Thursday, December 26, 2013

Training and Recovery : "...Get a massage once per month..."

I'm not sure if you've heard or read this often said bit of sage advice before to '...get a massage once per month...' but I'm here to tell you there is a reason you've heard or read it before.

I was one of those that avoids 'massage' places because I don't really like the whole 'pampered' experience and thought "What has a massage got to do with running?" or "If I need a massage I'll massage myself'.  Well, you can give yourself a massage in fact you should routinely roll using your hard form roller, tennis ball or whatever you've found as a part of your post workaround routine to relax those muscles.  However, there is a subtle difference in having the right external person do it who is an experienced 'sports' masseuse, listens to you, can melt away knots and other things that is just very difficult to do yourself.

I went for the first time as per advice from an experienced running friend and suffered through all the pampering till my masseuse got down to the good stuff.  I won't lie and tell you there was no pain; especially, as he found those knots in my soleus.  However, after each knot melted and as the entire muscle was relaxed via hot oil and towels I found a new level of relaxed muscles I have not felt before.  The extra work on my foot arches, behind the knee and shoulders I'm sure contributed to the total relaxed sense of feeling.

It has been two weeks since I ran my last full marathon and even though I felt I was mostly recovered from the run I know now after having been to the sports massage specialist that I wasn't.  We counted at least four tender places around the soleus that I'm working on and will get another maintenance tuneup next month but was tremendous feedback to have and sure made my following 5 mile fun run actually fun.

If you consult your fellow running friends and find the right sports masseuse for you then I think a monthly massage is yet another positive tool at your disposal to help maintain good running form and hopefully keep running pain-free for years to come.

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