Roller Recovery And Onto Safe Training For The Next Endurance Race As An Older Athlete

Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

There’s a trick to controlling your race season, especially if you are an older athlete (takes longer to recover) combined with a busy program, the trick being to avoid injuries, whilst maintaining your fitness level.

FitOldDog uses a soft roller to find tight spots and let them relax. In this case I'm addressing a chronic tendency for my flexor hallicus longus to tighten after long runs.

FitOldDog uses a soft roller to find tight spots and let them relax. In this case I’m addressing a chronic tendency for my flexor hallicus longus to tighten after long runs.

With time and practice you learn how to balance recovery time with maintaining your training level for key races. I was pretty nervous about 10 days ago, knowing I was heading into the Mountains of Misery Century Bike Ride (hard climbing for about 10 hours) to be followed seven days later by the Raleigh Half Ironman. All of this being training for the Lake Placid Ironman, only seven weeks later. Such a race and training load can readily lead to overuse injury, especially if you push things too hard during a race.

I consider winning an endurance race to include (1) enjoying the day, (2) feeling I put out my best, (3) not vomiting or passing out, (4) coming through the finish line feeling good, (5) being able to enjoy a celebratory dinner with family and friends afterwards, unmarred by nausea, and if you’re lucky, (6) placing.

FitOldDog's site of persistent tightness after long runs, and I'm sure it can be addressed with Feldenkrais.

Flexor hallicus longus, the site of one of FitOldDog’s persistent areas of tightness following long runs. I’m sure it can be addressed with Feldenkrais. Let’s try!

The key to achieving such goals is to focus on body awareness between races, fixing tight spots before they become injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, through the use of massage, body scanning, and the gentle application of rollers.

After a hard race, I carefully explore my body for tight muscles or myofascia, which can tug on tendons and joints and throw your skeleton out of line. Once identified, I fix these areas of my body by applying rollers, stretching or lengthening exercises, and controlled resumption of my training program.

Pretty simple really, but remember my mantra:

The next sports injury is only one little mistake away!

If you want to stay in the game as you age you have to increase your level of vigilance when it comes to body awareness. You can learn all about this by purchasing our video series. If you don’t take care to fix problems early on, you’ll be sidelined eventually, you mark my words – don’t I sound like a self-righteous old guy?

Well, as my eldest son, Nick, says (often), “Someone’s got to do it!”

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Thanks for your comment, Kathryn. I agree that we have to take care not to go beyond our limits. I took about a year trying to adapt to barefoot running, to no avail. Now I walk in minimalist and run in Hoka One Ones, which seem to be working well. Much appreciated. Kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.