Massage Therapy for Iron Man Competition/Triathlete Training
To many triathletes, massage therapy is still viewed as an indulgence/luxury and received infrequently. However, there are benefits of massage therapy for any athlete at any level by having consistent and frequent sessions. I believe that if you are serious about your performance and sport, one should incorporate massage therapy into their training program.
- Benefits range from:
speeds up recovery after a long day of training.
- Increases blood flow to muscles and expedites healing by flushing out metabolic waste.
- Increases range of motion.
- Brings awareness to parts of the body that may not be responding or functioning as efficiently as possible.
- Allows the athlete to reconnect body and mind and decompress.
Recommended sessions of massage therapy can be twice a week for the elite athlete and once a week or once of month for the recreational athlete.
I asked my client Jim H, 49 years old who just completed his first Iron Man competition ( Lake Placid) specifically his account how massage therapy played an important part of his training regimen.
“In the build up to an Ironman, the volume of swimming, biking and running averages 12 hours per week over 6 months. In the last two months, endurance training sessions can last 6 -7 hours a day. Maintaining healthy muscles is a constant battle, muscle soreness, stiffness and repair is ongoing throughout training.
Massage is an integral part of my training, deep tissue work once or twice a month breaks down adhesions and can be very helpful with alignment throughout the body. Shoulder and neck work is key to recovering from swims that extend beyond 4000 yards. Deep tissue work on the lower back, hips and legs restores flexibility and sets up for the next set of endurance work on the bike and run.
Stretching during the massage takes advance of warm pliable muscles that are not exhausted from exercise. Tracy Smith is extremely knowledgeable and incorporates a set of techniques that are the core of deep tissue work.
To not have this type of work during training would increase the chance of injury and prevent the benefits of training overtime. “ – Jim H
Six months prior to the race was maintenance once a month focusing on deep specific work. Two months prior to the race was more frequent sessions and then two weeks before the race was a nice, easy flush session, some light stretching with no deep work.
In my personal opinion, every person is different and what is effective for one may not be for another.
Do what is right for you and your body!
Tracy Smith LMT
Massage Therapy – Bryn Mawr, PA