Recovery helps us see the gains of the work we put in and can be as important to training as running, although I’m willing to bet many of us (myself included) focus less on recovery time than we should. I’ve found a few recovery methods that work for me as have my fellow Ambassadors, and this post is to share those with all of you.

I have three favorite recovery methods: The Stick, compression socks, and legs up the wall. Used in combination, these really work for me. The Stick rolls smoothly over muscle to loosen and to work out knots, and it’s magic on my legs. Essentially self-massage, you can put as much or as little pressure on the muscle as you like when rolling it out. I make it a point to use The Stick each evening after a run.

The Stick, working magic on my calves.

Compression socks have become super popular in the running community in the last couple of years both for during a run and for recovery. I personally don’t run in the socks, but I love to wear them post-run to increase circulation for muscle recovery. My favorite sock brand is ProCompression, but I’ve heard great things about CEP, Zensah, and Swiftwick too.

Rockin’ my compression socks.

The ‘legs up the wall’ pose was a suggestion from multiple running friends, and in theory it prevents blood from pooling in the legs to decrease soreness and speed up recovery time. It feels great after a hard workout! The best part of these three methods is that they really don’t take much time but can make a huge difference to the body.

This allows for quality kitten time too.

Of course, there are many other preferred recovery methods out there that could be your perfect match. The Trigger Point Grid foam roller is a popular option; I have one of these and love it especially for the IT band. Yoga or simple stretching can help to loosen the muscles for some people, although I personally use these less.

Trigger Point rolling for the IT Band.

Last but not least, rest days are a powerful way to recover those tired and sore muscles. Rest days are hard for us runners because we love to run and want to keep pushing ourselves, but it’s essential to recognize what our bodies need and to listen carefully when they say rest.

Now that you have a few recovery ideas, get out there and run! Have you signed up for your favorite SF Marathon event yet?