Marathon Training 2019 Day 11: Ways To Avoid Injuries This Year, Including Lacrosse Ball Rolling and Self-Massage

June 17 pic 1 cloudy and rainy hike medium version“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson

This morning I did the following exercises:

  • Leg swings forward and back with both straight and bent leg (10 repetitions of each for each leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side with both straight and bent leg (10 repetitions of each for each leg)
  • Single-leg stand (~30 seconds for each leg))
  • Prone planks (~30 seconds)
  • Side planks (~20 seconds)
  • Supine planks (~15 seconds)
  • Clamshells (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Double leg hip bridges (10 repetitions)
  • Quadrupeds (10 repetitions on each side)
  • Single-leg balance (~30 seconds for each leg)

I also spent ~20 minutes on pre-hab. This included foam rolling the quadriceps/hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, rolling with a lacrosse ball on the plantar fascia (bottom of the feet) and glutes/piriformis, and self-massage on plantar fascia and calves (see Tip of the Day below). While I was doing this, I listened to my favorite music. It helped!

Later today, I will take my dog, Zadar, for a 30 minute walk.

Recommendation: For beginners and those who have taken a significant amount of time off, and who took the past two days off from running, I recommend an easy run of 25-30 minutes in a primarily flat area. You should perform the exercises above immediately after your run (also part of pre-hab).

For those who have already run 2-3 times this week, I recommend a day off from running and performing the exercises above.

For everyone, I highly recommend performing cool-down exercises, such as the ones in the Tip of the Day.

Tip of the Day: Injury prevention is an important part of achieving your running goals for 2019. Therefore, you should incorporate the different aspects into your training that can help you minimize the risk of injury. Here is a list of several of these aspects:

  • Running in proper shoes and ones that don’t have a significant amount of wear (check the bottom of your shoes)
  • Proper running form
  • Avoid running on sloped surfaces in which the same leg is always on the sloped side
  • Stay well hydrated and well nourished
  • Perform mobility, stability, and strengthening exercises at least three days per week
  • Perform cool-down after all workouts
  • If you have a desk job, getting up every hour to walk around and perform exercises, including leg swings

I will go into many of these in future posts. I wanted to leave today’s post with a few recommendations on lacrosse ball rolling (you can pick up one of these for about three bucks, well worth the money!) and self-massage from Jay Dicharry’s (physical therapist) “Anatomy for Runners”. I highly recommend this book!

Here are some of Jay’s recommendations for lacrosse ball rolling and self-massage:

Plantar fascia: apply pressure to tender areas on bottom of foot with the thumbs. Flex and extend the toes to open tissue tightness. Do this for 3-5 minutes daily.

Posterior Tibialis (muscle just on the inside of the ridge of the shin): Apply pressure with the thumbs and flex and extend the ankle to open tissue tightness. Do this 3-5 minutes daily.

Soleus (the deep calf muscle): Apply pressure with the thumbs and flex and extend the ankle to open tissue tightness. Do this 3-5 minutes daily.

Glutes/piriformis: Place the lacrosse ball on the floor and then lower yourself down on the ball, so that it is on the back of the hip joint, and somewhat to the outside. Play with the amount of pelvic rotation until you feel maximum pressure on the piriformis. Adduct (bring inwards toward middle of body) and abduct (move away from middle of body) your hip slightly to free up kinked tissue.


Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of help in any way.

Have a great day!

Your friend and coach,




  • Anatomy for Runners. Jay Dicharry. Skyhorse Publishing:New York, 2012.
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