Whether you’re a newbie trying to piece together a running routine the will work for you or an experienced distance runner who just wants to recover faster, a massage will do wonders for you. You don’t even have to worry about past injuries or a lack of flexibility, a concern mostly by people who get a Thai massage.
Elite runners swear by the massage as evidenced by massage therapists as a fixture in their team during training and at the race. Even in public races, many participants line up to get a good post-run massage outside the massage therapy tent.
A massage, like the popular deep tissue massage, will feel really good if you’re a runner. Marathoners, sprinters, or recreational runners have all reported that their muscles feel less tight after a race and they can move their legs better.
The muscle movement during a run actually adheres to this principle. Long distance runs make muscles contract repeatedly to proper you forward. The more force and the longer you use those muscles the more these muscle fiber have to work. It is the reason why runners can run for long distances depending on their training and experience.
Trail runners can sometimes experience even more stress on their leg muscles on a run. Not only do these athletes run a long distance but they also have to deal with uneven terrain and other natural obstacles making their muscles work even harder.
The repeated contractions and muscle fatigue causes the muscles to shorten or become tight once a runner is done with the activity. It also means that the muscles are compressed together which makes it harder for blood to flow more fluidly to the tissues and makes them a little less flexible.
During a massage, the rubbing actually allows the muscles to relax and slowly elongate back to its normal state. This removes the tightness, improve the mobility of the muscle, and facilitate better blood flow to the area.
Physiologically, massage therapy actually has a relieving effect to the entire human body. Aside from improved circulation, the body is allowed to relax which translates to wider blood vessel diameter and lower blood pressure.
This relief will have a significant effect to anyone who gets a massage. However, for active people like runners the relieving effect might be more profound. Massage therapy for runner can actually mean faster muscle and injury recovery which will translate to their performance on the track.
Runners should always opt to get the full treatment so that they can feel all the benefits of massage therapy. This kind of massage digs deep down on muscle tissue to apply some corrective measures on it for muscle repair and maintenance. It’s a bit different than massages you get from spas and massage parlors because the people who carry out these methods are well-trained and have a license.
You must also remember that a massage is not a one-time miracle method for the aches and pains you feel after a run. This kind of therapy however has a cumulative effect which means you must get multiple massages to allow your body to recover fully.
A scheduled massage therapy routine would be your best bet in getting all its benefits. Consult with your doctor, listen to your body, and weigh it along with your budget when you come up with your recovery program. This will allow you to get the most out of your massage.