Benefits of Massages for Runners

Since college, I’ve gotten massages with the sole purpose to help my running and stay as injury free as possible. Many people have wondered why, when there is a plethora of sticks, foam rollers, and other gadgets you can use.  Thinking out loud, no matter how many foam rollers I use, including the R8, they don’t get as deep as a professional.

Benefits of Massages for Runners

What Kind of Massages are Best for Runners?

Deep Tissue:

This is my personal favorite type.  It’s what most people think when they think “massage”.  A deep tissue massage that works the entire body or can focus on specific tight spots.  Due to how I run, I get very tight calves frequently.  In turn, this pulls down on my plantar fascia.  When I feel a bout of plantar fascitis beginning, I get a deep tissue massage on my calves.  This usually takes care of it.

Personally, I try to get a deep tissue massage once a month.  While pricey (usually between $60-100, depending on where you live), I’ve found it has saved me a lot of muscular injuries.

Active Release Technique (ART):

ART is relatively new to me and I began getting ART from Dr. Kemenosh and his associates after my second marathon.  ART is designed to break up scar tissue from an injury or issue and improve mobility.

ART  is better for if  you have a specific injury  that has resulted in scar tissue.  For me, I became more familiar with it, was when I pulled something in my butt during my second marathon.  Since there are so many layers of fascia in your glutes, ART was better to break it up.  Dr. Kemonosh has fixed many different issues I’ve had from tight calves, to IT band issues, to the orginal butt issue.    As I’m recovering from my fall and tailbone injury, they are helping to speed the process up.

At Home Foam Rollers:

There are a lot of new and fancy foam rollers on the market now.  From the heavy duty R8 to the basic massage stick.  Self-massage will offer many of the same benefits, however, if you are like me you’ll never be able to go as deep into the knots as a professional.  They are great proactive tools.

When Should You Get a Massage?

I made the mistake early on, to get a massage within 48 hours of a race.  I felt stiff and my legs had definetely not recovered.  For me, it usually takes a full 48-72 hours to recover from a deep tissue massage.  I don’t plan any hard workouts, races, or fast runs until then.  If I have a race that weekend, I’ll try and schedule a massage either Tuesday or Wednesday.

I usually like to wait a day or two after a race because my legs are sore and tender as well.  After my last

Think of massage as a workout where deep pressure can cause some muscle soreness. You don’t want to layer too many sources of muscle soreness so it’s best to wait 1-2 days after a hard workout or race to get your massage.

Questions for you: 

Do you get massages?

What kind of proactive things do you do for running?