Running a marathon is a massive undertaking that takes a lot of time and dedication, but it’s often the training rather than the race itself that’s the most challenging part. As you start notching up the miles your body can start feeling tired and fatigued, and this can affect your motivation levels. This is where you can really benefit from sports massage therapy to give you a physical and psychological boost and getting your training back on track.
The role of sports massage therapy when marathon training is to keep your body in optimum working order. It can be used to help you recover at the end of a tough training block, or to monitor how your body is coping with the extra impact and mileage. The treatment should involve testing and assessing your body for any areas of tension, weaknesses, joint misalignment, or tissue that’s over stretched, short, ischemic, or inflamed. Once these areas have been treated it will restore balance to your body, meaning you’ll be able to train at your optimum level again.
To get the full benefits of sports massage therapy in the build up to a marathon we recommend having one every two to four weeks. As it gets closer to the big day and your mileage is potentially at its highest level, you may want to have weekly treatments to keep any niggles at bay. A pre-race treatment a few days before the marathon can really help get your body and mind prepared for the race. Finally, a post race sports massage is especially useful for anyone looking to recover quickly. You may have another race coming up, or want to get back into training quickly (or maybe you just want to walk normally again!)
Here’s an overview of the benefits of sports massage therapy whilst marathon training:
- Increases tissue permeability which aids in the removal of metabolic waste (running energy waste products), which helps with soft tissue recovery
- Improves the body’s pumping action and dilates blood vessels, this means more vital nutrients to those running muscles
- Enhanced stretch to increase elasticity to soft tissue that cannot be stretched in conventional ways. This will decrease the risk of getting an injury, as the tissue will stretch rather than tear
- Breaks down scar tissue deposited from old and new injuries, this will increase the flexibility of soft tissue and improve joint range of motion
- Facilitates the relaxation of tight and tense soft tissue, which rebalances the body and helps improve running form
- Reduces pain by releasing natural hormones in the body, this can help you train harder and run faster
- Reduces anxiety and invigorates the body which is brilliant for anyone who suffers with those pre-race jitters
In a treatment your movement patterns, range of motion, flexibility, strength, balance, and proprioception will all be tested. This will highlight the areas that need to be treated. Various methods will be utilised to get your body back to it’s optimal functioning level.
Train smart and make sports massage therapy part of your marathon training plan. More information on our sports massage packages can be found here.