Updated: Jan 27
It is just over three weeks until Australia’s (and arguably the World’s) biggest fun run, City2Surf, which means, if you’re running you’re at your peak, you’ve done most of the hard work and you have just a few weeks to fine tune before (my favourite part) taper time.
So now is the optimum time to get a massage, as don’t forget, recovery is part of training too. Unfortunately, recovery is all too commonly a neglected part of training, even though it’s one of the most important aspects of any good training plan.
One of the biggest mistakes runners and amateur athletes make is overloading (and hands up, I am guilty here). We focus on our goals, we think more is better, but more is not always best. We can’t just keep loading the body, we need to give it the time and energy it requires to rebuild. The pro’s make sure they fit recovery into their training plans, but everyday athletes often focus much more on the hard work which is not good race prep.
Before the race make sure you take time to give back to the body, sleep well, eat well and allow the muscles to rest, recover and build. Book in for a couple of massages pre race to ease out any aches and pains that you may have picked up during your training, take some time out, allow the body to rest and reset.
Don’t leave it too close to the race though, if you’re not used to massages, make sure you book a sessions for at least four days out. Although research indicates that massage soreness doesn’t affect performance, the tenderness you could feel in the days post massage could interfere with your mental game.
And then what is better than a massage post race?
You may be surprised to hear that there is limited evidence to support massage as a treatment for the aches and pains you may feel after a hard run. It may feel good in that pushing-a-bruise type of way, but in reality it doesn’t do much. You’re much better off cutting down on the post race drinks, eating well and taking a warm epsom bath than jumping straight into a massage.
The reason for this is that the delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS that you’ll most likely be suffering in the days immediately following the race, is a result of lots of tiny microtears in the muscle body, a common result of working the muscles and it’s actually how we build muscle. The body just simply needs to do its thing, and it will. Those microtears will be signalling the body to come and use it’s protein building blocks to repair and grow.
However when this has faded a massage is perfect for picking you back up, sorting out any ongoing niggles or simply allowing yourself an active recovery phase. You’re also in a better place to judge how your body is feeling than when you are in that inflamed post race stage.
So come see us at the end of the week, or the week following to get the best results.
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