If your muscles are sore and you are hobbling around, you can speed up your healing process. Being sore is a good thing usually, but it is never a pleasant thing. The picture in this post is of my “Tiger Tail”. Many runners use this and other massage tools to roll out sore muscles.
The purpose of these tool is to slowly and easily push out some of the lactic acid that has built up due to hard workouts and long runs. I have found it to be pretty useful. I am not 100% sure that it works great, but I am 100% sure that it feels great. So maybe you should give it a try. They are not too expensive and if you don’t want to buy one, dig through your kitchen and find a rolling pin. It will do the same thing, and it is what I used for a long time before I bought this one at the Seattle Marathon.
The one that I use is rigid and it is called The Tiger Tail I really have enjoyed it. Since it is rigid, it gives more of a focused massage than othe tools. Because of this, you can use it to massage other sore parts of your body.
The most popular self-massage tool for runners is called The Stick. It is not rigid like The Tiger Tail and it has small rollers on it. The Stick will conform to your leg more. I like a little more pressure so the rigid feel is better for me. The Stick gives a great whole muscle massage.
Another very popular massage tool for runners is the simple foam roller. This is commonly used for overuse injuries to the IT band. That is a common problem with people who never talk walk breaks and push it every time they go out for a run. This tool is effective at loosening the IT up.
Here are a couple more articles about self massage for runners. Also keep in mind, that these tools are not for runners only. Any exercise induced soreness can be relieved a bit with any of these tools.