Why you Need a Sports Massage

"Erm...I know my times are seriously speedy (hahaha) but I hate it break it to you- I'm not a pro athlete!" - this was my response when someone told me I should be getting regular sports massages. It's not something for us regular people, just trying to get round a marathon or knock a second or two off a half marathon time, I thought. Oh how wrong I was.
So it turns out, you do need a sports massage especially if you're upping your training distance and training for something like a half or full marathon, Hmm ok but I still have some questions...

*disclaimer, I'm not a physio, these are researched but they are primarily my opinion!

The biggest reason is injury prevention. You need to keep your muscles and joints loose and able to flex to their full range of movement.It's a bit like when you warm up and stretch before a run, your muscles need to be flexible and ready to work. It's easy to overuse your muscles and put a lot of stress on them. Regular massages will help stop muscles from being inflamed and will help prevent injuries too.

Can I just go to the Spa?
Ahem...no. A proper sports massage won't feel relaxing. For me, in typical dramatic fashion, I usually have an arm thrown over my eyes while I grip the massage table with the other. Of course, you're probably a bit hardier than I am but it won't feel nice. You're releasing pressure and loosening muscles so it's bound to feel a little uncomfortable.

Pre or Post Race?
Both! Pre to get you ready for the race ahead, to loosen up and get you focused. Post to soothe muscles and ease tired tissues and prevents DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). At some big races you can book a post run massage, they're brilliant but bear in mind the volume of people that'll be going for one. They won't be as good as your regular physio but should help post race.

How Often?
It very much depends on you and how much your training. As I'm running a marathon and it'll be the longest distance I've ever run, I'm looking at every 5 weeks or so. I have a tight IT band as it is so I use a foam roller at home but seeing a professional to work out the knots and release the pressure, does wonders for me.

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