So you are in training, building up for the big day. Can massage help?
Having worked with a couple of endurance cyclists in the last few months I thought I’d share some ideas about massage and performance.
People often think a massage will be useful after a big event, but that isn’t going to improve your performance. Building a few massage treatments into your training plan might just help you keep on form.
So how can massage help?
1. During a performance event you are probably going to push your body beyond what you’ve done in training. Something is going to limit your performance. Massage can help you deal with problems as they arise in training so they don’t come up and bite you when it really matters.
2. To work efficiently muscles need to engage and release. You may be putting a lot of effort into engaging muscles, but not thinking about them releasing. In its optimum condition muscle become soft when it relaxes – feel the difference in you biceps as you tense and release. A massage which pinpoints tight muscles can help release them and, importantly, give you the know-how to work with them yourself.
3. Your massage therapist can help you tune in to and understand the feelings you get in your body and advise on the right course of training. If you get a pain, for example, should you ease up your training, stop all together or carry on with your plan? What stretches or specific exercises might help?
4. Most events require strength and suppleness. Rigidity anywhere in your body will hold you back. The same applies to poor posture.
5. and last, but not least, you will feel better, happier and more relaxed.
After your event when you want to celebrate and reward yourself massage can also help you get in the right shape for your next challenge.