Sports massage for healthy, happy muscles and PBs in 2015:
Sports massage is well known to improve circulation, speed up recovery from exercise and soft tissue injury and prevent soft tissue injury. If you are a regular runner and not treating your muscles to regular sports massage, you may actually be missing out on a great opportunity to improve your running. Sports massage can play a key role in your training routine, not only for elite athletes but for all levels of runner.
So, what make sports massage so good for you?
Sports or deep soft tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, helping to keep the tissue more supple and flexible. Regular sports massage when your mileage is high will help maintain the health of your muscles by breaking up and clearing scar tissue within them. Pulled or strained muscles may directly result from a build-up of scar tissue within the muscles and they will quite literally stop you in your tracks.
When should you have a sports massage?
We recommend the following times for receiving a sports massage:
Pre-event: In order to get the body and tissues ready for race day, it is best to have a pre-event massage just before, or on the day before an event. This massage is performed at a fast, brisk pace, although does not focus too deeply.
Post event: A sports massage immediately after a race is a fantastic way to ease fatigued muscles and prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) from setting in. The pace of this massage is slow and rhythmical to soothe tired tissues.
Maintenance Massage: In between training sessions, a typical sports massage session lasts around 40 minutes and will focus quite deeply on breaking up and clearing scar tissue within the leg muscles. This helps maintain healthy muscles by preventing scar tissue from building up and potentially tearing.
Injury treatment: A sports massage can focus on specific soft tissues which have become torn, shortened or tight. The aim here is to reduce the recovery time of damaged muscle fibres and help get you back running sooner.
How often does Apex Clinic recommend sports massage?
For anyone running twice weekly or more, we recommend a monthly sports massage, or at least once every 6 weeks. The type of massage which is appropriate here is the “maintenance” massage which focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.
If your body was a high performance car, it would have regular services to look after the machine! Consider sports massage as your body’s regular service, preventing injuries, curing injured muscle tissue and boosting your overall running performance.