Massage and your London Marathon training
The results of the London Marathon ballot are being distributed at the time of writing this blog.
Congratulations to those of you who have been successful in your quest for a guaranteed place. For those that you that haven’t, it’s time to consider the charity option.
Either way, if you are still serious about running London Marathon 2016, it’s time to get serious about your training and preparation.
And if it’s your first marathon, you might be thinking how will I ever be able to run the 26.2 miles.
Well, one thing is for sure, it helps if you are injury free.
How well you recover is as important as how hard you train. So let’s look at the role of massage and see how it can help you in your quest.
Running and delayed soreness
If you are relatively new to running, you will probably now be familiar with a pattern whereby your legs feel particularly sore a day or two after a hard run. This has a specific name among exercise physiologists It’s known as ‘DOMS’ – which is short for the ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’.
It is believed to occur as a result of microtrauma to connective tissue. It sounds quite worrying but is an almost inevitable consequence of the body being exposed to unfamiliar or intense physical activity.
DOMS can place both a physical and psychological barrier to regular training. Anything that can help ease the sensation will help keep you motivated for longer. Thankfully, research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that massage after exercise can reduce the intensity of DOMS.
A London Marathon Massage may boost your immune system
For all marathon training programmes, the goal is to gradually increase the mileage you run on an incremental basis. As you start to increase the overall distance you run you start to place a greater load on your immune system.
Few things are more frustrating than getting a cold or feeling feverish when you want to run. And besides, running with a virus is very counter-productive as it results in shunting the virus around the cardiovascular system.
Luckily there is evidence to suggest that regular massage can help to boost the immune system. Not only that, but it can have a calming effect as it reduces the level of cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) in the body.
Other massage benefits for marathon training.
Because massage can help to reduce muscle stiffness after a long or hard run, it may also help you to maintain good form. If you are trying to protect or compensate for tired and aching limbs your running style might get compromised.
By incorporating massage into your recovery phase you stand more chance of running with good biomechanics.
And finally, massage can count as a psychological reward for your hard work. As you up your training, and as the miles become harder in the winter months, a regular massage will act as a well-deserved reward for your efforts.