Disclaimer: I received a free Addaday Roller to review as a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and also to find and write race reviews!
Before you read this post, I want you to try something:
- Go find a power cord (preferably one that isn’t plugged in).
- Tie a knot in it.
- Then pull on both ends of the cord and stretch it as hard as you can.
- Keep stretching. Obviously you can stretch the cord as much as you want for as long as you want and the knot you tied in it isn’t going anywhere….
Great. What does that have to do with running?
Quite a bit, actually. You see, your muscles work in a similar way to the power cord I just made you ruin. Stretching them alone won’t get rid of knots.
Muscle knots, which are also known as myofascial trigger points, are areas of your muscles that remain fixed and refuse to relax. These are quite painful and are just one of many afflictions your muscles can suffer from during and after workouts. There’s also cramps, dysfunctional scarring, fatigue from lactic acid buildup…. The list goes on.
It’s also more than just working out that causes these things. Sitting in front of a computer screen at work on poorly designed chairs for hours at a time will damage your muscles and throw them out of alignment. So will stress. Heavy lifting will too if it isn’t done correctly. Sleeping on poor quality mattresses doesn’t help either. There’s a pretty good chance that you’re exposing your muscles to potential damage almost 24 hours a day whether you realize it or not.
Stretching is helpful when it comes to increasing blood flow to your muscles, increasing flexibility, and decreasing your risk of injuries. But there’s no better way to compliment a good stretching routine than by also getting a good massage. This presents a bit of a problem though because as much as we would all love to hire our own personal massage therapists to fix our muscles on demand, most of us can’t afford that.
Addaday massage rollers have gears that incorporate varied surface textures and shapes. These textures and shapes are scientifically designed to release muscle and tendon adhesions and help realign your joints. The balls on an Addaday roller are designed to knead muscles like a human elbow and the gaps between the balls are sized to allow optimal blood flow around muscle groups. The rollers also come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Each one is lightweight and specifically designed for easy navigation around difficult to reach spots.
As great as all that stuff is to know, I wanted to really put my new Addaday roller to the test and see how much truth there was to the company’s claims. So I brought it with me for the most punishing run I do each year: the St. Jude Chicago to Peoria Relay.
I’ve written about the St. Jude Relay in the past. To give you a quick summary though, it’s a 150 mile run from Chicago to Peoria, IL to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Runners form teams of about 10 people and take turns running 3-6 mile legs for the duration of the run, which typically takes about 36 hours to complete. Runners who aren’t out on the course hang out in an RV with their teammates while they wait for their next leg.
If you’re familiar with Hood to Coast or the Ragnar relay series, the concept is similar…. But there’s one key difference that makes the St. Jude run tougher than most other relays: There’s no restriction on teams having multiple runners out for the same leg. Ragnar legs have one runner out from each team, and each runner does three legs which are 3-8 miles long. So the maximum number of miles runners typically do in a Ragnar is 24. By contrast, a lot of St. Jude runners collect money from friends and family for each mile they run. So it’s not uncommon to see teams with 4-5 runners out on the same leg and individual runners logging between 50 and 70 miles over the course of the weekend to help boost their fundraising totals.
There’s more than just the running itself that makes this relay tough though. Sitting in a cramped RV after you finish your legs and repeatedly alternating between air conditioning and 90+ degree temperatures outside will wreak havoc on your muscles. So will having to sleep in an awkward position on an uncomfortable RV mattress or even in the front passenger seat because there’s no room anywhere else (like I did this year). And to make things even tougher, the run continues throughout the night, so there are runners coming and going from the RV regularly and any sleep you get will be short and light at best. All of this is a recipe for tight muscles, cramps, knots, and all kinds of other afflictions.
So, was my Addaday roller up to the task?
I’m happy to say that it absolutely was.
I rolled my quads, calf muscles, hips, back, and neck after every leg I did. I also rolled in the morning when I woke up on the second day. And lastly, I rolled when I finished the relay and finally made it to my hotel room in Peoria.
This was my eighth year doing this run and not only did I feel significantly less sore than I did during the first seven, but I also noticed that I had more spring in my step on the second day. My legs still felt OK during the last few miles, and the morning after I finished the run I felt… well… I won’t say that I felt great… but I will say that I felt noticeably better than I usually do. Having my Addaday roller with me on the run was a blessing.
I also liked that my roller was compact and lightweight and was easy to bring along for the run with the rest of my gear. It was also easy to use even in the back of a cramped RV full of other runners.
I’ve been using my Addaday roller every day since I got it and I am officially a convert. I love the way my muscles feel after I finish rolling and I can definitely tell the difference in my performance during my runs too. When this one wears out, I won’t hesitate to buy another one.
The best part of the entire weekend though – we raised over $300,000.00 for St. Jude!