It is now fast approaching the Brighton and London Marathons, and if you are competing in either of these races, you will be doing quite a lot of running by now! Massage can play an important part in keeping your body healthy while it tackles those miles.
Last year I trained for and ran the Brighton Marathon – my very first marathon! – and massage had a vital role for me in keeping me running at my best. Being a runner myself, as well as a Sports Massage Therapist, I have a good understanding of what runners need from their massage treatments.
Maintenance: keeping it loose
When we are running a lot, our muscles can get tight and sore and we may experience aches and pains and limitations in range of motion. Massage can help by relaxing and releasing tight tissue. I can also check how your muscles are functioning and if necessary suggest stretches or strengthening exercises to help keep things more balanced.
One comment I often get after massaging runners is that they feel as if they have got new legs! Getting a regular massage whilst training for a big race can help keep things loose and prevent injuries by dealing with areas of tightness or pain before they become more serious.
Injury: Getting back on track
If the worst does happen, and a niggle turns into a full-blown injury, then a knowledgeable Sports Massage Therapist can help give you the best chance of continuing to train or resuming your training as quickly as possible. A combination of skilful massage, appropriate rehabilitation work and advice on how to modify your training plan can get you back on track.
I use a combination of techniques including muscle activations, deep tissue, myofascial release, trigger points and active stretching. I am also a great believer in the importance of strengthening to help with recovery as well as to ensure that you stay healthy.
Recovery: Getting moving again
After your race, massage can be fantastic to help give some tlc to those sore and aching muscles. You should be able to walk out of the treatment room more easily than you walked in!
A post-race recovery massage may range from reasonably light to deeper pressure depending on the condition of your muscles and how soon after the race it is. The aim is to release contracted muscles, improve circulation, reduce pain and cramping and aid the healing process.
Running a marathon is an amazing and challenging achievement. Incorporating massage into your training schedule can help you get there.
“I had regular massage from Charlotte during my marathon training. Her approach is holistic and each treatment was really well planned. She used a range of techniques tailored to my bodies needs. She has a great understanding of a running physiology. I completed my 7th marathon injury free and with a PB. Can’t recommend Charlotte enough.” Gill Checkley
Charlotte Softly is a Runner and Sports Massage therapist at Natural Balance Therapies in Hove on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday plus occasional cover at weekends. To check her availability click here.