Monday, 4 May 2009


One of the things as a runner I have found I cannot live without (after  8 months of continuous running I now class myself as a runner. Runner, jogger,whatever who gives a damn as long as you put one foot infront of the other on a regualar basis your a runner. If your the Gazelle at the front of the pack busting a 7 minute mile or the penguin at the back struggling with a 13 minute mile or more your still a runner.)

So one of the  things I could not of lived without was my blue foam roller, a blue round cylinder, about 3 feet long, a one foot wide, which I ordered from the following web site.

It is a self massage device, highly recommended by a personal trainer I saw a few times, during my marathon training. Lord my knees were aching so much every time I ran, I had to grab a bag of frozen veg from the freezer and put them on my knees after each run. 

Now I hate the cold, so it was torture, anyway my Personal Trainer reckoned it was because of tight muscles in my calves and thighs which were pulling on my knee's. Well she done herself out of a job as the blue foam roller worked so well I never went back to see her again. (Not really, to be honest at £40 an hour and gym fees for the month I couldn't afford it).

Now I use it religously after each run, long or short, just go on the net and there are loads of exericses to choose from to loosen muscles all over your body. You can even find videos on YOU TUBE demonstrating how to use it.
That is just one example, please be careful when trying anything new, you don't want to do more harm than good, best to get someone who knows what they are doing to show you first then take it from there. The personal trainer I was talking about showed me what to do in the gym first then I bought one and felt confident enough to use it at home on my own. Slowly is my advice on using a foam roller, there is no rush,take your time.

I cannot praise the virutes of this piece of equipment enough and at £20 you can't really gripe about the price. My knees no longer hurt as much,yes they still ache a little bit sometimes but what do I expect runinng, 13,14,16,18,20, 26.2 miles! But they are no longer the problem they were.

It was not just the running that was messing up my kness in fact there was a problem before I started training. I had tried my hand at basketball earlier in the year and taken up an intense dance class a combination of these two things, plus being unfit and over weight put stress on my kness so they were in trouble before I took up running again.

The blue foam roller allowed me to run and allows me to continue running. I really missed it when I went to the Caribbean for a month back in February and could not take it with me.(If I could've squeezed in in my luggage or sneaked it on the plane I really would've).

In  fact my knees are in better shape now than they were at the beginning of my training, due to a number of reasons, religously streaching, but I will talk about that in another post, kinseo tape, again I will talk about that in another post, being 24 pounds lighter. I am sure my knees are greatful not to have to carry around so much weight, and do not have to take such a pounding everytime I step out to run, generally being fitter, so I am a lighter and more effcient runner. My knees are very greatful for all those things.

After a run I ensure I spend a little bit of time streaching and the blue foam roller is part of this routine it is worth taking the time to do it, even if it means doing a shorter run to fit both a run and a streach in, you won't regret it.

If you have any major concerns always see a Dr, but a lot of aches and pains and injuries, can be sorted or prevented by a good streaching routine. The net is a great place to find videos and examples of streaching exercises, you can do with or without a BLUE FOAM ROLLER just have a good hunt and I am sure you'll find what you are looking for.

I am the most unflexible person in the world and it has really helped to loosen me up. Even in my dancing days I would be very jelous of other dancers who could do the splits on a whim I had to work for every piece of flexiblity I had, and well here I am in the same position again, but this piece of equiptment helps, and since I aiming to be more of a Paula Radcliffe or Kelly Holmes than Darcey Bustle I no longer need to be able to do the splits of try to put my legs over my head, just a nice level of flexibilty will do me fine and this is one of my secret weapons for acheiveing this.

I am not a GP, sports scientist, physiotherapist or anything else inbetween all I am aiming to do is pass on tips, and knowledge I have gained, during my 8 months of marathon training. I have been running on and off for about 5 years now. Last September was the first time I took it really seriously and somethings I've learnt the easy way and somethings I've learnt the hard way. I am using this space to share,hopefully inspire and keep myself on track, running is no longer a passing fad for me, it is an important part of  my life I wish to keep doing, until the old bones are too old to do it anymore.

Happy rollling.


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