Long distance runner's essentials
IASTM(Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization) is a great way to "straighten things out". If you have pain along your IT band then you can do a few easy routine to help you release some tension along the chain. This will be about the same as the foam roller or the gym stick, both the foam roller and the stick do not shift or drag the tissues(myofascial release) and cause a change. Using IASTM, you can either use it to increase blood flow and disperse by products that may be causing scar tissue build up or create micro tears to recreate a better tissue profiling. The tools are great for recovery, increasing your strength, increasing mobility and movement re-education. Most of the tools are used by qualified healthcare providers as some of the application by the tools can cause severe bruising. I would think anyone could do this as they are known as Gua Sha but when you do it make sure you stop before even coming close to bruising and right after redness comes about. That localized heat will allow your soft tissue to increase more blood flow to the affected area and bring in nutrients helping recovery and your performance.
Foam rolling has gotten the boot for not being a true myofascial release technique but rather, more on analgesic therapeutic effects. Nevertheless, foam rolling has been know to help countless people from all walks of life, level of physical activity and nagging pains. Use the foam roller before your run, after and when you are resting and not running as it doesn't take much out of your breath as to running. You can buy them off most online store and use them whenever you like with an abundance of videos to follow on instructions, but as usual having someone who is well versed in them is as well advised as they can teach you what NOT to do and what to do to better optimise your time actually doing what you are supposed to do and how to do it. It's easy to do and convenient to carry almost everywhere as well. If you are to pick up a foam roller and do your thing, just bear these three things in mind.
1. Do it slow, very, very slow..
2. Look for a tender spot and work on it till the pain decreases or goes away.
3. If you feel very tired or that you are challenging your metabolic rate foam rolling, you're doing it wrong! Go find someone who has sat through proper instructions to use them!
Soft Tissue work
Restorative type of tissue work helps tremendously when you have pain during and after your run especially your IT band, which may be referred down to your surrounding areas of the knee(mostly on the outside of kneecap due to tightness of the IT band). Soft tissue therapy helps to increase blood flow which in turn can help recovery and improve performance. It as well helps with restoring length of the tissues if your therapist incorporates deep tissue work and pin and stretch. Pin and stretch is one of the great way to release "junk" in an area where the fascia is not moving or just have been getting quite a lot of trauma from running. Key areas where you want to get it worked on more would be your glute medius, IT band, and your bottom of your feet, the rest is secondary which is your hamstrings, thighs and shins. Aaaaalways make sure your therapist is qualified, to give you proper treatment!
Yoga is both mind and soul for most. It helps the mind relax all the nervous system and allowing the body to follow through. Ever heard of the mantra, meditate your problems away? It's for a good reason. Might not be your usual go to but yoga has been known to decrease blood pressure and if you're always physically stressing your body, its time to take some time to let it heal through yoga. Alongside the side effects of doing yoga is that it help with balance(great for running) and helps you stretch out areas that you hardly will do before, and after running. Easy, cost effective and highly beneficial.
The tapes have been brought to attention to our eyes for the colourful and designs on the tapes. While some use it to look stylish they have been known to help decrease pain and improve performance immediately through neurophysiological feedback.The tapes are amongst the cheapest alternative, very portable and fuss free to apply. To apply the tapes effectively, you will need some basic understanding on how much tension you want to use, which direction or shapes you want to use, other than that just applying the tapes will help in a general situation where you have aches and pains from running. The tapes also helps with increasing blood flow through the lifting of the skin and it does not restrict movement, instead, it helps promote healing through movement whilst having the tapes on you. Though, there are general techniques that you can use to help with posture, decreasing of pain, improve performance, there will be times when you need someone qualified to help you type if you feel that after taping there is just a small magical changes in what you are trying to achieve.
More importantly is that you learn how to give your body the rest it needs, even the computers needs to be switched off! - Jab