#AskCoachAsh Episode 003: Recovery Tools for Runners
By Ashlee Lawson, Chief Executive Officer, RRCA-certified Running Coach
Did you miss the latest installment of #AskCoachAsh - Recovery Tools for Runners? Not to worry, we’ve collected the best advice from the session for you to review here. Get the key takeaways from the IG Live session, and be sure to tune in for more great tips during the next session on our RUNGRL Instagram page.
We’ve been getting amazing feedback from our RUNGRL audience and we’re excited to continue to make space for Black women’s wellness through running, including new offerings like this #AskCoachAsh series.
We received many great questions from the community, too, so thanks so everyone that submitted!
What are Recovery Tools for Runners?
Here at RUNGRL, we talk about stretching and recovery a ton. As runners, recovery and recovery activities are just as important as getting out there and getting those miles.
I have personally been notorious for not recovering appropriately after my runs and workouts, and my body lets me know when I don’t.
In order to be the best runners we can be, we must take care of our running bodies. We only get one, so if we want to keep putting the miles in, we’ve got to also be diligent about putting in the recovery work.
This episode is specifically about your recovery tools. These are the things you want to have around the house that will support your recovery efforts.
Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage. It’s great for muscle release, as well as increasing blood flow to muscles to aid in recovery and increase performance.
Foam rolling is great both before runs to help warm up muscles and after runs to aid in recovery. You can also roll out on those days where you just couldn’t make it out the door but still want to do some general maintenance.
Rolling Massage Stick
This therapeutic device activates trigger points in your muscle, works out knots and kinks, warms muscles, increases circulation and encourages nutrient-rich blood flow.
The stick relieves pain, increases range of motion promotes flexibility and accelerates recovery.
Similar to the foam roller, lacrosse balls are great for self-myofascial release or massage. What makes them extra special is that they're great for those hard-to-reach spots, and they’re very portable, too.
Use a lacrosse boll (or tennis ball) to massage glutes, hamstrings, feet, chest and shoulders. They’re also good for the often tight upper back.
Stretch straps take your stretching to the next level. They help pull you a bit further than where you might naturally be able to stretch on your own.
Your mat provides support and comfort on hard surfaces and good for any time you get down on the floor (on the flo’!). The yoga block helps support when trying more intense stretches when you might not quite be at that level yet. (Think, for example, of trying to do a split but you can’t go all the way down yet. The block supports that space between you and your goal position.)
As you progress in your training, whether for a particular race or just increasing miles in general, recovery becomes more and more important. You have to (have to!) recover. Nobody likes to do it, trust me. Those few extra minutes after your run seem all the more tedious when you thought you were already “finished”. But, the truth is, your training is never really complete without it, because you can end up doing more damage to muscles and joints.
Set out to recover with intention and let it become a habit, and you’ll see improvements in your performance right away.
There’s always something new to learn about running. Whether you’re a beginner with no idea where to start or an old pro looking to make tweaks and improvements, running is something you can never stop learning about. We know the information out there can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help! We want to make it as digestible and relatable to our experience as Black women, but also true and informational. Join us for these recurring Live chats on our RUNGRL Instagram page.
About Coach Ash
Hi! I’m Ashlee, the co-founder and CEO of RUNGRL. I’m an RRCA Certified Running Coach and I subscribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” method, lol. I started running about 8 or so years ago. Since then, I’ve run a handful of 10Ks and 10-milers, 15 half marathons, and 2 world major marathons. Running and the community it creates is very dear to me, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to share miles with amazing people.
Co-founder and CEO