective tissue — which helps with mobility, overall well-being, and a smoother appearance of fat underneath your skin  
  • promotes relaxation  

​These are some things I like to do to recover from a race or long run. What do you do to recover? Comment below!  

And if you have persistent issues, call me and schedule an appointment at the clinic. I’m here to help!