Foam rolling is often seen as a necessary evil of running—but afterward you feel oh so good. Here's why it is a love-hate relationship.

Running is not complicated—just lace up and go, right? Kinda. But our relationship with things that can help our running can be complicated. Beyond running we sometimes find ourselves avoiding things like stretching, cross-training, rest days, foam rolling…if those things are going to help our running, why do we avoid them?

Well, at least with foam rolling—it’s because it is often a love-hate relationship.

Running 10 miles is the easy part. It’s the part we prefer.

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But after running we should stop, drop and ROLL—foam roll.

Foam rolling can help keep you limber, identify sore spots, prevent injuries and stretch tight muscles that can’t really be worked out in other ways.

So, why do we avoid it?

Um, it hurts.

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And it feels awkward.

You’re basically on the floor, rubbing your sweaty body all over a super-sized pool noodle.

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After a hard run there are tons of things we’d rather do than stop and foam roll—things like eat and shower and catch up on Instagram.

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But we know it’s good for our achy muscles so we force ourselves to at least roll out our IT band.

And instead of our muscles being happy and thankful that we’re trying to help—they scream in pain!?

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Whoever said foam rolling is basically like a mini-massage you can do on yourself was lying. This hurts!

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So, we toss it in the corner and ignore it for a few days. We avoid thinking about it or looking at it and pretend like our calves are fine and we have no need for a lil’ massage to help loosen them out after yesterday’s hilly run.

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Until guilt comes creeping back in and we know we should go back and give it another shot.

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But now that we’ve avoided it for a few days (or weeks!) it’s going to hurt even more.

However, nothing hurts as much as NOT being able to run so we humbly accept that it must be done.

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So go running and rolling in order to live to run another day…

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…and live happily ever after (once we’re done foam rolling).