Fuel Your Recovery- Massage and Compression

Today I would like to talk about some of the forms of therapy I use to keep my muscles as happy……well,  as happy as they can be for someone running 80-90 miles a week!

Massage/Foam Rolling

Most Mondays I have a one hour massage with Karen Keys to work on specific muscles that are tight, as well as giving my body an overall “flush” to get rid of the soreness from the week before. I find it makes a huge difference, and I look forward to it each week as I know I will feel better afterwards.

Before I moved into the most intense segment of marathon training, I would alternate this with active release on a Monday, but now I think it is important to have it once a week, even if that means sacrificing something else to fit it into our budget.

I have also commiteed to foam rolling or stretching for 15 minutes after every run. The foam roller is actually not strong enough any more, I have now upgraded to a pvc pipe, which is much firmer, and I find it really helps. I also use the stick and the r8 roll recovery. I find a combination of the 3 is able to hit all the big and little muscles of my entire body, and I notice a difference now I am used to it.

PVC pipe for runners

If you are just starting to foam roll, stick with it, I promise it gets better!


I have been a fan of compression socks and sleeves for many years now. I race and workout in them, and have done for years, but they are also great for recovery. Putting them on in the afternoon after a hard workout helps my calves to let go of the tension a little.

I was recently introduced to Tiux socks, and I love being able to help small businesses start up. I love that Tiux put a focus on calf control as one of their major advantages over their competitors. As someone who suffers from shin pains and calf problems often, I thought that was really important that they prioritized this.Tina Tiux

Here are their other advantages over the other compression companies…..in addition to being significantly cheaper!

Tiux comparison

I love my Saucony compression socks for race day, but they are hard to find, but marathon training puts a lot of stress on your calves, so I like to have multiple pairs. I am so thankful for my new Tiux pair to wear for fast recovery! If you have not already checked out Tiux, you should now!

I was provided a pair of Tiux socks for free, but as always, my opinions are my own.

Recovery Boots

I have seen many other elite runners using these in the past, but I never had access to them before now. I was loaned a pair until after the marathon, and I have been using them every day. It is one of the strangest sensations you can imagine, but I can see how it works well. NormaTec are a fantastic company, and I hope someday I can work with them!

Starting from your feet, each of the chambers compress around your legs, pushing the junk up your legs, so your body can process it quicker. I am scared to say that I noticed a huge difference right away, or whether it was me hoping they worked that well, but so far, they have got rid of the junk in my legs, and I am surprised with just how well they are working.

These are an older edition of the NormaTec Pulse, so I can only imagine how much better they are now! Exciting to think about!


I am just very thankful I have a friend who will let me use his for a few months! They are a little more expensive than most therapy products, but if you use it every day like I intend to, over the duration of a year, that is really pretty darn fair, and you will pay it off in no time! I definitely plan on getting my own pair at some point in the future, even after only a few days of using it.

Adequate therapy is so important for recovery, and these should be relatively accessible for everyone. I know the massage can be expensive, but its worth it. You do not have to get it once a week like I do, but even once a month will make a difference. Its so worth the money!

What therapy do you include in your training? Do you wear compression clothing?

massage, recovery

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  • Oh, those boots are fascinating! I can make the compression socks work for date night (if I do the schoolgirl thing) but I think Andrew would ditch me for a guy’s night if I hung out in the puffy boots. Ha! But seriously, they look pretty neat. ART therapy works wonders and you’ve definitely convinced me to get back onto my massage therapist’s table.

  • I’m getting a massage once a month and love it! It makes a huge difference and feels good, at least most if the time 🙂

  • You know I am alllll about compression and foam rolling and massage. Those boots tho–if nothing else, they look awesome. I can’t say that I think Zoe would care for them, lol. I wore compression sleeves for the marathon, but I don’t think I needed them. I always follow up my long runs (or for days I know I will sitting in the office a bunch) in compression socks, and I wear compression pant when I think I need to.

  • Those boots look cozy and the picture of you up top is adorable 🙂 I love compression socks and I try to get massages once a month, but foam rolling and stretching is where I can definitely improve. I’ll be interested in your post on ART, I have never had it and don’t actually know much about it.

  • Lisa@runningoutofwine
    March 6, 2015 6:58 am

    I am really curious to see if you notice a big difference from the boots! The chiropractor I used to go to had a pair, but I never had a chance to try them out. I love compression and foam rolling for recovery. I also got an r8 recovery roller recently and I notice such a difference using that on my bigger leg muscles, while I stick with a lax ball or foam roller for the hips. I wish I could figure out a way to budget for regular massages…maybe one day!

