How a sports/deep tissue massage can aid better running

Are you training for the Bath Half Marathon, (which is just a few weeks away in March), or maybe you’re training for another running event, whatever event you should be looking to incorporate massage into your regime.

We get many enquiries at The Bath Massage Co from runners asking about Sports massage and how it can help them; massage and running go hand in hand, and here’s why…

It is very likely that massage helps improve flexibility and reduces risk of injury, as well as delivering a whole host of other benefits too.

Running requires sustained, repetitive muscle contractions. The greater these contractions are, the greater the force generated is, and the more muscle fibers are required to shorten. These sustained, repetitive muscular contractions translate into speed, power, and distance allowing us to run further and faster. However, this can also translate to shortened, tight muscles, joint range of motion losses, and decreased circulation to compressed tissues.
Massage works to elongate the muscles, relieve muscle tightness, restore joint range of motion, and improve circulation.

Massage improves the effectiveness of the circulatory system.  This system is responsible for oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery, and waste removal at the cellular level. Our circulatory system delivers blood enriched with oxygen and nutrients, like glucose and electrolytes, to muscle tissue. It then picks up and removes muscle metabolic by-products and waste.

Furthermore, the circulatory system impacts all the other systems of the body too. Therefore, increasing the effectiveness of the circulatory system directly or indirectly impacts our entire body. Better circulation means better delivery of nutrients and oxygen to surrounding cells and tissues.

Therapeutic massage can elicit very specific physiological responses, such as, increased blood circulation, increased diameter of blood vessels, and decreased blood pressure. These effects are significant for everyone, but are of particular importance to a runner looking for ways to recover faster, prevent injuries, and improve performance.
Other Benefits include:

  1. Dilates blood vessels which promotes circulation and lowers blood pressure
  2. Assists venous blood flow
  3. Promotes rapid removal of metabolic waste products
  4. Improves the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cell
  5. Improves pulmonary function by loosening tight respiratory muscles
  6. Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue
  7. Increases/restores joint range of motion
  8. Reduces cortisol levels and norepinephrine and epinephrine levels
  9. Restores posture and gait
  10. Improves connective tissue healing

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. Massage therapy also works best as a preventative program. Once an athlete sustains an actual injury, seeking medical attention comes first. After a proper diagnosis and treatment, massage therapy may become part of the recovery process.

When should you have a sports massage?
Massage treatment plans are very individual and we always create one for your individual needs. The most important goal is to set a regular schedule for your massages whether it is once a week, once a month, or every two months. Pre-race massages should be scheduled ideally 3-5 days before the race and, likewise, post-pace massages should be scheduled 3-5 days after a race when muscles are no longer sore to the touch.
Massage is a great training reward to look forward too! And, last but not least, between massages, drink lots of water, stretch after your runs, foam roll often, and eat clean healthy foods to extend the life of your massages.

So, if you’re in training and are interested in massage get in touch and we will help you with a massage plan for your forthcoming event.

The Bath Massage Company will be supporting Mentoring Plus at this years Bath Half Marathon event and providing runners complimentary post event massage.

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