Massage Therapy and Running
It’s marathon season and lately I’ve been asked by a lot of clients if there is anything I can do to help them “go the extra mile.” Here is the best recommendation I can give to those looking to improve run times and cut down on soreness and increase mobility after events.
First of all, regular treatment should be part of your training schedule. You may only think of getting massage after the big race when your glutes, hamstrings and calves are throbbing but if you include massage as one of the components to your training you will be less prone to injury and feel better overall. Immediate benefits of massage include improving blood flow to the muscles, loosens muscles that have contracted from overuse, releases lactic acid that is being stored in muscles (especially important for active people), and shortens recovery time between workouts.
I tell clients to come to me a day or two before their race for a more sports centered massage where I focus on the areas that will be affected during their run. Afterward I suggest they come in a couple days later for a lighter relaxation massage where I concentrate more on relieving any pain or swelling and increasing circulation to aid in recovery.
Water intake is crucial to your performance as well.
Male Drinking Requirement, in fluid ounces:
Body Weight x .35
Female Drinking Requirement, in fluid ounces:
Body Weight x .31
Example: A 132-pound women needs to drink 41 ounces of water a day (132 x .31= 41). She’ll get the rest of her daily water supply from food and metabolic processes. Runners need to drink extra to cover daily sweat losses.
Directly following the race up to a couple days after cold compresses and Epsom salts are an ideal way to cut back the swelling and discomfort in your legs before your massage. Good luck to everyone this year and I’m looking forward to seeing you on my table!
– Katrina Keizer, LMP