As a self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast and occasional marathon runner, I like to think I'm pretty tuned in when it comes to my body. And boy oh boy, does my body love it when I schedule a sports massage. A sports massage isn't just a basic massage, and that's what makes it so beneficial for us runners we love. This special type of therapeutic massage primarily focuses on muscles relevant to certain sports and is designed to prevent and treat injuries, improve flexibility, and enhance athletic performance. Whether you're a seasoned marathon runner or someone who likes a Sunday stroll, having a sports massage is like placing your muscles in the best physiotherapy spa imaginable. My darlings, you haven't lived until you've had one, trust me!
Ever wondered why sports massage makes your body feel like it's just had a vacation? Let's break it down. Runners put pressure on certain muscles of our body more than non-runners. This repeated strain often leads to stiffness, fatigue, and a higher chance of injuries. This is where sports massage comes in. It helps in improving blood circulation, facilitating the quick removal of waste products, and delivering nutrients to the muscles more efficiently. The therapist applies pressure and uses various techniques like kneading, stroking, and even poking (yes, poking!) to target muscle-tendon junctions. This boosts lymph flow and rejuvenation, reducing muscle tension and improving tissue elasticity. It's this magic that gets me out of bed on those cold Adelaide mornings for an early run.
I can distinctly remember this one incident when my husband, Patrick, excused himself from our weekly jog because of a hamstring injury. Now, if only he'd gone for a sports massage, he would have been on the track with me instead of nursing a sore leg at home. Regular sports massage can help us identify potential trouble spots and prevent injuries before they occur by concentrating on the areas that are most stressed by our running activity. When muscle tension is reduced, the risk of small injuries that result from overuse such as sprains or tears, is significantly lessened. A proactive runner is a happy runner and trust me, it's hard to find a happier runner than one fresh out of a sports massage.
Post-run fatigue is like a ghost that haunts every runner. But I've found my secret weapon against it - a sports massage. Yep, I've discovered that it can significantly reduce muscle soreness and fatigue after a long run, making it a crucial part of recovery. This is because it aids in flushing out lactic acid (responsible for muscle fatigue and pain) and promotes blood and lymphatic circulation that together rejuvenate our leg muscles before the next run. Let me tell you, it feels like Milo, my golden retriever has just had the longest walk of his life and is snoring away peacefully. That's how refreshed your body could feel!
Not only does a sports massage physically rejuvenate your muscles, but it also does wonders for your mental wellbeing. I’ve learned that it lowers the level of stress hormones and releases those loveable endorphins we can't get enough of. This delightful body science contributes to improved mood and better sleep quality – something that any athlete or indeed anyone could benefit from. It also increases body awareness, helping us to avoid overstraining and improving our posture during running. Honestly, nothing beats the quiet moments of tranquility during a sports massage therapy. It's like a mini vacation for the mind that runners especially will find beneficial.
So you'd love to be more flexible but the idea of stretching makes you cringe in anticipated pain? Well, two words for you - sports massage. It's one of the most effective ways to increase flexibility while reducing the risk of injury. As a runner, being flexible not only feels great but also improves your running mechanics and reduces running-induced wear and tear. How, you may ask? Well, by breaking down scar tissue and increasing blood circulation. This promotes flexibility and range of motion, which ensures that nothing stands in the way of you and your running goals. Not even those daunting hills in South Australia's terrain.
While sports massage provides immense benefits, it's essential that we make the most of it by communicating effectively with our massage therapists. Not the nattering kind of communication, mind you, but letting them know our pain points, running habits, and injury history. This allows them to customize the session to our specific needs as runners and get us back on the track faster. I always advise people to schedule their massage at a time when they won't be rushing off to someplace else. A massage isn't just about the 'in session' experience, it's also about the delightful languor that follows. Enjoy that relaxed state post-massage before jumping back into your jogging shoes or rushing off to work.
Runners, heed my advice - a single sports massage session as a one-off won't cut it as a miracle cure-all. The real key to unlocking all these amazing benefits is regularity. Schedule your sports massage sessions as part of your running routine. It's advised to have a pre-event sports massage a couple of days before a marathon race to prepare your body, and a post-event massage within a day or two after the run to speed up recovery. Incorporating regular sports massages into your routine, probably fortnightly or monthly, depending on your running intensity, will help maintain your muscles in their best condition. And hey, who doesn't like having something so pleasant to look forward to as part of their routine? Milo and I certainly do!