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Are you training for an event or competition and considering whether sports massage will be beneficial to your preparation?  Here we take a look at some of the ways sports massage can help with your training programme as well as competition day itself.

Whether you are a competitive athlete or training for your first event, you will want to do the best you possibly can.  Training and preparation are key to good performance.  A good training plan has numerous benefits, however over training can be an issue.  If you have not fully recovered from your previous session, and then train again too hard, injuries can occur. With this in mind recovery should be an essential part of any training plan and this is where sports massage can assist.

We know that following intense exercise it takes time for soft tissue to repair.  Mel Cash states in his book ‘Advanced Remedial Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy (Ebury Press 2012)’,

“As well as the need for any micro-trauma to repair, it takes time for the blood flowing through the area to flush out any accumulated muscle waste and to replenish the nutritional stores.  By pumping blood more forcefully through the micro-circulation, basic massage strokes can greatly speed up both of these processes”.

So what does this mean for you?  In short it means that receiving massage will help you recover more quickly, allowing you to train at a more intensive level with a lower risk of overuse injury.

Sounds great right?  But when is the best time to receive a massage?  Sports massage can be of great benefit following your hardest and most demanding training sessions.  As discussed above this will aid the recovery process, however it can also offer great benefits at other times.  Overuse injuries tend to develop over time but are usually unnoticed in the early stages; eventually they get worse, you will start to feel the symptoms, and it will feel like a new injury has just occurred.

Your therapist should be able to feel the damaged tissue areas early on.  Using a range of soft tissue techniques including massage, they can start treatment at an earlier stage of the cycle helping to resolve these issues before they become injuries that affect your training and preparation.  Once these potential problem areas have been highlighted it will also allow you to take early preventative measures if required, for example analysing ones technique or tweaking the training plan as needed to try and avoid overuse injuries in the first place.

Massage can also help in the build up just before competition.  For competitors who are feeling a little overexcited, then massage can help them relax and feel more calm.  For others, fast and light techniques can be used to stimulate and invigorate the competitor.  At this stage it is about making each individual feel their best so they can go out and perform to the best of their ability.

So whether you are a competitive athlete or just starting out with your first training plan why not get in touch and see how we can help with your pre-event preparation.

Article written by Matt Peterson – Sports Massage Therapist at Capital Physio