Couch to 5K

Run and Roll!

Having read a few posts on this blog about Foam Rollers (there was some debate about there usefulness) I bought one. A fancy one with ridges, and nobbles on it. I have to say, that when I first used it, I could not believe how intense it was. It hurt, like a good physio! Not being one to indulge in self-inflicted pain I did not use it so much, and it just sat in the corner of the living room until Mrs. B. put it in the wardrobe.

Last Friday I bagged an hour for a run, before going out with friends for a meal. I felt great, but on Saturday I felt really achey. I had seriously skimped on my stretches after the run. Monday then was a forced rest day. Wednesday came though, and come hell or high water I was going for a run. I was still a bit achey, but the run seemed to loosen that all up. When I got home and stretched loads, and a few times over the evening. I felt good really good.

Next morning though my calf did feel a bit tight, stretching was not going to touch it. So I reached the roller out, and gave my calves a minute of rolling. And hey, it really worked, I headed off to work feeling really good, and no discomfort.

Morals of this story. Always leave enough time to stretch post-run, and keep stretching for some hours afterwards. Foam rollers hurt, but they really work. Oh, and an ice pack really helps shin splints.

I have learnt a lesson that I really should have known!

(Oh, and I also read that plenty of pre and post hydration of water is really important)

8 Replies

Thank you for sharing that. I've just come in from running and forgotten to stretch. I'll go and do that straight away. I don't usually continue to do stretches during the day but maybe we all should.


I swear by my foam roller although I didn't invest in an all singing and dancing one with bumps and knobbles, that's for brave people ;)Your right though its one of those exercise gizmo's that hurts but works and when used properly works very well. Check out your local gym's they may do a stretch class which incorporates using and instruction of foam rollers, mine does and it was very helpful in teaching me the right way to use it. My sports physio suggested I get one.


Thanks from too for sharing your experiences. I will certainly keep this in mind x


A foam roller is next on my 'to buy' list, glad to read you're keeping the niggles at bay, agree little & often is good for stretching.



I'm thinking of investing in one of these instruments of torture and I'd be very grateful if you could share which one you bought? There are lots of different ones and I want to get it right as I have no desire for a collection!


I don't really know if this is the right one for me, but this is the one I bought;

Not cheap, but it is solid. I was worried about some rollers being a bit soft, given that they do support a fair chunk of your body weight. This one is solid, and seems to work fine. It rolls smoothly ,and the varying surfaces are useful. Be warned it can be uncomfortable in places.


I have just bought a foam roller today so can't really comment yet but I will second what has been said about stretching. I used to run a lot until I had to stop two years ago due to acute muscle spasm in my lower back and glutes. To cut a long story short, I was paying the price for years of inadequate stretching (and sometimes no stretching at all) and not warming up properly. You get away with it when you are young, often for years, but sooner or later it catches up with you. I am just about to graduate from C25K and I have been fine with the running but my problem was triggered again by a long walk on a pebbly beach which is why I bought the roller.


I hope it works for you, and you are better soon.


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