One thing that I have learned is that runners do weird things. If we aren’t running, we are always doing something to help us recover from a run or preparing for our next run.
It’s a constant thing! And each and every runner has their own secret weapons for fast recovery and pain relief.
Working full-time and with a limited budget, I have to be pretty crafty with some of these methods.
My top 4 secret weapons are…
1. Compression gear
I wear compression gear all the time. Yes, even at work! Today I am wearing my fabulous Pro Compression marathon socks underneath my boots (sneaky, I know!) Compression socks are made of strong elastic material and the pressure allows for the socks to constantly squeeze the leg muscles. This motion helps to drive blood back to the heart, reduce swelling in the feet and prevents blood clot formation. It alleviates any calf pain and allows for faster recovery after a long run. I love them, so I wear them after long runs (so sexy I know). If my quads are hurting, you will definitely find me in my Aspaeris Pivot Shorts which conveniently pair perfectly with pencil skirts!
2. Golf Ball
I am in no way shape or form a golfer (I’m even bad at putt-putt), but I do not know what I would do without this magical orange golf ball. After a run, sometimes the arches of my feet are dying. If you have ever had plantar fasciitis (which is just a fancy name for pain on the bottom of your foot), then you know how much it sucks. For some pain relief, you put the golf ball on the ground and gently roll your foot on top of the ball. This will stimulate blood flow and will break up any scar tissue you might have. It’s ideal when you are standing as you can get perfect pressure in the exact problem area. I am not even going to lie, I have been known to carry the wonderous orange golf ball in my purse and use it at my desk (very discreetly of course!)
3. Ice Cups
Is it bad to say that I would die without these? What is literally just a dixie cup filled with a chunk of ice has become a lifesaver to my shins. It’s cheap, easy, and effective. I fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full. Freeze them overnight and you have the perfect ice massage tool for your shin (or any part of your body that’s hurting!). Peel back the top of the cup to expose an inch of the ice. Rub it up and down your shins, peeling back the cup until the entire ice-cup is melted. I really love the ice cup because you can really push in (don’t go too hard!) into those hard to reach painful areas. These dotted dixie cups (aren’t they adorable?!) fill up half of my freezer. I prepare them in masses so that when I need one, they are there and ready for me!
4. Daily Vitamins
One important aspect of running is nutrition. Although I have been working hard on changing my diet to reach daily nutritional values (damn you happy hours!), I have known that I have needed a little boost. Enter a daily vitamin! There are many different vitamins that impact runners, their performance and their recovery time. I found Vitafusion MultiVites, and have loved them! They are gummy vitamins for adults (these people are genius!) and have the proper vitamin intake to help keep me healthy! Although nothing can replace a healthy diet, I really like the little added boost of taking a daily vitamin in the morning.
Important vitamins for runners include…
Vitamin A for healing of broken bones and is critical to the development and maintenance of healthy bones (Vitafusion = 50% Daily Value)
Vitamin B-6 for helping make red blood cells, normalize brain function, assisting in the body’s breaking down of protein and plays a role in fatty acid metabolism. (Vitafusion = 200% Daily Value)
Vitamin C for fighting free radical damage, reducing upper respiratory tract infections, and healing on the achilles tendon (Vitafusion = 50% Daily Value)
Vitamin D for speed, balance, reaction time, muscle mass and strength, as well lowering the risk of stress fractures and upper respiratory infections (Vitafusion = 200% Daily Value)
Vitamin E for lungs to absorb and safely remove polluting substances from your body, treatment of leg/foot cramps and restless leg syndrome (Vitafusion = 50% Daily Value)
What are your secret weapons for running?