Sports Massage for Triathletes

Why is Massage good for Triathletes?

Triathlon is a demanding sport involving repetitive motions sustained over a long period of time.  This leaves the body vulnerable to specific overuse problems.  Common injuries that can occur during triathlon training and racing are iliotibial band syndrome (runners knee), Achilles tendinitis/tendinopathy, calf and hamstring strains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, swimmers shoulder and lower back pain. Triathlon places the body under mechanical, muscular, and mental stress.

Regular sports massages during the season (and off season) should form part of your training plan. Sports massage plays a crucial preventive role: don’t wait until you have an injury – this is about keeping muscles flexible and supple in the first place, minimising joint and muscle stiffness and reducing ‘pull’ on tendons so you can work your muscles harder in training sessions and races.  Maintenance massages on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis are great to maintain tissue health and assist with recovery, flexibility, prevent injury and ensure muscles are relaxed for future training.  Regular massage helps identify small problems before they develop into an injury.  Sports massage is also key for injuries already sustained. If injured you will want to get back to training and racing as soon as possible: sports massage will help.

If you wish (or are pushed for time during massage sessions) you can alternate between focus on back, shoulders, neck and arms if you have been doing a lot of swim training, to lower back, glutes and legs if you are doing lots of bike and run training. You are welcome to let me know if you want specific areas focused upon, for example, extra emphasis on calf muscles if you have been doing hill training on the bike or run.

Tight, tired muscles do not work as well and are more prone to injury

Many muscle groups are used in Triathlon:

*  In the swim, you’ll work shoulders, back and neck muscles as well as abdominals, gluteals, hamstrings and quadriceps.
*  The bike will work quadriceps, gluteals, calves and lower back, as well as placing stress on shoulder and neck muscles due to being down on your tri-bars for long periods of time and hyper-extending the neck to look up.
*  On the run you will work legs and lower back, as well as shoulders and arms.

Benefits to regular sports massage for triathletes

Recovery | Injury Prevention | Rehabilitation | Body Awareness | Psychological Benefits

  • Stimulates blood circulation, increasing flow of oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues
  • Restores flexibility to tight, sore muscles; enhance flexibility
  • Relieves chronic muscular stress; breaks up adhesions caused by micro-scarring through ‘stuck’ muscle fibres. Loosens bound fascia and alleviates trigger points within muscles, which affect the function of muscle groups when racing and training
  • Encourages flow of lymph towards heart, helping metabolic waste be drained away
  • Reduces pain by stimulating release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller)
  • Tailored techniques: Deep tissue massage, Muscle energy techniques, Soft tissue release, Joint assessment, Postural assessment
  • Psychological: on the start line you’ll be reassured, feeling good and in peak condition before going into a race; a confidence booster.

When during my training does sports massage for triathletes work best?

The best time to get massage is usually in the recovery week (or after the hardest session you are doing that week) when the training workload is lighter.  View the treatment as part of the training itself.  This has the benefit of tackling  micro-trauma muscles have been put through during training so you are able to train at your full potential again.

For pre-race massage, leave at least 3-4 days before your race. This will give muscles adequate time to recover and gain full benefits of the massage, so you get to the start line feeling revitalised.  Avoid where possible having massage less than a couple of days before a race, and if you do, advise your therapist you have a race approaching and you only want light work and stretching.

Post-event Sports Massage

Post-event massage is important as part of the post-race recovery phase. You will have placed the body under a lot of mechanical stress during the race.  If you had regular massage during training this should be minimal but post-race massage 2-3 days after the event helps reduce micro-scarring in muscles and help ease blood flow, so oxygen and nutrients feed the muscles and aid repair.

Contact Christina on 07739 572985 for more information and to book your Pure Urban Massage sports massage or deep tissue massage in Laxfield, a few miles north of Framlingham.  Massages cost £40 for 60 minutes / £55 for 90 minutes.