Why Massage is an important part of training for a triathlon
Serious triathletes know the challenges of race day. But they know for a fact, too, that those challenges are nothing compared to the rigours of training. Training for a triathlon takes a toll on one’s body, even if the person is in optimum shape. Preparing for a marathon as we have stated on Training for a Marathon is hard enough; imagine working out for a triathlon! This is why massage is crucial to any triathlon-specific regimen.
But what exactly can a massage do for a triathlete? Here are some answers:
Aids in Recovery
Licenced massage therapist Briana Averill explains that a massage can speed up recovery, especially after a taxing day of training, by increasing blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow, in turn, helps hasten the muscle recovery process by flushing out metabolic waste.
Helps Prevent Injury
Averill, who has worked extensively with runners, cyclists, triathletes, and swimmers at every level, also points out that getting a regular massage helps manage and prevent injuries since a licenced therapist can spot parts of the body that “are not functioning or responding as efficiently as possible.” As these weak and vulnerable spots are identified early, treatment can then be given accordingly, thus preventing injuries to these body parts. Regular massages can also prevent injury by increasing joint mobility and flexibility.
Prevents Muscle Tightness
Getting a massage can also prevent muscle tightness, which is a common bi-product of continuous hard training. When muscles tighten up, both flexibility and range of motion will be compromised, therefore making movement extremely difficult, and training, next to impossible. Quite a few triathletes make the cardinal mistake of waiting for their muscles to get tight, and this should not be the case.
Lucy Fry learnt from sports masseur Jarod Chapman, that a massage releases fascia, the fine sheath that covers the muscular system. Releasing this covering is critical, as is making sure that it is aligned properly; otherwise, any misalignment can result in various aches and pains, and worse, even injuries.
Feels So Good
The massage itself might be quite uncomfortable, but the end-result will feel good. Feeling good, ultimately, is something triathletes want, especially in the build-up to a competition. In fact, one of the main reasons triathletes seek out a massage is the relaxation and increased sense of wellbeing it offers.
A kneading delivered by a certified pro like Averill or Chapman is, of course, highly recommended for its physiological benefits, which, as mentioned, include increased blood flow, waste removal, muscle tightness prevention, and fascia release and alignment. Professional bodywork, though, is not needed to get the psychological benefit of enhanced wellbeing, as even a massage from a loved one is often enough to make a person feel good. This is likely why learning to massage effectively can be a great way to get rid of those knots together, according to this feature by Foxy Bingo. The fact is, more and more people are trying to learn the fine art of giving a massage to help their loved ones recover from everyday ailments like cramp, and muscle soreness. Another factor is that just as many individuals seek a massage for its feel-good benefit. This is especially important for triathletes and athletes in general, because as the saying goes, “Feel good, do good.”
Training for a triathlon is, indeed, taxing, but the toll it takes can be alleviated if massage is incorporated into training programs. After a while, the benefits will be seen, and you will value the need and benefits that come from a massage more than ever before.