The Runner’s Toolbox

I equate running with injury.  I’ve never been able to run for any extended period of time without encountering some nagging little pain or injury.  This time is no different.  I am most likely to blame for this because I don’t religiously do everything I should.  I go too long, too fast and too soon.  I don’t stretch nearly enough, even though my flexibility is pretty good.  Then, there’s the mystery misstep,  stumble, blister or hard workout…and the next day everything is out of whack.

I see people running all the time.  None of them seem to have issues.  Maybe the ones with problems are all indoors.  I know I can’t be the only one because there’s an entire industry of self-treatment, injury and recovery prevention…not to mention physical therapists, orthopedist and the like.  I’ve  had little success in most of these methods, despite trying all sorts of things.  A few things have worked well for me:  acupuncture, massage and rest.

Right now I have a pretty extensive collection of tools:

  • Stretching Rope  (I do a form of active isolated stretching)
  • Various balls for massage and trigger point (golf ball for the plantar fascia, tennis ball for TFL, gluteus, etc.)
  • Strengthening bands
  • “The Stick” (exquisitely painful and exhilarating)
  • Foam Roller (more massage and trigger point release)
  • Strassburg Sock (for heel pain, plantar fascitis, tight calf muscles)
  • Ice packs and dixie cups (for ice massage)
  • Kinesio tape
I don’t use everything every day.  I find I have to be careful since sometimes the intervention can aggravate things more. But then again, I tend to overdo things.  I believe in the body’s ability to heal itself, especially if gently helped along.  Injury prevention is still the best approach:  solid foundational strength, slowly working up to higher mileage and intensities, taking time to recover.


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