Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is Massage a Part of Your Training?

Though there is no scientific evidence that deep-tissue massage promotes recovery or prevents injury, it sure feels good, and there IS evidence that it can allow more blood flow to massaged areas.  Getting a weekly massage may not be in your budget, but if you are training hard, I believe that getting at least an occasional deep-tissue massage given by a trained sports massage therapist is well worth the money.

Common trouble areas for runners are quads and hamstrings, calves, deep hip (including external rotators), glutes, and the IT band.

You can do some self-massage as well, using various massage tools that are on the market.  One of the best ways for runners to massage themselves is by using a foam roller, which is a firm foam 6"-diameter cylinder of varying densities and lengths.  You use your own body weight to apply pressure to trouble areas, rolling back and forth over the area for about 60 seconds at a time, and avoiding bony areas.  Do some gentle stretching afterwards.  For injured areas, do this 2-3 times a day; for prevention, 2-3 times a week.

You can get foam rollers at


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