Marathons are among the most grueling athletic activity an athlete can engage in. When marathon runners feel like stopping, they keep going until their bodies and minds are exhausted.
In recent years, more runners are going for massages to replenish their bodies and encourage recovery after marathons. Below are some of the key advantages of this practice.
Muscles are stressed to the max during a marathon. Muscular inflammation may be severe, with soreness and reduced range of motion common. Massage treats these problems in a few ways. First, muscle tension and fatigue are lessened through the circulation improvements brought on by massage, which enhances the flow of oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues. Performance in runs that follow is improved due to greater range of motion after massage. Risk of injury is normally higher after marathons due to tight muscles, but massage reduces this effect.
The ligaments and tendons are stressed to the max during marathons, but massage can improve their ability to recuperate. Whereas scars may be common among regular marathon runners, post-marathon massage can reduce the formation of scar tissue and adhesion, which can cause tight joints and reduced range of motion when left untreated. Fascial restrictions, a common ailment among serious runners, are also decreased by massage.
Massage also relaxes the nervous system, an important element for successful post-race recovery. Immediate calming of the respiratory system support greater blood flow to the muscles, enhancing recovery. Deeper, more restorative sleep the night after massage treatment also helps recuperation.
While post-marathon massage holds many benefits for runners, its effects don’t last long with the exception of preventing scarring. For this reason, runners benefit most from regular massage treatments at scheduled intervals. With time to re-adjust between massages and races, marathon runners can enjoy better performance with each marathon.