We’re in the full swing of summer of now and there are all kinds of posts about 5k runs, Triathlons, 100-mile Bike Races and Tough Mudders. A question that always comes up surrounding these types of sporting events… “is massage therapy better for me before or after my race?” The short answer … BOTH! Massage therapy is beneficial before and after events for different reasons.
Massage Therapy During Training (Months Leading Up to Event)
- Improve muscle recovery
- Maintain/improve flexibility
- Maintain/improve range of motion
- Reduce injury recovery time
- Enhance strengthening
Pre-Event Massage (typically within 2 days of event)
- Increase blood supply
- Facilitate join mobility
- Stretches tissue/supplements and complements warm up
- Body maintenance
- Promotes relaxation
- Facilitate injury healing
Post Event Massage (typically 2-3 days after event)
- Promotes recovery
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Flushes out lactic acid buildup
- Re-establish range of motion
- Facilitates blood flow to tight muscles
Often athletes training for an event are following a strict training guideline which incorporates regular massage sessions. If you are training for an event, consult with a doctor and personal trainer and check reliable sport specific magazines and websites for recommendations. Regular massage sessions should be part of your training plan, however, frequency of massage sessions will depend on several factors: level of fitness, event type, and athlete’s injury & recovery history.
Here is our typical recommendation: a one-hour massage, at a minimum, every 3-4 weeks is a good rule of thumb. Athletes can increase massages to as frequently as once per week throughout training. Within 48 hours of the event, make sure to avoid any deep tissue massages. If you are planning on setting up a massage after your event, make sure to schedule within 2-3 days for optimum recovery. And most important of all, listen to your body and give it the rest and care it needs! Have any questions? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to explain more on the importance of massage during athletic events. Good luck and happy training!