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The Importance of Sports Massage to Runners

What is Sports Massage?

Sports Massage is a special form of massage that is typically used before, during, and after athletic events.

The purpose of sports massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries.

The main difference between sports massage and other massage techniques is that sports massage directly targets and reduces tension in muscles and joints that are affected by athletic use and injury.

Why Sports Massage is Important To Runners?

Sports massage is especially important for trail runners who run more than 35 miles a week. The more miles you run, the more strain your muscles are under and the more beneficial sports massage is. Incorporating sports massage into your training schedule will help you train optimally.

Sports massage is important to trail runners for many reasons:

  1. Reduces muscle inflammation. Reduces muscle soreness
    • Sports massage helps reduce soreness by flushing out the lactic acid that is produced while running.
    • Lactic acid can build up in muscles and cause soreness over time.
    Reduces muscle tension. Promotes muscle flexibility
    • Sports massage promotes muscle flexibility by removing lactic acid.
    Increases muscle recovery time
    • Removing lactic acid through massage increases recovery time.
    Increases mental alertness. Reduces muscle fatigue
  2. Decreases your chance of developing a muscle injury

Massage immediately before and after an event will also help reduce the muscle spasms that occurs with vigorous exercise.

How to Choose a Sports Massage Therapist

It is important to find a sports massage therapist who you can see regularly and build a relationship with. If you see your massage therapist regularly, they will become familiar with your body/muscle structure and be able to provide you with the best care.

When looking for a massage therapist, ask them how long they have been working as a therapist and where they received their certifications. Make sure you are comfortable talking with them because you will have to give them feedback on how your body feels.

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