Recovery comes in all shapes and sizes, it comes with rest, with nutrition, with stretching and massage. Whether that's on the foam roller or with a massage therapist massage can be very helpful in keeping runners injury free and on the roads. Recovery is just as important as training.
I was first introduced to massage by a good friend of mine who goes on the regular. I've never thought about it as a tool I needed to invest in until I turned 30 (I know it's not THAT old) but there were some lingering aches and pains that needed tending too. He mentioned I should try a massage and while I agreed I never made an appointment...so I had Christine (my wife) make me one.
The appointment was painful, awesome, helpful, great and now I go monthly. So why is it so awesome, helpful etc...let's take a look...
“Pain changes how we function and can even inhibit healing. Massage may also help with recovery after a workout and may help get us out of a stress dominated state of our nervous system" - Greg Lehman (physiotherapist)
I can attest to this. Sometimes I get a bit carried away with training and run through pain I should not. My massage therapist (LouAnn Botsford of Finish Line Massage) finds those painful spots and can help work out the kinks. There may be an adhesion or scar tissue restricting my muscles. She finds them, and destroys them!
Rest and recovery go hand in hand. Relaxing is part of that, getting the stress out is just as important as getting the kinks out. Calming music, essential oils etc...help get the other stressful aspects of your life under control. It's tough to recover from a workout when you're worried about a work thing or a family thing. Relaxing is key to recovery.
Some studies indicate that massage can help reduce inflammation, improve immune function and reduce stress hormones. Improved circulation is one way massage will help reduce recovery times, breaking up those adhesions and scar tissue will help blood flow. Improved blood flow will help oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery and waste removal.
Range of Motion
If anyone has seen me stretch or warm up you know this is a huge issue for me in particular. One of the reasons elite athletes are so darn fast is because they have great range of motion paired with quickness and power. Massage can help increase that range of motion by lengthening those muscles and improving joint movement.
These are just a few ways that massage therapy can help runners reduce recovery time, stay Injury free and improve performance. We'll continue to have massage therapists visit us during our group runs so you can find out just how awesome it is!
See you out on the Rhode!
This post was written with help from www.strengthunning.com and www.runnersworld.com