We did another fairly intense little session today: 400 and 600m fast runs with sets of 50 air squats and 25 push presses inbetween. It was murder on my calves. By the end they felt like they were going to burst.
So the sports massagist voodoo flossed my calves for me afterwards. This involves wrapping a long rubber band, like a bicycle inner tube, really tightly around the affected part. And I mean tight. It feels like all the circulation has been cut off. Like having the inflatable cuff thing on when you have your blood pressure taken. Then you do some squats, lunges, calf raises, walk around a bit, which is a weird sensation when it feels like your feet are about to drop off, and then take the wraps off again. It's very quick. a couple of minutes at most. The theory is that forcing the muscle through the movements, tightly wrapped, breaks down all the lactic acid, scar tissue and other crud, then when you release the tension, blood rushes back and washes the rubbish away, and bringing nutrients for growth and healing.
This was the first time I have tried this, although it is something Kelly Starrett goes on about a lot in Supple Leopard, and the result was really impressive. My legs feel really loose and relaxed, no soreness or even tiredness. Will see how they are later, but seems a very useful tool for the recovery arsenal, and not nearly as painful as the foam roller.