Preparing for a performance event

So you’re training for the big day. Can massage help?

People often think a massage will be useful after a big event, but how can it 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. But that’s for wimps, right?

And if you want a massage afterwards to celebrate your achievement, well you deserve it.

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Recovery and injury from the Bath Half

It’s normal to feel achy and stiff after a hard run – especially if you’ve pushed yourself to the limit.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually comes on the following day and will be familiar to anyone who has ever pushed themselves physically. A day or two later you should feel fine. In the mean time, look after yourself with good food and plenty of fluids.

If beyond that you’re noticing your muscles feeling tight then a massage can help. At this stage massage can help lengthen shortened muscles and break up any of the congestion which makes muscles feel hard.

If you’re suffering other problems such as back, hip, neck or shoulder pain, massage can help too.

Muscle Injury (Sprain)

If you have pain, redness, swelling and heat which came on immediately these are the symptoms of a muscle injury. You should immediately:

Rest the affected part
Apply ice to cool the area (not directly on the skin)
Bandage the area to help limit swelling and
Elevate the limb

Seek medical advice if you are unsure.

When these symptoms have gone you can gently return to stretching and exercise, being careful not to cause more damage to the weakened area.

As scar tissue forms, use massage to help it’s fibres line up with the muscle fibres. Scar tissue is not as strong or flexible as the original muscle.