Running can be a bit daunting and as we’re coming into the cooler months everyone is starting to get back into it, or thinking about taking the plunge into the world of running. You might even be considering setting yourself new goals to achieve in 2017. Training could already be underway and your muscles are getting more conditioned to pace and distance. How are they feeling? Tight or sore? It might be time to book in your remedial massage to help you work towards your goals.
There are lots of options when it comes to finding a club to run with, online training programs or even advice from friends or family on how to get started. It makes it easier when you have a plan set out for you which includes how long to run and when because we’re all susceptible to burn out or injury. In each program you’ll have your easy and hard weeks- working on increasing your distance or increasing speed. Just as important as running days it will also include rest days or active recovery days. Are you new to this and not sure when to stretch, or when would be the best time to get a massage? We’re here to help you with finding that out.
Whether it’s couch to 5kms or couch to 21kms these plans can help space your training. But do they include how to stretch and look after you body in this time? If you’re starting from the ‘couch’ then you may find this blog particularly valuable. The tension can start to build up in your muscles in the early weeks of your program. Getting a massage before they’re too sore makes sure your motivation doesn’t waiver. Something that remedial massage can also help you with is biomechanic issues (the way you run or move) before you get too far into your program.
Let’s have a talk about the when and why for massage. You’ll be in the hands of a professional who will take into consideration your training load, your previous injuries and other aspects of your lifestyle as well. So their advice is tailored to your needs. An appointment a couple of weeks into the program can look into your biomechanics and body, getting you off on the right foot. Following on from that, and depending on your goal, weekly or fortnightly massage is a nice time frame to follow up. Here are just a few of the benefits of regular massage for runners:
1. Reduced muscle fatigue and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
2. Increased circulation and recovery
3. Increased flexibility
4. Feeling re-energized and well rested
For your last massage before race day, think about getting it 3-5 days beforehand. Like exercise, your body needs to recover and relax after a massage. In those days you can stay well hydrated, stretch and do some light exercise. By the time your race comes around, you’ll be feeling well rested and ready to smash those goals.
Is there something more I can do at home?Your recovery and self-care doesn’t stop with your therapist. There are things that you can do at home which can help you further. These are preformed in conjunction with massage to improve results
1. Foam rolling- particularly your hamstrings, Vastus Lateralis, quadriceps and calves
Image by Dr Levent Efe http://www.leventefe.com.au/
2. Tennis ball trigger points- great for specific work for your glutes. Added bonus is rolling under your feet for your plantar fascia.
3. Stretches as per your therapist’s advice.
4. Warm up and warm down before and after each training session.
If you're committed to working towards your goal, keeping your body moving and pain free is an excellent way to do that.Written By, Sarah McCallum