Massages for runners

lower-back-massage_4460x4460Knowing that I was planning on pushing it at the race on Sunday, I had already scheduled a 2-hour massage at Massage Envy later in the week. I’m glad I did, because immediately after the 5k, my left hip started aching — even when I walked (the leg is my good leg, so it was probably compensating for my right).

Two days later, I walked in for my massage, still with an achy hip. I had a masseuse I’ve never tried before, but by the time he pushed, pulled, stretched and kneaded, my hip was pain-free. My gluts, sacrum and IT Band were apparently the problem spots.

I was supposed to have a run that day, but I skipped as not to jack myself up again so soon after being realigned. I’m glad I did… because by that night, I was super sore from all the kneading (especially when sitting down on my gluts!).

Today, that soreness is gone, and I feel really good. But, all of this led me to look up what other runners think about massage and how they use it in their training programs.

This article from Competitor outlines the four best massages for runners: Active Release Technique, Swedish massage, Trigger Point, and Deep Tissue massage (I am pretty sure he used at least 3 of these 4 techniques with me on Tuesday). In the article, Coach Jeff gives great advice on when to schedule massages and how often:

If you’re able to afford it, getting a monthly or weekly massage can help prevent injuries by catching tight areas before they become problematic. If it isn’t possible to fit a recurring massage into your schedule (or budget), consider getting one or two during your hardest training block or if you’re doing a lot of speed work, which tends to elicit injuries that can be treated by massage, like tight hamstrings or hips.

QUESTION — Do YOU incorporate massage into your training regimen? And if so, when do you schedule them, and how often?

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