Massage for Marathon Runners

Published on 22nd March 2019

MASSAGE FOR MARATHON RUNNERS

Marathon season is almost upon us and whether you are training for the flat and fast Greater Manchester Marathon, the Rock N’ Roll Liverpool Marathon, the iconic London Marathon or you have chosen one of the many other marathons in the UK or, indeed, abroad, you are no doubt well into your training schedule by now. 

Running requires repetitive muscle contractions and, with marathon running in particular, this can be over a sustained period.  This can lead to shortened, tight muscles, range of motion loss and decreased circulation.  Massage helps to elongate muscles, relieve tightness, restore range of motion and increase circulation; in effect improving the effectiveness of the circulatory system which provides vital nutrients and oxygen to fuel those muscles and keep you running long distances.

Therapeutic massage is particularly important to runners looking for ways to recover faster, avoid injury and improve performance; especially when they are chasing that elusive PB!  Therapeutic massage involves applying deep pressure designed to be corrective to soft tissue and should only be carried out by a trained professional.  Massage treatment plans are very individual and your Sports Therapist will discuss your training schedule with you and advise when is the best time for targeting your massages.

Here are our Sports Therapist’s top tips for keeping you injury free and ready to smash that PB on marathon day:

  • Make sure you have correctly fitted footwear, otherwise injury is more likely
  • Schedule regular deep tissue massages to reduce the chance of injury stopping your training
  • Proper running technique can not only help you avoid injury, but will also make your running more efficient.  Ask your Sports Therapist about kinesiology taping (K-taping) to support your running technique
  • Don’t forget to add “de-load” days to your training plan.  Incorporating days where you don’t train will help prevent fatigue and injury
  • Make sure you do a thorough warm-up before training runs
  • Stretch before your runs with dynamic stretches such as leg kicks and walking lunges
  • Incorporate static stretching into your daily routine both morning and in the evening
  • Ice sore muscles for 10-15 minutes post-exercise to reduce inflammation; use heat 2-3 hours post-exercise
  • Have a pre-event massage 3-4 days before marathon day
  • Schedule your all important post-event massage for as soon as possible after your marathon to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), increase blood flow to the muscles and reduce muscle fatigue – you don’t want to be “that runner” who can’t walk downstairs for a week after the event!

Our absolute top tip is, of course, ENJOY YOUR MARATHON and let us know how you get on!

 

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