Archives for category: Running Essentials
Trigger Point Grid Roller

Roll it, gyal!

‘Rolling out’  isn’t just something Ludacris does; it’s actually kind of important. Now that I’m in training mode again and still do not have a live-in masseuse, the foam roller has become my friend again.

The whole point of a foam roller is to massage, and ease tension and aches. They help increase flexibility and range of motion. Which is great for me, because during my recent Sexy In The City bootcamp sessions, trainer Phil told me that it didn’t matter how much I stretched; if I didn’t ease out the knots in my muscles, I wouldn’t become more flexible. Let me tell ya: having tight hips is not as sexy as it sounds.

You can use a regular foam roller, but I decided to buy a fancy one. Why? Because that’s just how I roll.  (Don’t look at me like that.)

The Trigger Point Grid Roller isn’t just pretty, though. The fancy flats and nubs are designed to mimic fingertips, fingers and palms. It doesn’t yield much to cuddles, though. Just so you know.

Warning: You’ll look really odd when using one in the gym (although they’re great for getting random guys talking to you – top tip for being cruised, so don’t say I never gave you useful advice!).

It’s worth it, though. When you give your IT (iliotial) band, which runs down the the outside of your thigh, a good going-over, you’ll be glad you did. No, actually, you won’t (but you will).  OK, I’ll be honest – it hurts like a bitch, but ultimately makes your post-run stretch even more effective – this page will give you a lot of useful info detailing the benefits. I can’t remember half of them; I just feel them.

I roll my inner forearms on it, to stretch them out and help stave off repetitive strain injury from the endless writing that I do; a couple of weeks ago, when one of my calf muscles was threatening me with divorce after a run, I rolled it out before giving it a cold blast in the shower.  Job done. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have two very tender thighs from yesterday’s 8-miler to see to…

How to use a foam roller – exercise videos on YouTube

Nike+ Sportband

buy one NOW NOW NOW

This, a humble sports watch, is the single most revolutionary piece of running kit I own since, like, my feet.

I’ve logged over 150 miles todate. I didn’t know I’d ever run that much in my lifetime, never mind in 3 or 4 months. That kind of thing is useful to know when you’re in need of motivation.

It’s simple to use – set it up, strap it on, make sure your sensor is tucked away in your shoe (Nike+ shoes have a handy groove under the left insole). Get a Nike+ account and race other people, play tag (using the iPhone/iPod touch GPS app), or join challenges and set goals.

If you’re not ready for a hardcore Garmin but want to track your progress, I can’t recommend this highly enough. Sometimes it’s the only reason I’m out of bed and hitting the road – when you know you can achieve a tangible goal and beat total strangers for time and distance, what’s not to love?

Find me on Nike+ as Ruby_A

Nike+ Store