Chris Covington | Editor in Chief | Red Letter Everyday eMagazine | 4-10-2015 | Disclaimer | Photos by Red Letter Everyday eMagazine and stretching image by Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This week, the workouts have started to give me a bit of feedback by way of tightness and soreness. I expected both, but wanted a way to relieve the them. I’ve been feeling like I have two bricks for feet and that my body is rubber band wound so tight that one pluck of the band will make everything pop – badly. Know what I mean?
So I’ve decided to take a few actions to relieve my muscle soreness and tightness. I’ve started:
The later, was an incredible find. Within 48 hours, I was a new woman. This was not your gentle Swedish full-body, relaxation massage. Oh no, I really had to work to relax my muscles and let the tightness get worked out. It all started pretty simply when she ran her hands down my spine, everyone of which cracked, and we both laughed out loud. She asked,”What hurts the most in descending order, and we’ll go from there.” An hour and a half later, I emerged educated, slightly tender, and very relaxed.
I realized that, short runs, sprints, hills, long runs, tennis and weights, while good for me, stored their energy in the form of tightness through out my body, especially in my hamstrings, quads, ab/ad-ductors, glutes, and hips. In order to improve my performance and allow my muscles to recover properly, I needed to let that tightness release on a regular basis. So I’ve added a new “to do” item to my workout schedule: regular monthly sports massage. During my extended post-workout stretching, I will be giving my abductors and lower glutes a bit more love.
In researching professional distance runners’ training programs, regular sports massages tailored to address specific issues and reoccurring issues are a true tool in muscle recovery and healing. So don’t take it as a nice-to-do-super-relaxing moment. See a sports massage for what it really is: a weapon in your training toolbox keeping you healthy and recovering more quickly! Professional atheletes often use pre-event massages to help with warming up and post event massages to speed recovery for the next match or race.
On a personal note, while I appreciated the effects of my massage, I truly appreciated my provider. Getting a massage is a personal activity and getting to know one another is part of the process. She totally impressed me, not only as a great provider, but also as a wonderful human being. Since cancer is part of my life, we talked about it and how massage can also be used to cleanse the body of so many toxins. My provider volunteers several days each month giving children and the elderly with cancer special massages to help them cleanse and heal. What a wonderful gift of talent and time to share!