When should you get a sports massage? - The Westhill 10k talk part two.
The benefits of sports massage are well documented. Simply put, it allows you to RECOVER FASTER AND PERFORM BETTER. The benefits of a sports massage can be different depending on the point in your training plan. Look at this image below;
This is a nice metaphor for the differing paths that people may take on their journey to the start line of a race or event. We hope that with a good training plan, regular stretching, adequate cool downs and appropriate nutrition that you will take the path of least resistance. You may manage to train without ever feeling a niggle, fatigued or heavy legged. In reality, that may not be the case. There are many points in a training cycle where you may feel you are going round in circles and the start line seems a long way away. What can we do to help;
- BEFORE YOU BEGIN TRAINING. This may be your first event, it may be your first time at this distance or it may be your umpteenth event. Prior to the real training load, it may be a good idea to come and get a session to give you an MOT and understand your body a bit better. We can ensure that you start on the right foot and your body is prepared for the training ahead. We can also help to signpost you to any minor areas that you may need to keep an eye on as the mileage and intensity increases. We will give you stretches, mobilisations and other tools to keep any areas of weakness at bay, on top of your massage session of course. Getting ahead of the game and targeting these issues before they become an issue is a good way of ensuring you ultimately get to the start line and not retire injured during the training process.
- EARLY STAGES OF THE TRAINING PLAN. You may or may not have seen us before you started but this is a decent point in time to have a session if you have not. Your body is beginning to adapt and you may be noticing some niggles, tight spots or heaviness in those legs. This may mean your own recovery strategies (hydration, diet, stretching etc.) are not sufficient. Perhaps they need reviewed. Perhaps they need to be made more specific. Either way, a session at this point can help revitalise those legs and allow you to kick on into the middle stage of the plan.
- MID - LATE TRAINING PLAN. Your mileage is now at it's highest. You now may be suffering from the accumulation of small deficits in your recovery strategies. Commonly this may feel like your times are not improving or even declining. You are sorer the next day after a run. It may take you longer to warm up. You may feel like a simple training run is more effortful than it should be. These feeling may mean you have not recovered adequately. This will ultimately make you perform below you best and may in some cases contribute to an injury occurring.
- TAPER WEEK. The taper week is the final week before the race. All your hard training is behind you now and you are just keeping the legs ticking over before the race. If you want to maximise those training gains, maximise your ability on the day and get any troublesome issues ironed out before the gun goes off then this is your time.
- POST EVENT. Post-event massage is also a great time to come and see us. We may even be there at the finish line! Post-event massage has been shown to help decrease pain and help minimise muscle damage following an event where you have pushed yourself to the max. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
So it may be that we don't see you at all. It may be we see you once, or twice or multiple times during a training cycle. Everybody is different, every body is different. Response to training, previous injuries, previous fitness levels and many more variables are in play here when it comes to using sports massage to your advantage when you are training for an event. If you are ever in doubt and wish some specific advice, give us a shout. Always happy to talk through individual issues before committing to a session - email@example.com