We asked one of our favorite Brooklyn massage therapists (who has helped us recover from many a long run) to discuss the merits of massage and why it's great for runners.
by Jennifer Mayer, LMT
PREVENT: Massage can help prevent injuries by increasing fluidity in tissues, increase range of motion and increase flexibility. Additionally, massage is an excellent way to gain valuable information about the condition of your muscles and work out any potential areas of tightness that could lead to an injury.
STRETCH: Stretching improves range of motion, muscle flexibility and prevents injury. All three are important factors to keep you running healthy and injury free.
FLUSH: Running produces lactic acid, a metabolic waste product the gets stuck in the muscles. Lactic acid causes pain and discomfort by irritating the nerves in the muscle tissue. Massage flushes lactic acid out of the muscles, enabling you to recover quicker, with less pain and discomfort from workouts.
EASE: Massage helps the body move freely and with more ease. When muscle repairs itself after exercise and strength building, the muscle fibers are misaligned. Massage helps realign these fibers.
HEAL: By increasing blood flow, massage helps injuries recover faster by bringing essential nutrients and tissue repairing cells to the injury site. This increased flow also removes wastes created by the injury quicker, further supporting the healing process.
SUPPORT: Massage with an emphasis on structural alignment helps runners keep good posture and structural integrity by releasing tightness throughout the body. Releasing tight feet can do wonders for your gate and low back or hip pain.
DOWN TIME: Rest is an important aspect of any training regime. Massage encourages time for rejuvenation to restore your reserves.
Jennifer Mayer is a licensed massage therapist practicing in Brooklyn, NY. Over the past 8 years as an LMT Jennifer has had the pleasure to work with athletes from all backgrounds. From eager rock climbing kids, to professional cyclo-cross racers to individuals training for 10ks and triathlons to Olympic runners. Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum massage. You can visit her website www.mamamoonnyc.com for more information.
As we focus on recovery this April, Jen Mayer's advice is just as practical and needed! Reward yourself post race with a relaxing, soothing, vital massage.