Runners are punishing to their bodies, it’s the nature of the sport. After pounding the pavement, runners need to consider recovery. No one pays closer attention to recovery than elite runners. In order to keep competing at the highest level, athletes use a bunch of strange recovery tools. While the following tools may not be in the budget for every runner, they’re something to consider.
Kate Van Buskirk.
Kate Van Buskirk in her altitude tent with recovery tools.
The recovery boots
Recovery boots are basically a massage on the go. The boots are a dynamic compression device that use compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid and speed recovery. Sit in these boots for 30 minutes and your legs will feel good as new. There are several companies that make the boots, like Normatec and Rapid Recovery.
This vibrating roller is truly amazing. The Hypersphere allows runners to release pressure faster than ever before. Within 30 seconds you can notice a considerable difference in muscle tension. One slight caveat with the Hypersphere is that it does make a ton of noise, but it’s so effective that it’s worth it. If you live in an apartment building or are staying in a hotel, prepare to have your neighbours a little frustrated with you. But if this happens, just let them borrow the Hypersphere and they’ll understand.
The altitude tent
While the altitude tent isn’t technically a recovery tool, it does help certain runners improve their performance. There’s sound research that training or living at altitude provides an advantage for runners competing at the 1,500m and above. Sleeping in an altitude tent allows the body to achieve the gains associated with living at altitude without having to move.
The foam roller, acu-ball and massage stick are all great stretching and rolling tools to keep in your back pocket. This trifecta will allow runners to hit almost any spot that could be bothering them. Most elite runners have these tools on hand no matter where they are. These are all significantly more affordable than the other tools. Purchasing all three shouldn’t cost more than $200 USD.