Running and Massage Therapy

With the running season already upon us and many of us out on the roads, it's important to incorporate a maintenance schedule into our pre-event training.  As many of us know, recovery is key to training pain free, which is why good running programs always build rest or "off days" into the schedule.  One day off per week helps restore glycogen levels, builds strength, and reduces fatigue.  As most running injuries occur as a result of overuse, rest will help prevent setbacks during training.  If you experience soreness or stiffness one to two days after your runs, you may be experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is normal during training.  However, left unchecked this can lead to overuse injuries.  As research has shown, massage therapy is an effective way to reduce DOMS and prevent injury.  Massage increases local circulation, and decreases tension in muscles, which helps performance by increasing flexibility and improving active range of motion, as well as speeding up recovery time.  Preventing injuries from occurring is why many of us incorporate stretching after activity, use trigger point rollers to iron out rough spots, rest or cross-train, and seek massage treatment when our bodies show signs of overuse and fatigue.  Given the benefits of massage, all runners should make it a part of their maintenance schedule by getting on the table before problems occur, not after.