There are many events coming up in and around London this summer to test your bodies endurance and stamina, Turf games, tough mudder, pretty mudder and the London Triathlon to name a few. All of these events can push our bodies physically and mentally however providing ourselves with the opportunity to do all that we can to better prepare gives us the best chance at success but also to injury prevention.
Sports massage can help the muscles to move more freely therefore giving better mobility to the major joints in the body, and this is very significant to avoiding injury as the less stress that is placed on the joints the better.
Training our bodies with exercise before a big challenge to get ready is only one step of many, there is all the different sorts of stretching, increasing mobility, removing tension, building stamina, diet, sleep, and recovery to name a few. Over working the body can result in a build-up of lactic acid, this is what inhibits our movement and causes the burning feeling that we experience with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.) The use of Sports Massage to remove the build-up of acid not only speeds up recovery time, it also focuses a concentration of blood flow to the effected area allowing the muscles to heal and repair faster.
Some of the major muscles groups utilised in a marathon or triathlon include quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, calfs, shoulders and feet. There is also more in-depth areas that therapist can target such as hip flexors, TFL and IT Bands that can also contribute to unwanted tension.
The importance of Dynamic stretching before training cannot be emphasised enough, it is this practise that ensures that the muscles are warm prior to being put under strain. Dynamic stretching means that there is movement involved and gradually lengthening or speeding up the movement. Leg swings, full body walk outs, and slow paced mountain climbers can help activate those crucial leg, hip and lower back muscles.
Stretching after any and all training is also extremely beneficial this is the bodies natural way of removing any built up lactic acid and to allow the muscle to come back to a natural state, unlike the tense and ready state it is in during exercise. All post training stretching should be done slowly and really allow the muscles time to revert back, 30 seconds is good anything over 45 seconds is ideal. Never stretch to the point where you feel a sting or sharp pain.
Maintenance sessions which are treatments on a regular basis, are the tool which can help not only relieve tension in the muscles, remove lactic build up and provide you with a deep muscular release, but all TMC therapist can provide you with tailored stretches and mobility exercises to help keep your body functioning and in prime condition between treatments and training sessions. Sports Massage will assist with recovery as well as improving mobility.
Finally a massive congratulations to all those who have completed the London Marathon on April 28th you should be incredibly proud of what you have achieved.
Written by Laura Vandermade. Laura is a practicising sports massage therapist with additional knowledge from her personal training experience. She works Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursdays at The Massage Centre in Chiswick and has a particular passion for helping people to be in top shape for endurance events.