Most runners love to get a massage. Not only does it feel great, but it can also help speed recovery, reduce muscles soreness and facilitate injury healing. Massage has long been a part of a runner’s training program. You’ve no doubt heard many of the benefits of massage: improved circulation, less muscle soreness, and a removal of exercise waste products like lactic acid.
The major benefit of massage is that it relaxes tense muscles and removes adhesion or minor scar tissue between muscles and fascia, a fancy word for the sheath or casing that surrounds your muscles. Unneeded tension and adhesion can restrict movement and impair your range of motion, potentially leading to abnormal movement patterns that can cause overuse injuries.
Quite a few runners have asked me if they should get a massage the day before a race. Or if a massage right after a marathon is a good idea.
The answer to both questions is no. Massage right after a hard race or workout (or maybe even the day after if you’re still significantly sore) is counterproductive to the recovery process. And massage right before a race might leave you sore on the starting line.
Think of massage as a workout where deep pressure can cause some muscle soreness. You don’t want to layer too many sources of muscle soreness so it’s best to wait 1-2 days after a hard workout or race to get your massage.
If you want to get a massage before a race, it’s best to do it 2-3 days before. Massage can sometimes require “recovery” so you want to wait until that wobbly feeling disappears. Don't worry your legs will return to normal after 1-2 days.
For those runners not racing right now, you should still follow these principles around your hard workouts or long runs.
Do you need a massage? Book your appointment with Oberon Remedial Massage