So, you ran the Bristol Half last weekend? All your training paid off and you managed to get through to the finish line, dodging other runners, curbsides, discarded water bottles and injury – CONGRATULATIONS!
But how are you feeling today? Are you regretting not taking up that offer of a massage at the event and what does it do anyway?
When you run a long distance, you create lots of stresses within your body to get you to the finish line. Bodies aren’t designed to do this for a long period of time, so after the race, it is important to recover properly, and a sports massage can certainly assist with this process.
By switching on the relaxation part of the nervous system, the muscles and soft tissues start to relax and focus on repairing the micro-traumas caused by the long exertion they have sustained. Research has shown that levels of cortisol, the stress hormone produced in response to this extreme exertion, are significantly reduced after a massage. As this stress hormone is linked to inflammation within the muscles and soft tissues, it presents a good reason why you need a sports massage to help your body repair.
A sports massage after an event also reduces the intensity of the dreaded DOMS – Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (the aches and pains you feel over the next week). It does this by helping the muscles and tissues relax during each light stroke. Post-run massage techniques use lighter pressure to avoid any further trauma to the soft tissues, but assist with the removal of waste products that are clogging up the free flow of lymph, blood and other fluids within the systems.
If you were lucky enough to benefit from a massage on the day itself, courtesy of a charity, it is worth booking in for a sports massage with us for the end of the week to continue your recovery. Any remaining tightness can be released and stretched, thereby enabling your body to function properly again.
So, will you be doing another half? Whatever you decide, having regular sports massages will help maintain your body’s ability to perform optimally and avoid injury. We want you to keep on running – even if it is only metaphorically!
Book in with Nicki Holford, soft tissue therapist, who specialises in Sports Massage at the Redland House Clinic. Nicki volunteered at the Virgin London Marathon in 2017 for Macmillan, providing a post-race massage to the charity runners, who all felt the benefits toward their recovery.
Tel: 0117 9420200.