When to have a Massage: A Runners Guide
So, you’ve signed up for the Great North Run and have been training hard for months in preparation. Or maybe you’re a regular runner and this is just one of the many races you will be taking part in this year. Either way, a massage can be a great way to prepare your body for the big day, or to help your hard working muscles relax after the race. But when is the best time to have a massage?
Having a massage before a race is a great idea. Massage improves the blood flow to your muscles, meaning that they can absorb the nutrients and oxygen that they need, whilst also being assisted in the removal of unwanted toxins from the body.
By helping to prevent injury, and improving your recovery time, massage can be a useful tool for runners looking to improve their performance, whether it be for their first ever half marathon, or so that they keep their form, ready for the next race.
Best Time to have a Pre-Race Massage
It is recommended that for any deeper body work, such as our Raynor Style Massage, or our Deep Tissue Massage, you have the massage more than 48 hours prior to the race. This will allow your muscles adequate recovery time before an event.
However, if relaxation is what you’re looking for, a gentler massage could be done any time up to the day of the race.
Having a massage after completing a race is very popular, and highly recommended, especially if you are not used to putting this level of strain on your muscles. At the end of the race, when your muscles begin to cool down, they’re likely to become increasingly sore and stiff.
Improving your circulation is just as important post-race as it is before the event, as the nutrients and oxygen delivered to the muscles will aid the healing process and speed up your recovery time. It will also aid in the removal of toxins and lactic acid, which is likely to have built up in your system over the course of the run.
Most massages provide these benefits, whether you choose a relaxation massage or a deeper tissue massage, but a deeper body work treatment has the additional benefit of being able to manage, manipulate and rehabilitate the soft tissues of the body, to relieve deeper muscular tension, and restore balance to the musculoskeletal system.
Best Time to have a Post-Race Massage
A very gentle, relaxation massage can be beneficial as soon as you have finished the race, and many races have their own volunteer therapists at the finish line – waiting to ease your sore limbs. This year, our massage therapist Sophie has volunteered with the British Red Cross and will be on hand to help at the end of the race.
For deeper body work, it is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before having a massage, to avoid any increased inflammation in the muscles which may have already occurred during the race due to tissue breakdown.
For more information on our massages, or to book – take a look at our Massage Treatments page. All of our massage therapists are experienced professionals, who would be happy to tailor any treatment to your individual needs.
For running tips and information about the Great North Run, we recommend you take a look at some of the recent blog posts from the Great Run website, here.
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