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Body maintenance a must for peak running form
Basic tips: Stretch and recover
Published Friday, July 19, 2019 8:41 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Foam rolling can alleviate tight muscles as a result of strenuous exercise like running.

Running requires maintaining your body.

From proper hydration and nutrition to keep running shoes current, little things lead up to a good run. There are numerous tools available to help with tight muscles and sore legs.

The Post talked to Black Men Run Charlotte captain Greg Washington about two tools: the stick and the foam roller, both of which can be ordered online for $5 or purchased in almost any sporting goods section.  

“Initially you tell them to start stretching, so they can get used to the muscle having elasticity,” he said.

Washington recommends the stick first.

“You introduce them to the stick first, because the foam roller is a beast if you haven’t used it before,” Washington said. “For new people, I always suggest to use the stick when you have tight calves, hamstrings or your [iliotibial] band. You want to roll over it, at least 20 strokes on each location, and if you feel a knot or what they call a ‘niggle’ in that little area, you have to concentrate on that area.”

With the use of these tools comes a warning.

“You always have to warn them that it’s going to be uncomfortable, but you’re going to love it in the end,” Washington said.

Washington advises a gradual progression from stick to foam roller.

“Once they get used to the stick and being uncomfortable with rolling over those knots and the fascia, you introduce them to the foam roller because that’s where you can really work your IT band, for people who have chronic IT band issues,” Washington said. “Most of the time that’s due to bad form, and when you first start running, you’re not going to have good form unless you have that naturally. The more you run, the better you get at running.”

Washington equates foam rolling to a deep tissue massage. It feels great in the end, but requires suffering to get there.

“The foam roller is like a massage,” he said. “You’re giving yourself a massage. You try to make sure you roll in the same way as the stick, but you’re using your bodyweight to apply the pressure. Like I tell people, you don’t always have to go back and forth. A lot of people get on the foam roller and go back and forth. Sometimes when you find that little spot, twist from side to side—basically east and west—you can really get in there. All of that helps.”

You can join BMRCLT for a run:

• Mondays at 6:30 p.m., Ultra Running Company

• Wednesdays: 6:30 p.m. at Mallard Creek Greenway

“We occasionally move to other locations with other run clubs who have a Wednesday run, or if someone has a route they like we’ll try that route,” Washington said. “Wednesday is like our floater day.”

They also run the first Saturday of the month at Omega Sports on Park Road at 8 a.m.

“In the summertime, our morning runs are usually at 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m.,” Washington said. “If it’s a day that is higher in temperature, we move that up to 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. Try to beat the heat, but most of our runs are usually scheduled for the morning or evening.”


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