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Athletes and Regular Massage Therapy

RunnersAre you a distance runner (or cyclist, or endurance hiker) training for an event and not certain if getting regular massage therapy is for you?

Turn to science. According to a recent study, getting a massage after strenuous activity (like, say, a 20-miler) significantly reduces Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, known as DOMS. If you’ve ever had to skip a run because your legs are too sore and heavy after a hard workout, you know what DOMS is.

Massage will reduce inflammation, but contrary to popular belief, it will not flush out lactic acid. This bodily byproduct is only produced during anaerobic exercise (like short sprinting), not long distance running. What massage does do to reduce soreness is reducing the presence of cytokines, which contribute to inflammation. Without the inflammation, the body can adjust to increased demands of exercise.

Other Benefits

Other research suggests that it improves immune function and reduces inflammation. Even one massage treatment can result in an increased number of several types of lymphocytes (white blood cells that play a key role in fighting infection) while also decreasing levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone” linked to chronic inflammation).

By applying moving pressure to muscles and other tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and fascia (which sheaths muscles like a sausage casing), this energy softens fascia tissue and makes clenched muscles relax. It also removes adhesions between fascia and muscles (places where the two stick together and restrict muscles’ movement). That’s especially great news for runners, who rely on limber joints and muscles for pain-free peak performance.

Stress Relief

Not only does massage help you recover physically, but it can alleviate the mental stress of constantly thinking about the big goal ahead of you.

When the Time is Right

When is the best time to get appointments for massage therapy inside your training plan? The biggest rule of thumb is to never get a deep tissue massage right before or right after a big event or a super-hard workout. So, when then?

Whether you’re in a process of getting ready for a marathon (26.2 M) on the roads, a Century bike ride (100 M), a long trail run of ultramarathon distance, a multi-day backpacking trip or a mountain climb, your training is split in cycles. Those cycles are usually a build-up of your base, a specific training, a sharpening phase, and a taper. Between said cycles is usually a few days of recovery time, when your body absorbs the benefits and prepares for the next step up. With this knowledge, getting a scheduled massage with a specialist right inside that recovery break is the most appropriate time.


Consistency is always a key in getting your body worked during your training. You can vary the styles of massage as you go through building blocks and depending on where you are in a process. Read our article on different styles of massage that oftentimes grouped into “Sports massage” section.
Contact us to get started.

Massage Therapy Northeast Colorado Springs | (719) 260-5525