Who doesn’t love getting a massage? Post race massage for runners can be an immensely beneficial self care routine to help with the healing process. During a race (or even training for a race), you’re putting your body and muscles through a lot of stress. The impact of running can leave you feeling sore and tense. To make the most of your post race recovery, getting a massage should be on your list.
Today we’re talking about the benefits of post race recovery with a massage for runners as well as how they may help prior to a race. Leg massage for runners can help boost how the body heals itself and keep your muscles in top shape to keep training for the next race to come.
Massage for Runners: When Should I Get One?
Massage has been used as a recovery method for athletes for millennia. Studies have recognized the mental and physical benefits of sports massage as part of a post workout recovery routine, but are the benefits only good after the fact?
While post race recovery may certainly benefit by adding leg massage for runners to the list, getting a massage before a race has been recommended, as well. The important thing to know is what types of massage to get and when. The timing and technique of a massage for runners are largely dependent upon their experience with massage and when the race is taking place.
When you’re training for a race, you may benefit from getting regular massages. Weekly or monthly massages can aid with muscle strain recovery, increase mobility and flexibility, and even potentially help prevent running injuries. For those who don’t have the time to fit so many massage therapist appointments into their schedules or don’t want to hit their finances so hard, the massage chair benefits for athletes might be a prime consideration.
The evolution of massage chairs has effectively eliminated the difference between using a massage chair vs human massage, making experiencing the benefits of massage therapy at home possible. In addition to offering different types of massage, massage chair features such as chromotherapy, heat therapy, and zero gravity reclining capabilities may enhance the benefits of massage for runners.
Getting a Sports Massage Before a Race
Regardless of whether you’re using a massage therapist or a luxury massage chair, knowing when to get a massage is important for runners. Leg massage for runners too close to a race can impair performance and even result in an increased risk of injury.
Runners who are used to getting regular massages may want to experience deep tissue massage benefits by getting a massage a few days before a big race or marathon. Experts recommend that those who do not get regular massages or aren’t used to deep tissue massages, in particular, would be better off planning such a massage at least a full week before the event to see how their body reacts. In contrast, a lighter massage such as a Swedish massage may be beneficial at any point before a race day to promote better blood flow.
Benefits of a Post Race Recovery Massage for Runners
While preparing for a race is important, post race recovery with a massage for runners can be most critical to muscle recovery. There have been studies, however, that show a post race massage for runners is better done at least two hours after the race ends so as not to impair lactic acid removal (a byproduct of intense exercise). When it does come time for a post race recovery massage, the most common types of body and leg massage for runners are Swedish and deep tissue massages.
Swedish massage is a more therapeutic massage whose long, flowing strokes are aimed at increasing blood flow throughout the body and easing muscle tension. This can be especially beneficial as a leg massage for runners after a marathon (or a race of any length) to prevent muscles from seizing up. Swedish massage may also help boost energy levels and help you recharge after a race.
Deep tissue massage is another common post race recovery massage for runners. Since deep tissue massage is more targeted and manipulates the muscles more rigorously than a therapeutic massage technique, getting a deep tissue massage is best a day or two after a race. At this point, your muscles have been able to start the healing process more thoroughly and progress won’t be accidentally hindered. Deep tissue massage may also be useful for how to recover from a sports injury more quickly and prevent a buildup of scar tissue.
Getting a lighter massage for immediate post race recovery then expanding to a deep tissue massage a day or so later is an example of the benefits of owning a massage chair at home. The different programs available from your chair let you switch between techniques as you need without having to schedule or pay for multiple appointments.
As you have learned, post race recovery with a massage for runners is essential to taking care of your body and being ready for your next event. There are benefits to getting a massage before a big race, too, however. Knowing which types of massage to get and when can help you stay in top condition. If you haven’t had a massage before, consider adding it to your pre- and post-race recovery routine and experience the difference it could make!
For more information on massage chair health benefits that could enhance your active lifestyle, check out these additional resources: