People use massage for various reasons and each have a very specific purpose. Professional and amateur athletes alike benefit from massage as it can provide a training and performance edge by aiding recovery and preventing injury.
Here is a list of what a sports massage can do for you:
- Relieves muscular stress from training
- Improves range of movement and flexibility
- Improved power and performance
- Shortens recovery time between workouts
- Maximizes supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow
- Facilitate the bodies regular process for recovery
- Decrease performance anxiety and sharpen mental focus
- Enables athletes to reach optimal performance through injury free training
During heavy weeks of training, I often have two sports massage per week. It helps flush blood through the muscles, thus pushes byproducts out of the system which would otherwise take days to move. As a result, my body bounces back from hard workouts quicker which enables me to train hard more often and therefore improve my fitness. The same applies to racing. I make a living by racing successfully. Sports massage pre and post race helps me race better and more often. A pre race sports massage can enhance circulation, improve tissue pliability, and reduce muscle tension prior to competition. A post race sports massage can reduce muscle spasms and metabolic build up that normally occurs during strenuous exercise.
I like to get a pre-race sports massage 2-3 days prior to my event, which gives my body enough time to remove any toxins released into my system as a result of the massage. This is usually a light, flush through. Depending on the distance, my post race massage is either immediately after an event for an Olympic distance triathlon or 2-3 days after for a half or full Ironman.
Triathlon combines three different sports and each uses muscle groups in a unique way. Therefore it is important that my sports massage therapist is familiar with each muscle and it’s correct movement pattern. They also need to recognise how each muscle group interacts and how they are affected by each discipline of my sport. My therapist can then identify which muscles are not performing optimally due to an abnormality, in which case they can target specific treatment to the problem areas. So I feel it is very important to me that I use and find the right massage therapists when I am home and away.
For example I use Melissa Denyer at one of the many bodytonic clinic locations, Canada Water SE16, Wapping E1w and Stratford E15 when I visit family and friends in London.
Leanda R. Cave
A huge thank you to Leanda R. Cave for taking the time to put together this post. Some of Leanda achievements are:
- Ironman 70.3 World Champion 2012
- Ironman World Champion, Kona 2012
- 4 x World Triathlon Champion
- ITU Olympic Distance Champion 2002
- ITU Long Distance Champion 2007
- Racing as a professional athlete for GB at the World Championship level