When and Why should I get a pre marathon sports massage?

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Race day is fast approaching and the taper is in full swing so the legs are beginning to get a well earned rest.

The next big decision is

1- Would a sports massage help me?
2- With 10 days left till the marathon, when should i get it?

Firstly you must consider, is this your first massage? If so there is an unknown as to how you will react to a sports massage. Some people are very tender and mildly bruised following It, although our therapists try to grade depth appropriately to each individual especially on their first visit.

We would always recommend a pre marathon massage at least 5-10 days pre race ( if it’s a first massage the longer pre event the better) so that our physio’s can work at an appropriate depth to have an effect mobilising your muscles and fascia whilst allowing you ample time to complete a couple of short easy runs to help flush the toxins produced following the massage from the affected muscles.

The principle thing to consider is:

Why would you need a sports massage ?

The answer is simple.

Deep tissue massages improve blood flow to your muscles by stimulating the circulatory system. You’ll get an influx of oxygen-rich blood, which helps flush out the byproducts of hard exercise, and delivers fresh nutrients.

The other aims of deep massage are to:
Improve flexibility
Reduce muscle tension
Break up scar tissue and adhesions ( the micro trauma to the muscle caused by the stress of loading the muscles during marathon training)

Our physio’s whilst massaging are able to detect tight knots within the muscle and can apply different techniques to mobilise them. The longer pre marathon they do the treatment the greater depth they can go to. This allows them to achieve the best effect. While still allowing plenty of time for any soreness to disappears.

Everyone has different pain levels and pain tolerance so not only do our physio’s take feedback from the quality of the soft tissue they are working on but also the feedback from the client regarding it. As an area is worked on progressively it should relax, loosen and become less painful.

What should you expect post massage?

Depending on the depth our physio’s work at it is normal to have:
Some tenderness to touch but feeling looser.
Occasional mild bruising
Improved range of motion
Your legs feeling a little lethargic.

This is why we never recommend a deep massage in the final few days pre event as it takes a day or two to recover.
Always increase your hydration post massage to help flush out the toxins.

So our take home message is:

  • Pre marathon massage is very beneficial
  • Best done 5-10 days pre marathon
  • Allow a few easy runs in the days after it
  • Provide plenty of feedback to to your physio to ensure the maximum depth of treatment with the minimum pain

Please call our main office on 02830269733 if your wish to book your pre marathon sports massage