The benefits of sports massage therapy for runners are plenty. But if you want to know the best time for runners to get a massage, the answer would depend on the specific goal of each client. Sports massage therapy for runners generally falls into four categories: pre-event massage, post-event massage, general sports massage and injury-specific massage.
The goal of pre-event massage is to get the body ready for a racing event. The massage can be administered a day before or on the day of the event. It is important to know that every runner responds differently to massage. There are those who benefit well from deep work while others respond better to a gentle rub down. Runners can experiment with different types of pre-event massage to determine what suits them best.
Muscles need to recover from an event. Post-event massage can expedite the recovery process. To be effective, the massage should be administered within 36 hours after a race. Post-event massage is generally light but deep consisting of slow and controlled strokes. A hard massage after an event can further damage muscles and prolong the recovery process.
Runners can also benefit from regular general massage sessions in order to loosen tight muscles, increase the range of motion, release trigger points and reduce the risk of injury. Clients may experience some soreness 24 to 36 hours after the massage. If bruising occurs or there is still pain after 36 hours then the therapist has probably gone too deep.
Sports massage can facilitate the healing of an injured muscle, ligament or tendon because it promotes the proper circulation of blood. It is important though to consult a doctor first before treating an injury with a message. Otherwise, you can risk hurting yourself further.
These are just some of the benefits of sports massage for runners.