As many of us try to do, we balance our training and racing with every day life. Following either a big day of training or a race, most of us have to wake up the next day and go to work. Recovering at your desk from these intense activities can be done discreetly and might even make your next conference call a little more interesting.I grew up swimming, so my formative years were spent in a near weightless environment and while all my coaches did have some level of dryland core and cardio workouts, my running routine was an hour max in comparison to the double digit regime I spent weekly in the pool. Switching to a heavy land sport regime and an office job in my post collegiate years presented me with a new set of aches and an inability to deal with them as I used to (ie. nap it off!).
Following are a few strategies I‚Äôve found that work very well while I‚Äôm at work, helping to aide my recovery from long or intense runs especially as my body learns to adapt to the stress of miles on land instead of in the pool. You can do these from the comfort of your office chair or cubicle.
1. Using a lacrosse or tennis ball on my feet, roll it along the arch and heel; and very lightly over the toes and top of the feet. I will do this when working on my email load, doing one foot on one reply and then switching to the next with the next reply. My college triathletes will often do this when studying or in long classes (two hours or more) to help with their concentration.Special Treat. soak a tennis ball in water and freeze (although be sure to have a towel or similar absorbent material under it to avoid puddles under your desk). Ice and massage deliciousness!
2. Typically, a marathon stick is used for calves and quads. However, while sitting at my desk, I will roll the bottom of my feet on it while replying to emails or on conference calls ‚Äì you don‚Äôt have to track where the rolling is going and it helps keep my attention on the task at hand. I like to press over the ball when I need to lean hard into a hot spot.
3. Legs on the wall-Probably only best used if you have your own office space or a very understanding co-worker. Lay on the floor, legs propped up on the wall-not sure if this is a placebo effect, but I always feel invigorated from the drainage feeling this creates. Warning: be sure to set an alarm as you do risk dozing off. Fifteen to twenty minutes does wonders.
4. Placing a tennis or lacrosse ball on your hamstrings is probably the easiest thing to do and it brings terrific relief. Simply sit with a tennis ball dug into your hamstring or glute. No rolling or no timing, although I would recommend working on your posture, as it deepens the effect. Enjoy the pressure and release!
Perhaps you‚Äôve heard about one or all of these exercises, but hopefully this reminds you that you can recover from a big workout or race while you are at your desk, and multitask your way to a better (next) workout.
Learn more below about USAT Level I certified coach, Leigh Dodd.