by: Weldon Johnson, LetsRun.com
December 23, 2012
Earlier this month I went to The Running Event (TRE), the trade expo for specialty running stores. Think New York City Marathon expo but only for specialty shoe store owners and the media.
While there, I had the realization that the running industry is really the how do I stay healthy industry.
With that mindset, the two products that stood out to most at TRE, are two products that help you stay healthy.
The Product of TRE: R8 Roll Recovery
I won’t bury the lead. There is no question in my mind, the product of The Running Event was the R8 Roll Recovery Massage Roller. I was blown away by the product.
How do I describe it?
- Like The Stick but much, much better.
- A self-massager, recovery tool that requires very little effort on your part.
- A double Stick with pressure on both sides of the part of your body you are working on.
If you’ve used The Stick to work on a tight muscle, you know it takes a lot of work. You have to apply the pressure yourself and after a while it is tiresome and I at least stopped using it.
The R8 Massage Roller is different. It’s design is so simple, yet revolutionary. It starts out straight and then folds and clamps down on both sides of your leg or calf. The massage force is built into the product as the gripping of the device automatically provides the pressure you need. All you have to do is roll it back and forth and the grip of the device provides the needed pressure. Granted I only tried it for less than 5 minutes but was super impressed with it. I raved about it to a friend, who was skeptical. Next thing I knew he told me he had bought his wife one for Christmas. (A video preview of it is below)
One more thing, the R8 was invented by a real runner Jeremy Nelson, husband of pro-marathoner Adriana Nelson (most known for losing the 2007 Chicago Marathon in the most dramatic fashion ever. Video here if you didn’t see it).
*Check out the R8 Roll Recovery at RollRecovery.com
110% Play Harder Compression Clothing
At the expo for the cancelled NYC Marathon, I couldn’t believe how many makes of compression socks there were. They definitely are one of the latest fads in the industry. There is research that indicates compression can not only help performance but recovery.
110% takes compression one step farther as it adds an icing component. 110% sells standard compression gear, but then on top of it is a sleeve where you can slip their own ice packs. Icing becomes much, much easier, if you don’t have to contourt you body to get a ziplock bag full of ice and water to stay in the right place.
During my collegiate career, I iced a part of my body nearly every single day. I knew a lot of people who didn’t because it is not the easiest thing to do. With 110% Play Harder, icing becomes a lot easier and it has compression thrown in on top of it.
110% even comes with a bag that keeps your ice packs cold for a few hours so you can bring them with you to your workout.
110% has compression gear that you can run in on top of which you can add the icing component. There also are just sleeves if you just want just ice and compression post-run and not compression during the run.
Images below of two of their products from their website. More at http://110playharder.com/
ICY FEET: Plantar Fasciitis Relief
The two products above piqued my interest the most. Another product that captured my interest was ICY FEET. It’s a shoe you wear to automatically ice your foot if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. Plantar essentially started the end of my professional running career. So anything that makes icing for plantar easier gets my attention. I didn’t try ICY FEET as I don’t have plantar anymore but the concept is a good one. Photo below and more info at icyfeet.com
I didn’t receive any free product in conjunction with the reviews above. I did receive a free pair of Birkenstock’s. There is no quid pro quo here, but I will add Birks were the sandals I used to try and help with my plantar. Supporting your arch when walking around can be beneficial.
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