  • The boots are too cool! And I’ve never heard of using PVC piping…doesn’t sound pleasant! I am a big foam roller user, and also like compression socks post long run. I have also been using rubber strips this year to wrap up a sore spot post run. (tissue flossing) I really love this–feels like it brings in all the blood flow to the area. Oh, and massage balls are a favorite, too!

  • My favorite part about that picture is the Nuttzo jar! 🙂 I would love for you to share some of your favorite foam rolling exercises, as I need to make some time to do this, because I definitely don’t do it, but know I should. Have a beautiful weekend friend and stay WARM! XOXO

  • I have to say, I did giggle when I saw the photos of you in the crazy boot trouser things. They look incredible! But wowza £1-2k!? That is mental.
    I love getting massages and find they really help with recovery. I’d have them every day if I could hehe. And I’m a big fan of compression socks too. I love putting them off after a good run.

  • Interesting to learn about the science behind technology! I’m not sure I believe that pressure pushes toxins up your legs to your liver — like squeezing a tube of toothpaste — but maybe it does!

  • Jen@milesandblessings.com
    March 6, 2015 9:33 am

    I LOVE compression socks…I am a ProCompression fan and ambassador :). I use the Grid as my foam roller and Ilike it in an I like the pain kind of way…but I do not use it enough. I definitely need to be better about taking some time for it after my runs! I do better in the summer months but in the other months I am busier….still no excuse 🙂

  • I can’t say that I have tried compression, but those boots look SO COOL! I do LUHVE my foam roller though! Well, not at the time because, OUCH, but it makes everything feel SO good the next day!
    Can’t wait to hear about your ART experience. I have had a few sessions, and swear by it!

  • Haha, those boots are awesome!
    I love compression! I wear my marathon socks during and after my run and then switch to my calf sleeves for the night and next day! And yes….foam rolling always!

  • I have a massage booked for Wednesday next week and I’m counting the days!! I’m going to set-up a schedule with him so I can go every two weeks. It just helps so much!! And those boots? OMG you need to do a video of how you even get into those things!!

  • I love compression socks! I’m looking to buy more so I will have to check out Tiux after reading your review. Foam rolling is also a huge part of my recovery routine. Thanks for sharing and good luck as your training intensifies for London!

  • When I ran Ragnar there was a booth with the recovery boots and I LOVED them. My second run didn’t feel awful, so I’ll say they worked well 🙂

  • Those recovery boots are huge!! The only time I’ve seen anything similar is in the hospital. One of Chris’ aunts had to wear something similar to help reduce the risk of blood clots after a surgery. I hope you do share more about them after you’ve been using them awhile!

  • Those boots are hysterical, and I am so glad they are working! How neat that your friend is letting you borrow them – what a pal. I am on the fence about compression socks. I have some and find that that cold weather tights are crucial for me in 30 degree and lower temperatures along with Smart Wool socks. As I am only nearing the end of Week 1 for marathon training, I will begin using the compression socks more routinely for recovery and see what happens.

  • I love those space looking boots! The pvc pipe ouch that must hurt. I love my foam roller and try to use it everyday I workout. I get lazy sometimes and skip it and always regret it!

  • A once a week massage would be dreamy! When I start the next marathon training cycle, I am going to try to do at least every other week massage. Maybe I can skip something else and go once a week! I would love to see the difference it makes 🙂 Love the boots and can’t wait to hear if you think they make a big difference in your training. I am new to foam rolling and trying to get the hang of it – I know it is good for me! That pvc pipe looks intense!!

  • Welp, I could use all of the above. I haven’t run all week because of shin pain. I took a few days off to see if it would get better and the jury is still out. One day I feel like it’s better and the next I wake up and can barely walk. Looks like I’ll be going to the ortho next week. In the mean time, I’ll check out those compression socks– the PVC pipe? brilliant! must run to Home Depot.

  • Julie Wunder
    March 6, 2015 10:07 pm

    Those boots are soooo cool! I’m so glad you get to use them! They look space age-y fun!

  • Those boots are awesome, I have been dying to try those. My PT has something similar that I used during an injury but not for everyday recovery. I love compression tights to run in and my compression socks for recovery. I don’t typically run IN them during a race, I don’t really notice a difference. It’s after that I notice the difference!! I also love my Roll Recovery! The foam roller doesn’t really work for me anymore either. My massage therapist gave me a hollow piece of bamboo to use, so I’ve been using that!

  • OMG we love those boots. Normatec are also awesome! and i swear they do wonders!

  • John and I just started using compression socks and calf sleeves. BIG difference and I am not even running all that much…lots of walking but I have issues 🙂

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