So, the race season is upon us again, but one of things many athletes overlook is how they can improve their race results with the use of sports massage. We chatted to our Sports Therapist, Jack Hicks about what benefits an individual would have by having massage as a part of a race weekend.

A 30 minute massage in the day or so BEFORE competition, can directly influence performance by:

  1. Increasing blood flow in the muscle which promotes clearance of metabolic waste and aids tissue healing.
  2. Increasing mobility making the athlete feel freer and more fluid in their movement.

Both of these factors of course:

  1. Directly boost performance on race day.

So why would you not want a massage before competition? Jack does warn that some therapists can be tempted to go too deep or too hard during massage, this might be fine to address some issues, but will impair performance if this approach is used pre-event. An ideal pre-event massage should be a light approach to prepare the body for competition, rather than to fix any issues and would typically take around 30 minutes.

Once you have undertaken your event, massage can aid your recovery and ultimately your preparation for the next event if done correctly and at the right time. Many athletes will choose to have a massage immediately after an event and whilst this is beneficial and full therapy session 2-4 days after your event will better promote enhanced recovery.

Jack tells us that post event massage therapy will:

  1. Increase recovery improving blood flow to the muscle to aid with tissue healing and clearance of metabolic waste products that have built up during your event.
  2. Reduce muscle soreness and DOMS by reducing muscle stiffness and soreness in a therapeutic manner.
  3. Allow you to return to full training faster, thereby boosting future race performances.

And of course

  1. Post event massage therapy will assess any areas of weakness that may in turn lead to more significant injury risk, so that you can become a better and stronger athlete over time.

Ideally this post exercise massage treatment needs to be 45-60 minutes to give the therapist time to focus of troublesome areas and give you optimal recovery.

We offer both pre and post event massage therapy services and also offer discounted packages for athletes who book both a pre and post massage around their race weekend, so get in touch now and improve your performance the next time you race!