I’m a lucky runner! I won this Roll Recovery R8 after participating in a Twitter chat a few weeks ago. The weekend prior to winning the roller I had seen a runner using it at the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay. Between sets she used the roller. I felt like a stalker as I watched her, I was fascinated by the roller. To say that it was an upgrade from the stick roller I had in my bag was an understatement. After the race and I was settled into my hotel room prepping for the marathon the next day I took a minute to look up more info about the roller.
FOMO (fear of missing out) washed over me as I waded through the Roll Recovery website. There are several products to choose from to help runners keeping pushing hard and working towards their goals. The monster roller they offer is the R8 for $119. I’ve struggled with IT band issues for a few years, but have had a wonderful husband, as well as a chiropractor I see that helps keep things loose and me out on the road. However, as an independent person I hate that I have to rely on others to massage my IT band after a tough workout or race. The R8 would provide me the freedom to handle my business…I like that! I’ll be honest after my initial research I closed down my computer went to bed and forgot all about ordering the R8.
Fast forward a week or so from the Icebreaker marathon and I was participating in a chat on Twitter sponsored by Roll Recovery and won the grand prize that evening. I was excited to say the least! When the roller arrived a few days later I could not wait to put it to use. I am in the thick of training for several spring marathons and a few 50k ultras. I have been staying on top of my IT band with massages and stretching, but my calves have been like rocks. I immediately took the R8 out of the box and put it to use. Oh boy! I was not prepared for how deep the massage would be. It caught me off guard and took a bit to get used to. I was not expecting the massage to be as effective as a traditional massage. The design of the rollers on the R8 and the tension set up adjusted to my body immediately and dug into my calves with efficiency. I was shocked that after 10 minutes of rolling my once rock like muscles were flexible and felt so much better. The best part…I was able to achieve this all by myself! This is huge. I usually have to schedule an appointment or carve out time with my husband to fix my running muscles.
I did not want to get ahead of myself and write up a review before I had used the roller for an extended period of time and figured out what it was capable of. I visited the Roll Recovery website to check out the body parts that I could company recommended that the R8 be used to massage. The site stated that the patented technology can be applied the IT-bands, quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, gluteus, arms and more. Challenge accepted!
First off the product is very easy to use. Right out of the box I was able to follow the attached directions to work on my calves. I referred to the directions several times as I explored the options and treated different parts of my body. I love when directions are simple and compact…I have yet to complete build it yourself furniture due to the lengthy list of directions! I have saved the pamphlet and inserted in the travel bag so that I can keep it on hand and reference back to it when needed. Speaking of travel bag, the R8 is compact travels well. I have packed it for local races and will be bringing it with me when I travel to Arizona for the Phoenix Marathon.
For 3 weeks I used the R8 after EVERY run whether it was short, long, or a race. The massage it give is intense and deep. It takes some getting to used to, but it is worth every minute of used. I found my legs to feel fresh and loose day in and day out. Typically after long runs I will do recovery miles to flush my muscles, but my legs feel like they are filled with cement. Using the R8 my tired legs were seem to recover faster and have allowed me to increase my mileage.
A week ago I headed out for a short run but did not make it a mile and had to limp home. My IT band was ceased up and so tight that I could see the tendon knotted up. I grabbed the R8 and used it to massage my leg. I cried…it hurt so bad, but worked to release the tension. I was able to get out and run the next day and made it further than a mile. My IT band is still inflamed, but it is getting better as I continue to use the R8 roller. I have also taken to rolling in the morning when I wake up in addition to after a run. Massaging/rolling is not the end all be all, but it is working to keep me training and focused on my upcoming marathon. For that I am grateful.
The R8 is an investment at $119, my stick roller 5 years ago with $20. In comparison they are like apples and oranges. If I had not won the R8 I may not have known how wonderful the product is, but when you put into perspective how I spend on running shoes, clothes, race entries the price seems doable…especially since it has helped me to stay on my feet and keep packing on the mileage.
Feel free to leave any questions you have able the product in the comments below. I’ll report back after the Phoenix Marathon with an update on the IT band issue and how that all works out.
#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive
*On a side not Roll Recovery is a pretty amazing company. They recently paid all the entry fees for athletes at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials…that in my book is a pretty amazing thing to do! Here is the press release if you would like to read more about this generous offer: Roll Recovery to pay 2016 Olympic Trial Marathons Athlete Fees