Wellness Wednesday - Sports Massage for the Training Athlete
I have been training on and off for triathlon races for the last year and a half. Before that, I was training for half marathons.
Each one of those races can be linked back to some sort of injury. These injuries can manifest themselves in many ways when you over train, but in my case, I attributed it to lack of strength work and RECOVERY time (in addition to overtraining).
Last year, I began tri training for a sprint distance and worked my way up to Olympic and then half Ironman distance. Before I began training, I had spent a good amount of time strength training and lifting weights. I was in the strongest phase of my physical fitness life and I believe that the extra muscle I had gained, kept me from injury when I ramped up the training miles.
This year, as I prepare for my 3rd 70.3 distance race (Half Ironman), I decided that I would incorporate some rest and recovery methods into my training regimen to not only reduce the risk of injury, but increase flexibility and joint mobility.
I wanted to be consistent with my recovery treatments and decided to team up with one place that can provide different services that would best suit my body’s needs on a regular basis.
I had my first ever 90 minute sports massage at Massage Heights - Washington Heights in Houston a couple of weeks ago. Unlike the massages I have had in the past, this massage was not only longer, but it included a consultation both before the massage and after. Sports massage is unique in that it works deep in the muscles, realigning the muscle fibers and connective tissue and helps to flush away toxins. I spent the time in consult to describe the kind of training I was doing, where the tight muscles were and what my goal was in terms of frequency of service.
I was happy to learn that part of the the massage service included deep stretching. It was eye opening to see how much flexibility I had lost due to the tightness in areas that I didn’t even realize were over worked. My arm could barely stretch over my head! I was unaware that my chest muscles had contracted during those long bike rides in aero position or that the tension I felt in my neck really ran along my entire back, my glutes and hamstrings were tight and even my calves were over worked.
Needless to say, my body got much needed TLC and l left there feeling like a pile of jello. My therapist, Shanta, consulted with me afterwards and we discussed some stretching I can do at home to help build on the work she did there. She also recommended that next time, I should consider cupping as I was a perfect candidate for it.
My long bike rides range anywhere between 3 and 4.5 hours each week so as part of my new routine, I will be scheduling a service after every other one of those!
I can’t wait to get my cupping session with Shanta and tell you all about it. I will be featuring my sessions right here on my blog every other Wednesday on my “Wellness Wednesday’ feature.