Just like the actual running component, recovery tools are just as important. Without rest and recovery, you won’t be able to run. For me, March through May are busy racing months, so it’s important to take rest seriously. On a personal level, I have a few big races in the next month (ranging from 1 mile to 13.1), so recovery is at the front of my mind.
There are plenty of recovery items from compression sleeves to foam rollers that look like Rollerblades….but what works and what doesn’t?
I’ve compiled some of my favorite items and tools for recovery. Like running shoes, what works for me might not work for you.
CEP Compression sleeves and tights
I’ve been wearing CEP compression sleeves for years. My calves are my problem area, and I need to stretch them often and promote blood flow as much as possible. Compression sleeves allow more blood to flow to calves and shins. Therefore, my calves recover faster. Compression sleeves can benefit anyone for faster recovery.
I frequently wear them during races as well as after a hard run or race.
I like CEP because they are medical grade compression. Medical grade compression means unlike many other compression brands, they have more compression. They aren’t simply an expensive tube sock to make you look cool.
I was recently sent a pair of CEP capris to try out, and I like them a lot. More often than not my quads get sore after a hard workout or race. The compression capris have the same compression as the sleeves but geared towards the quads and hamstrings.
I’ve worn them while running and I’ve also worn them to recover in. I don’t wear them as much as the sleeves, but I do wear them after hard workouts and races.
Be warned: the material for the capris can be see through in the booty. It’s extremely tight, and the material stretches. Like leggings, you can wear them solo if you make sure they fit appropriately.
Roll Recovery: R8
The Roll Recovery R8 is the most expensive piece of equipment I purchased but, to be honest; it ‘s worth it. It’s $120, which is the cost of an average pair of shoes. I haven’t found anything that can get as deep into the muscle. When I foam roll myself, I never get as deep as needed. Since the R8 clamps on to your leg, it goes as deep as possible. It takes the guess work away from you. While it’s expensive, I do think it’s better than any other foam roller I’ve tried. I do use my Roll Recovery R8 more than any other foam roller I’ve purchased…(read: I actually use my R8).
Epsom Salt Baths and Ice Baths
Admittedly, I’m not always as good at this as I would like. I prefer Epsom salt baths because I do feel relaxed afterwards. I just feel cold and miserable after ice baths.
Deep Tissue Massages:
Each month I try and get a deep tissue massage. I wrote an entire post dedicated to how they help me. Essentially, deep tissue massages release knots in my muscles too deep for me to do personally. Over time, they build up. I think that’s what keeps me from having a lot of muscle injuries (knock on wood).
Questions for you:
How do you recover from a hard workout?
Do you like to take baths?