Sports Massage for Runners

Sports massage should play an important part in the life of any runner: from the weekly park runner to the finely tuned athlete…

Deep Tissue Massage targets both the superficial and deep layers of muscles and fascia and is often quite intense due to the deliberate, focused work. It typically focuses in on a few specific problem areas and, unlike trigger point therapy, works the entire muscle. Because runners often have quite a few tight spots and interconnected issues, deep tissue massage is often the massage of choice while training.

There are certainly numerous benefits of receiving a sports massage some of our favourites are:

Improved circulation boosting blood flow to the muscles. This improved blood flow with oxygen rich blood cells allows the muscles to contract more effectively with increased power. It delivers more nutrients and flushes out the byproducts of hard exercise aiding recovery.
Improved range of motion as increasing blood flow allows the tissues (muscle and fascia) to increase in length. This includes releasing the tightness of trigger points of muscles and tightness of the fascia.
Break up scar tissue and adhesions (the micro trauma to the muscle caused by the stress of loading the muscles during training). Tension and adhesions can restrict movement and impair your range of motion, potentially leading to abnormal movement patterns that can cause overuse injuries.
Reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) lactate, inflammatory products from the natural break down of overloaded muscle fibres.
Improved relaxation through heat generated, circulation and stretching.
Release of the body’s endorphins influencing pain reception and helping to make the runner more comfortable.


These benefits of massage for runners suggest you can recover faster after a hard session and be ready for another sooner. Running more fast workouts – or higher mileage – is one of the best ways to become a better runner. And massage can help you do that while mitigating the injury risk.


It is important to note that the effects of massage are cumulative. This means that the effects and benefits increase with sequential, repetitive massages. Receiving one massage prior to a race will not reap the same benefits as a regular program of massage therapy throughout your training.

Key Things You Should Know Before Getting A Sports Massage:

  • Those who are familiar with massage can benefit from a pre-race rubdown in the seven to two-day window prior to an event. Getting treatment less than 48-hours prior puts all runners—even those who are massage veterans—at risk of race day soreness.
  • The deeper the massage, the longer it can take for the body to recover and respond – just like running workouts. Bear this in mind when asking your physio or massage therapist ‘to work a bit firmer’.
  • Dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles, which can make the massage more tender and painful. Staying hydrated is important for all over body health.
  • Keep any pre-appointment meals light…
  • Massage does not have to be painful to be beneficial. Therapy occurs when the patient’s body is not bracing against the therapist.
  • Soreness is normal and can even help reveal areas of weakness that should receive future attention. Within 48 hours, the tightness should dissipate, and you will feel like a new person before you know it.
  • Some professionals suggest that soaking in a concentrated Epsom salt bath later in the day after a massage can help continue the cleansing process and offset any soreness…. or simply prolong the relaxation!
  • Consider Incorporating Massage Into Your Training Plan. Runners put so much effort into training and should take the same approach to the overall well being. Research suggests incorporating regular massage—even if it’s just a 30-minute session once a month—so as to prevent injuries and overtraining of muscles.
    Massage isn’t a luxury, It’s an investment…

Don’t believe us? Why not try it out for yourself and book yourself a massage at Pure Physio Clinic today. All our Physiotherapists have excellent soft tissue skills and will ensure a medical screening is completed prior to treatment.
You can now book for 30 minute or 45 minute sports massage.

Donation to Charity…
Competing in a Marathon this year? We will donate £10 to your Charity.
Simply book an hour’s massage at any of our Clinics, settle your invoice & we’ll transfer £10 to your chosen Charity. T&C apply.