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Monday, November 15, 2010

Massage and exercise.

I got a massage the other day. Our gym was having half price massages so I thought I'd try it out. I had read that massage might help my knee problem and that it can help runners so I gave it a go.

It was great!! A little ouchie in some parts and I kind of have some fingerprint bruises on my leg, (think I bruise REALLY easy LOL!!) BUT my knee didn't hurt for a few days afterwards!! WOO! I am really excited to find something to fix my knee which does not involve me working! LOL! (I know, I know, I should keep doing the leg exercises for the VMO - they are seriously SO boring).

Also, Anne and I did a practise run the next day for the "spring into shape" fun run I am doing. She usually runs a couple of meters ahead of me when we run and I am usually trying to keep up with her pace (which is good - stretches me). This particular run I was running in front of her which was weird. At the time I was wondering what was wrong with her.... was she ok?... why was she really tired? etc... But when we got back she said I was running faster than normal. I really didn't feel like I was - but when I got home I worked out the pace; AND I WAS!! BAHAHAHA!! Cool! I was running at around 6min30sec per kilometre. Usually on our longer runs it is around 6min40sec. Pretty excited to find something which can help me run faster too - especially since (again) it doesn't involve me working any harder!! (Can you see a pattern here?? Massage = less work for me!! WOO HOO!! LOL).

Told my husband I need a regular massage - all in the name of fitness of course!! He was not convinced!! Hehehe...

Some information on massage and running.

Sports Massage can improve a runners power and performance and is important to runners for many reasons:
Sports massage helps reduce soreness by flushing out the lactic acid that is produced while running. Lactic acid can build up in muscles and cause soreness over time.
As blood brings oxygen to the muscles, the veins remove waste products more efficiently.

Removing lactic acid through massage increases recovery time. Running causes micro damage to the muscles which if left untreated, can eventually result in a build-up of scar tissue and injury. Massage increases blood flow and realigns muscle fibers. It also breaks up adhesions, which are formations of scar tissue made up of collagen that appear during the tissue healing process. By stimulating and then relaxing the system, massage flushes toxins from these healing muscles, which speeds recovery. It works by clearing the way for fresh blood to bring oxygen and nutrients to rebuild the tissue.

Ok. This lady is a little TOO

The more activity a muscle undergoes, the greater its tendency to contract in a resting position. These tight muscles are injury prone when the next vigorous workout arrives. Sports massage promotes muscle flexibility and proper muscle and tendon functioning by increasing their mobility and range of motion.

Probably one of the most underrated tools available to runners is utilising the services of a good sports masseur regularly.  It's useful both before and after competitive events, although those new to massage should avoid having one the day before a race because of the possibility of mild soreness. If you're not used to sports massage, you should allow five days or even a week between the session and the next race or hard workout. Runners accustomed to the rigors of massage can leave three days for recovery before the event. Wait at least a day after your race--and up to a week after for marathons--before returning to the therapist.  Given the range of potential benefits, all serious runners should consider incorporating massage therapy into their training regimens—and hitting the table before problems strike, not after. These sessions can be intense but need not be painful. Work with the therapist to find a level of discomfort that is tolerable yet effective.

A healthy body is approximately 72% water. In order to get the most out of your massage, you must come hydrated and must hydrate when you leave. Myofascial release and deep tissue massage will release waste products into your bloodstream. These waste products are usually acidic in nature, dropping the pH of your blood. You will want to increase your blood volume by adding to your water intake in the days before, of, and after your massage to dilute your blood. This will help your body maintain a healthy blood pH level and flush all those unwanted toxins from your body.

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