As any athletic trainer marathon training would, Mitch Hauschildt has a foolproof game plan for optimizing runners’ performance during pre-marathon runs. Discover how to utilize soft tissue flossing for running recovery to improve range of motion, down-regulate pain* and soreness pre and post-run.
Many runners experience soreness and trigger points in their calves due to the repetitive nature of distance running. It doesn’t take much poking around or palpating on the inside of someone’s calves to find some pretty tender spots.
I definitely fall into this category and frequently experience tight and sore calves, especially on my right side. As I have shared in previous posts, my right leg is functional, but not as strong and stable as my left due to my Multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis approximately 10 years ago. My strength and stability decrease under fatigue, so when I committed to running the New York City Half Marathon March 20, I had to put a good training and self-care plan in place. The overall lack of control with my right leg means that I also tend to have more soreness and poor tissue quality in that limb.
Have You Tried Flossing Yet?
A simple strategy that has worked well for me is using soft tissue floss bands on my calves prior to running. For this purpose, I suggest a 50/50 all in application (50% stretch and 50% overlap) with some simple movement for a couple of minutes (flossing). This does a great job of down-regulating pain and soreness in the treatment area, preparing my calves for a some good miles on the open road.
I also feel an increase in my range of motion at the ankle joint due to a down regulation in tone in the gastroc-soleus complex. Additionally, the recent trends in floss band research indicate that we can see improvements in range of motion from flossing without a detrimental effect on the nervous system, which is extremely important for me, as I am constantly trying to keep my nervous system excited and ready to go.
When I apply floss to my calves, I usually do so in a lateral to medial direction, as the soreness that I feel in my medial calves tends to feel better with that directional skin drag, but everyone will be different, so feel free to explore different directions to see if you have notice a difference.
The treatment is short and easy. Simply wrap the area with floss and move for a couple of minutes. Then remove the floss and move for a couple of more minutes and you will feel reduced pain* and tension and increased range of motion. Now you are ready to run. I share the specifics of this application in this video.
Stiff / Sore Calves? Meet RockFloss Compression Bands
About The Author
Mitch Hauschildt, MA, ATC, CSCS is a seasoned RockTape FMT instructor, collegiate athletic trainer, father of four and strong believer that movement is medicine. Ten years ago, Mitch was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, changing how he moves, feels and approaches life. Recently, he set his sights on running the New York City Half Marathon in an effort to support the Tisch MS Research Center of New York. In this blog series, we are following Mitch’s training and learning how he uses RockTape and TriggerPoint tools to help him reach his goals. To follow Mitch’s journey and support Team Tisch, visit mitchfightsms.com.
*Not clinically proven for all injuries. Products are not intended to replace professional medical advice or treatment.