Healing hands One of the best methods of speeding up your recovery is to have someone get into all those lumps and bumps and massage out the toxins.
A good quality sports massage can make a huge difference to how you feel after a tough race or long training run and play a huge part in injury prevention. Follow MR’s five-point guide to making sure you get the best out whoever you choose to start running their hands all over you.
1. Work out your massage frequency
Divide the number of training sessions per week (excluding recovery and core sessions) by two. EG: 3 runs per week divided by 2 = 1.5, round down to 1 massage per month.
2. If it hurts, it works
“Sports massage should be a little bit painful,” says MR’s physio guru Paul Hobrough. “If it’s not you’re just having a relaxing massage, it’s not getting into the depth you need.”
3. Less pain post race
A massage straight after a race is the best thing on offer at a big event. “You’ve just battered your muscles so it shouldn’t be over painful,” says Hobrough. “It should be more about flushing out those waste products, helping recovery. If you then stood in an ice bucket you would probably be able to run the next morning feeling very good.”
4. Do your homework
Hobrough recommends using the Sports Massage Association to find a good practitioner. “The SMA ranks its practitioners. A masseur at level 4 or 5 will be of a good level. As a runner you want to find specialists in sports and running injuries. Ask your local running club or specialist running shop who they recommend.”
5. Why pay more?
A physiotherapist who can use sports massage as well is your best bet. “Good sports physios use sports massage as their primary tool,” explains Hobrough. “Your average sports massage session will cost you about £40.00 and your average physio session will cost £50.00, so why not see someone who can do both?