When and Why Triathletes Need a Massage

In less than 3 days, the largest triathlon in Israel will take place. This exciting event includes up to 1,500 m of  swimming at the Metzitzim beach, 40 km of biking along the Ayalon Highway and 10 km of running on Tel Aviv’s tayelet. Wow… my muscles are sore from only just writing this

Triathletes in particular need massage because of the all over nature of the sport – the swimming uses the upper body strength, the running impacts the legs and feet and the biking works a lot on the hips and lower back, the stress on your body and muscles is therefore spread all over the body

Any athlete can benefit from a wide variety of different massages, the important thing to know is when it is most appropriate for each athlete to have each type of massage.  Most people opt for a post-race treatment but both are beneficial – the pre-race massage stimulates your muscles whereas the post-race massage is a cool-down/recovery massage

Pre-race massage

During training, most triathletes suffer from overuse or overtraining injuries. They can experience cramps and soreness of certain muscles which can result in painful, inflamed muscles and even injury which stops their training all together. Regular massages can help reduce the likelihood of the muscles becoming overused in the first place but it can also reduce the initial inflammation that leads to injury. A sports and deep tissue massage is best to target these problems, but it is important to remember that a deep tissue massage should be taken when workout is less intense and your muscles aren’t sore. Consider how far you are from a key workout or race, the closer you are on either end, the more gentle a massage should be

Post-race massage

If, after a really tough day your muscles are sore, you do not want a deep tissue therapist pushing into your muscles, instead you would want a fleshy, firm but brisk, massage designed to improve circulation and reduce pain and inflammation. This is when a Swedish massage works best

While there are a number of opinions as to when is the optimal time to get a massage after the race, most agree that it is best to wait 24 hours to allow the natural process of microtear repairing

And don’t forget – any massage, both during training and after race should be followed by a rest day or a light exercise day to gain the maximum benefits of the massage

Good luck to all participants for this Saturday – we will be there cheering away – and we'll be happy to help you find the right Masü therapist for you

לכתבה בעברית: עיסוי נכון לטריאתלטים – מה, איך ומתי?

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