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The Benefits of Therapeutic Massage for Runners

If you are running, you obviously care about your overall health and wellness. Regular exercise contributes to being fit as well as does staying hydrated, eating healthy, lowering stress, getting medical & dental check ups and MASSAGE. If you are doing many things to help your body feel and perform the way you want it to and want an added boost, massage could be the answer.

Therapeutic massage improves the effectiveness of the circulatory system which is vital for everyone—but especially for athletes looking to perform at the limits of their capacity. With good blood flow comes good distribution of nutrients — especially oxygen. With more oxygen flowing to your muscles, your time to fatigue in exercise is lengthened, which means you can move more weight or run for longer periods until your muscles force you to stop to take a rest. Having good circulation also helps stabilize body temperature, maintain our pH balance and transports nutrients and waste products to and from cells. When there is a problem with circulation, your overall physical capacity and your general health will suffer as a result.

The circulatory system impacts ALL the other systems of the body. Therefore, increasing the effectiveness of your circulation directly and indirectly impacts your entire body. Better circulation means better delivery of nutrients and oxygen to all surrounding cells and tissues.

Therapeutic massage can give physiological responses such as increased blood circulation, increased diameter of blood vessels and decreased blood pressure. These effects are beneficial for everyone, but particularly important to a runner who is looking for ways to recover faster, prevent injuries and improve performance. Also keep in mind that “therapeutic” massage means a specific type of massage involving a deep pressure that is designed to be corrective to soft tissue, which is not the same as a spa or relaxing type massage.

It is important to know that the effects of massage are cumulative. This means that the effects and benefits increase with sequential, repetitive massages. Receiving one massage before a race will not reap the same benefits as a regular program of massage therapy throughout your training. Massage therapy also works best as a preventative program. If you sustain an actual injury, medical attention comes first. After a diagnosis and treatment, massage therapy may become part of the recovery process. And like most things, it is easier (less time and money) to “prevent” than “cure”.

If you’re able to, getting a weekly massage can help prevent injuries by catching tight areas before they become problematic. If it is not possible to fit a recurring weekly massage into your budget and time schedule, consider monthly sessions,or at the very least, one or two sessions per training segment during your hardest training block or when you’re performing more intense speed work, which tends to cause injuries that can be treated by massage.

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