Benefits of Sports Massage for Marathon Runners:
- It helps to decrease the recovery time between training sessions especially after longer runs
- Helps to identify areas of tightness by compensations when training
- It decreases the likelihood of injuries due to the repetitive nature of running
- Helps to maintain flexibility and pliability of muscles allowing them to function effectively
- Maintains the condition of the actual muscles tissue as it encourages the re-organisation of muscle architecture by returning the muscle to its normal length
- Decreases the amount of stiffness experienced after an increase in mileage
- Think of it as a reward for your legs
When should you have a massage?
Most people find scheduling appointments on the lighter training days (usually Thursday or Friday) more beneficial. This is mainly because it enables the therapist to treat any specific muscular tightness allowing a couple of days recovery before the long training run on Sundays.
Alternatively some runners enjoy having the massage following their longer run to allow them to maximise their training performances throughout the week.
It is suggested that whilst people are training for a half or full marathon they receive weekly massages. It is especially important to have massage towards the build-up to the longer training weeks, usually placed about 4 weeks prior to the marathon.
It is seen to be more valuable to receive massage as soon as possible following the event. As this helps to improve the recovery rate and reduces the intensity of delayed muscle soreness (DOMS) experienced 1-3 days post marathon.
The style of massage is different from those received before the event or in other treatment sessions as it is geared at aiding the lymphatic system in its attempt at waste removal and recovery. Therefore, the massage techniques are applied more gently and fluently. As micro damage to the muscle tissue occurs during longer runs and the marathon the massage will be lighter also.