Best Recovery Options for Someone Who Hates Rollers?

Hey RW!

I am just entering the fun part of my marathon training cycle where speed work is heaped upon high mileage and, some days at least, I am feeling it. I will admit that my cool down and recovery practices are not what they should be. I will do some stretching in the shower but my Marathon Stick is collecting dust because, well, it's almost literally a pain in the ass to use. Of the youtube gadget reviews I have crawled through, the advice that has stuck out the most is that "the most effective therapy device is whatever one you're actually going to use". With that in mind, I am in the market for something that I can easily use while watching TV or otherwise isn't going to require me to devote a lot of singular attention. Running already devours most of my free "hobby time" and I think my fiancee will actually kill me if I spend another half an hour ignoring her while I beat myself up with gadgets.

Right now I am looking at Roll Recovery's R8 but I fear it will just become a more expensive dust collector than my stick. However, most of the reviews are really positive, with ease of use being a common thread. However, a big problem here is one of my trouble spots is the muscle around my right hip and I suspect this might be difficult to pinpoint with the R8.

The other option is a percussion massager but my issue here is how wildly overpriced they seem to be. I am generally wary of products where advertising budget seems to play a large part of why the end-product is so expensive (I am looking at you Dyson vacuum cleaner!). I will say that, without reservation, $600 for a massager is patently insane. I can buy commercial grade power tools for a fraction of that price and, rather hilariously speaking of which, I have stumbled across this guide on how to make a homemade Theragun for under $50 using a jigsaw and a golf ball...

I haven't ruled it out...

Does anyone have a recovery option that they particularly enjoy using? Do I give the R8 a chance or do I go down to Harbor Freight to start my arts and crafts project?

EDIT: I have also considered the Normatec Pulse because if I can "recover" while literally laying around watching TV then perfect but $1000 pajamas are probably a bit much and it seems like I would need to buy an add-on to target my hip.
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Staff member
The most effective recovery practice starts with what you eat within 30-40 minutes of a hard effort (ie intervals, tempo work, long run etc). A snack of 30 grams carbs/10 grams protein within 30-40 minutes of a harder effort will help offset the impacts of breakdown that hard workouts produce and start your body on the road to recovery. This snack does not replace a proper meal following a harder effort, but it helps significantly.

Once you get the snack into your system followed by a proper meal, then focus on the mechanical devices or actual massage or ice baths or saunas or starts with proper fuel first and foremost.

Great advice, Joe!

This is actually the first training cycle that I have taken post-run meals seriously and I have been enjoying using the GU Roctain Protein Recovery Drink after my long runs and harder track days. Mixing a little cinnamon in with the vanilla bean powder is (y)

I definitely have felt pretty good this cycle as compared to previous go-arounds but I am interested in the massager to deal with more acute pains. Stretching in the shower is like my poor man's version of a sauna.
Pay for sports massage as needed? I know, COVID and masks... yet there could be therapists near you who can do so safely?

I, too, have a nice collection of recovery/massage tools taking up space and collecting dust at home. They are nice to have to bust out when warranted. I have seen lower-priced percussion massagers out there, if that's the thing that would allow you to target your specific problem areas. The bonus is you can also use that to massage your fiancee's shoulders on the regular, so you can look at it as something for both of you. :cool: I might be getting one for my wife for our upcoming anniversary. :sneaky:

BTW, I stopped having frequent injury issues when I stopped stretching, though Jay Johnson's myrtl routines definitely help my hip mobility.


Staff member
I'd echo finding a good massage therapist. If your massage stick is gathering dust, I'm pretty sure any device you purchase regardless of cost will do likewise.