What Rolls Better Than a Ball? TJP Blog

Posted:Tuesday, June 27, 2023

By Marshall Dahneke

At the St. George Marathon expo I wandered by a booth of wooden plaques with etched messages. One jumped out at me: There may come a day when I cannot run … today is NOT that day! This sign sits prominently beside my desk in my home office.

Lately I’ve had to acknowledge that today IS that day, at least for now. Due to overtraining, I developed a stress reaction in my right tibia last December. In my haste to get back to training for the Boston Marathon I jumped at every opportunity, whenever a doctor or PT gave me the green light, to resume running only to discover a week or two afterwards that I had to cease running and re-start the healing clock. I stopped running altogether after an MRI in late February until the Boston Marathon, learning first hand that cross-training is only partially effective for running. But I achieved the goal of completing the Boston Marathon and even crossing the finish line together with my son, Rulon Dahneke (also running for Team MTF), remembering and honoring my daughter Jacquelyn.

Tackling 26.2 miles while still injured and with inadequate training was … totally worth it! The Jacquelyn Project journey would have felt incomplete without this climactic event. But at what cost? A post-race x-ray now shows that the stress reaction progressed to a stress fracture of my right tibia. So today is that day with no more running for at least 6 to 10 weeks and then a very slow rebuild after that to regain strength and stamina. I am not even supposed to cross train right now.

Nagging injuries seem to have plagued me every time I increased my mileage and speed work—two factors many long-distance runners embrace in their training. As I reflect back on all four marathons I have run, I can catalog the nagging injuries I was trying to overcome each time. Achilles and patellar tendinitis, a left foot injury, early warnings of plantar fasciitis, and of course now a tibia stress fracture. I have invested increasing time and effort on recovery and healing interventions, reaching the point where I was spending more time on recovery than training, and have been especially blessed with generous brand sponsors who provided amazing products, services, and expertise!

One key discovery for me was MyoStorm’s Meteor self-heating, vibrating, massage therapy ball. Rolling is a type of soft tissue work for myofascial release and it can help alleviate muscle pain and tension caused by adhesions that can form between muscle and fascia. Traditionally rolling is accomplished with foam rolls. For even more targeted myofascial release, what rolls better than a ball? And especially a heated ball that vibrates!

(Jared Ward, US Olympic marathoner and co-founder of MyoStorm, using MyoStorm Meteor)

The Meteor’s deep tissue massage is ideal for stiff muscles, knots, and soreness after training and is perfectly calibrated for everyday aches and pains. When used as warm up before exercise, the vibration helps to improve mobility, range of motion, bodily awareness, and decreases the chance of injury. When used as part of cool down, vibration can help decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and help to reduce adhesions. The soothing vibration gives muscles a deep massage that accelerates recovery. In short, the Meteor has become an important part of my daily repertoire as a comfortable way to prevent injury, recover from training, and to stay loose and flexible.

At the risk of jinxing myself, the one common injury I have successfully dodged to date is full-blown plantar fasciitis. Between wearing my PowerStep Pulse insoles for EVERY training run and rolling and stretching the bottoms of my feet with MyoStorm Meteors (I purchased two so I can simultaneously do both feet), I have enjoyed happy feet despite the pounding they take. At the first hint of sole pain I always double down on my Meteor foot massages and that has worked so well for me!

Thank you MyoStorm for your generous sponsorship of The Jacquelyn Project!

Visit The Jacquelyn Project’s home page for an overview of the project, sponsor highlights and a donation link.

Learn more below about MyoStorm, proud Silver Sponsors of The Jacquelyn Project: