Recovery practices are essential for keeping you refreshed and injury-free—but they don’t have to be complicated or expensive. When yoga classes or massage appointments don’t fit your schedule (or budget!), and when stretching alone isn’t cutting it, try these easy recovery tips at home!
Choose a foam roller with a smoother surface (rather than hard ridges and knobs) and a medium foam density. These are great for general soreness and won’t aggravate your muscles if used often.
Tennis or lacrosse ball
Use a tennis or lacrosse ball for specific tight spots in your legs, glutes, or back muscles. Lower your body weight onto the ball either on the floor or against a wall, then move around until you find the area with tension. Move against the ball to work out knots and break up connective tissues that have gotten “stuck” while running. Start with a tennis ball, and move up to a lacrosse ball if you need more pressure.
Can of soup or frozen water bottle
When struggling with sore arches or plantar fasciitis, rolling your foot along a cylinder can be a major pain reliever. Unlike a ball which will pinpoint one specific area of the tissue at a time, a cylinder will disperse the weight and stretch it out more evenly.
Epsom salt bath
Pour a few cups of Epsom salt into your bath water so the magnesium and sulfate will be absorbed through your skin and into your body. The mix of muscle-relaxing warm water along with these minerals makes for a simple and effective post-long run reset on your body.
Putting on a pair of these after a shower is a great way to increase blood flow to the muscles in your lower legs and reduce inflammation if your ankles or shins are bothering you. These are definitely a must if you have any flights during your training stint as well.
Rest and recovery are just as important as the working days of your training. Along with these at-home therapies, good nutrition, hydration, and sleep are some of the best things you can give your body. By paying attention to the essentials, you can set yourself up for feeling good on the road day after day.