As we’ve discussed in previous posts on foam rolling and stretching, recovery is a crucial part of training for any type of race. Sometimes foam rolling and stretching are not quite enough for those tired legs, though. Check out some additional recovery options below. While most of them will cost additional money, consider it an investment in your health and a way to continue running for the long haul!
Compression socks – A lot of runners wear compression sleeves and socks while running, but they are also helpful with recovery. They help promote blood flow from the feet back to the heart and lessen leg swelling. I like to wear them for a few hours after a long run or race, as well as when my calves are feeling especially tight. If you’re going to be sitting for awhile, be sure to wear socks instead of sleeves, and make sure you get socks that fit you properly for the right level of compression.
Cryotherapy – You may have seen these studios popping up in the city, as cryotherapy is becoming a more popular way to recover quickly. Whole body cryotherapy involves 2-3 minutes of exposure to sub-zero temperatures. In short, it constricts the blood vessels in your extremities, as your body is working to keep your core warm. Once you’re out of the chamber, the blood vessels open back up and fresh blood returns to them. Most studios have a discount for your first couple of sessions. A few to check out in DC are District Cryo and Capital Cryo. Their websites also give a longer explanation of how cryo works.
Massage – When you have knots in your muscles that just won’t seem to go away, getting a sports massage can be a great solution. Not only will it loosen up those trouble spots, it will leave you feeling refreshed from your training and ready to take on that next run. There are a lot of massage places in DC – checking reviews or asking trusted running friends for whom they recommend is usually best, as not all massage places give special care or services for athletes.
In addition to getting a massage, dry needling or graston are other options for getting deep into tight areas. These services are primarily found at PT offices, so it can sometimes take longer to schedule them depending on what insurance you carry.
Everyone recovers a little differently, but keep these in mind if you need a little extra something to keep you running strong! What other ways do you recover strong?
Tammy Whyte is the owner and head running coach of TW Training and Wellness. She has group training programs for fall marathons and half marathons, which start this week. If you’re training for a local favorite – MCM, NAF Half, Army 10 Miler – or another fall race, check them out to get support and accountability on your training journey. All levels of runners are welcome! Learn more and sign up at www.twtrainingwellness.com.