Running can be tough on your body. The repetitive motions, the pounding, poor body mechanics, or simply the mileage alone can lead to aches, pains, reduced performance, and potential injury. Running on the road isn't good for the body, yet for many of us who choose to run, we have to do at least some time on the tarmac. Off road running brings its own set of challenges (mud, water, uneven ground).
The key is to address niggles in the body before they become serious enough to cause injury or hinder your training - nothing is more frustrating to someone who runs regularly than to be injured and unable to run! There are loads of things you can do to help keep your body open and injury free: stretching, yoga, pilates, foam rolling, massage, fascial release, to name but some. I want to tell you some of the reasons why massage is a fantastic therapy for runners!
A client-focused massage improves blood circulation and increases the effectiveness of the circulatory system, which is responsible for oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery, and waste removal at a cellular level. Improved recovery comes with the faster, more efficient operation of these processes. Massage can also decrease soreness and improve the healing of connective tissue.
Massage, particularly when done on a regular basis, can stimulate blood and lymph and help keep the leg muscles, joints, and tendons in optimum shape. It can help increase range of motion and shock absorption capability of the muscles, and improve posture and gait, which helps you work more efficiently. The increased blood circulation, which helps in recovery, also improves performance by increasing nutrition and oxygen availability to muscles, which are needed for optimal function.
Running is an activity that requires repetitive motion and powerful muscle contraction. The more force that is generated, as in sustained training, the more it causes the muscle fibers to shorten. A therapeutic sports massage can aid in injury prevention by elongating muscles, relieving muscle tightness, restoring range of motion, and improving circulation.