Massage for Runners
No longer considered a spa indulgence, massage is becoming more and more popular with runners to reduce injury, improve performance and recover post run. For runners, a regular massage is vital to help stimulate blood and keep joints, tendons and leg muscles in excellent shape.
A sports massage – also called a deep tissue massage – is used primarily for runners who exercise faithfully. The focus on this type of massage is to:
- Increase circulation
- Improve muscle tone
- Increase flexibility
- Reduce risk of injury
- Enhance performance
- Decrease muscle soreness
For those runners who engage in races, a massage can be an excellent tool while preparing for an event. For example, a pre-race massage is an important part of serious training and can work wonders on those sore, tired and swollen muscles prior to an event. Consider adding a massage five days or so prior to a race. A massage therapist can utilize specific massage techniques to help athletes prepare for their competition.
A post-race massage is a great way to jump-start your recovery. When the muscles are warm and blood flow has increased, a massage can relax tight muscles, help alleviate cramping and decrease muscle soreness.
Finally, many runners include massage therapy as part of their training process. When used regularly, a massage can improve flexibility and assist with any muscle problems before they become more serious.
While there are various forms of massage that can benefit your running program, working with a professional therapist can increase your performance level. When making your appointment, look for a therapist who has a thorough knowledge of anatomy and who can offer suggestions and advice on how to prevent injury and help speed recovery.