3 Reasons a Therapeutic Sports Massage Will Make You a Better Runner

There are 3 reasons a therapeutic sports massage will make you a better runner. First, do not think of it as a massage but think of it as a treatment! There is nothing better than a massage to reward yourself in your training. During a therapeutic sports massage, the strokes are deeper and more vigorous, designed to prepare the muscles for activity by improving circulation and increase flexibility and range of motions. A therapist will use myofascial release and assisted stretching techniques to help keep the athlete in top shape. In a post-race sports massage, the strokes would be slower and more targeted to clear the system of lactic acid, prevent muscle soreness, and reduce fatigue. But how does a massage go beyond feeling good and offer benefits to improve a runner’s performance?

Improved Recovery

A therapeutic sports massage improves blood circulation and increases the effectiveness of the circulatory system, which is responsible for oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery, and waste removal at a cellular level.  Improved recovery comes with the faster, more efficient operation of these processes. Massage can also decrease soreness and improve the healing of connective tissue.

Increased Performance

Particularly when sports massage is done on a regular basis, it can stimulate blood and lymph and help keep the leg muscles, joints, and tendons in optimum shape. It can help increase range of motion and shock absorption capability of the muscles, and improve posture and gait, which helps you work more efficiently. The increased blood circulation, which helps in recovery, also improves performance by increasing nutrition and oxygen availability to muscles, which are needed for optimal function.

Injury Prevention

Running is an activity that requires repetitive motion and powerful muscle contraction. The more force that is generated, as in sustained training, the more it causes the muscle fibers to shorten. A therapeutic sports massage can aid in injury prevention by elongating muscles, relieving muscle tightness, restoring range of motion, and improving circulation.

While all massage has benefits, a therapeutic sports massage has the most to offer a runner. The benefits of massage are cumulative, so planning a regular course of treatment, if possible, is important.  Receiving one massage before a race will not provide the same benefits as a regular program of massage therapy throughout your training. Whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, a regular sports massage can help to keep you in prime running shape.

Source: Dr. Jordan Metzl’s Running Strong – The Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life

Good luck with your training. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Nanci Miller