Friday, November 12, 2010

Foam Rolling: Helpful or Harmful?

Now it's actually Friday, yay! We are back on the road again this weekend, because we all know I can't sit still!

So to rewind a bit, Wednesday night = track night. I went to the track, updated my coach on the current ITB situation if the day and set out with my group for our warm-up.

I felt great during the warm-up, other than the fact that it was already pitch black at 6pm, I was beginning to think all of the being cautious was paying off.

3 Mile warm-up (27:13- 9:00, 9:09, 9:04)
We did another half mile warm-up once everyone else showed up at the track and then got down to business- on deck 4x1600, 2 1/2 minutes rest.

1st 1600- 7:48
My legs felt good during this first mile, but I was sucking wind like an 80 year old man with emphysema! I knew my legs should feel good, with all the ITB issues keeping me slowed down, I feel so rested, I actually miss that feeling of exhaustion that comes with long hard runs. I guess so much resting has been bad for my speed, but not much we can do there

2nd 1600- turned 800. Somewhere in the middle of the 2nd lap the infamous IT Band seized up and sent my knee and hip into some shooting pain. That was it, I called the workout right there. On pace for 7:55 2nd mile when I stopped, so at least I got something accomplished.

Made for another 5 mile night, I cannot seem to get past the 5 mile barrier, is that the point where my leg just gets angry? I spent a good 20 minutes talking to my coach, stretching, and foam rolling before heading home to ice and foam roll some more.

Yesterday with the day off, I woke up and had to ditch the long run (15 miler) I had planned, I was so mad, it was the perfect setting for it, and I had to scrub my workout because my leg still hurt. I ended up trying the bike, but the whole 'bending my knee repeatedly' seemed to be making it worse, so I just did some weights and went home to again ice/stretch/roll.

I must have spent at least an hour with my foam roller on just that 1 IT band yesterday. This morning, my knee and hip feel great, but I can literally feel knots in 2 spots on my IT band. I had never actually felt anything on the band itself, just the joint pain it was causing. It makes me wonder if all the foam rolling is actually hurting or helping???

I am thinking if I was getting a massage today and she could knead all these knots out I would actually be good to go, but maybe that is just false hope. And I can't decide if I should keep trying to roll out my leg, will it help or will it make something else hurt???


  1. Bummer about having to cut the 15 miler!! But seriously awesome job on your 5 miler!!
    GO GET A MASSAGE!! I have never experienced negative side effects from the foam-roller....maybe I am doing it wrong:) Have an amazing friday!

  2. interesting about help vs. hurt. i think it might be a thing where it has to hurt more before it gets better. but if it *really* hurts then i say stop

  3. I don't think you can hurt it from rolling too much. I think there becomes a point where spending 30 minutes has the same benefits as spendign an hour or an hour and a half, but I don't think you can hurt it!

    I hope you feel better soon! We have a half marathon next weekend!!

  4. In my opinion (no medical experience), an hour is a bit excessive on the foam roller. Like any other part of your body, things can become inflamed. Year ago, I had ITB and saw a sports dr. The PT had me do 10 minutes, 3 times a day on the ITB. He also had me icing after rolling. That's just my food for thought. Hope you feel 100% soon!