Run Forrest Run
There you are, in training. You’re competing in the Bolder Tough Warrior Tri-Mudder-a-thon. It is an insane test of stamina and will power that requires you to run, carrying your bicycle through a lake, uphill, both ways. You remember Forrest Gump and his epic cross-country run. In the movie, they showed him concluding his run by saying, “I’m pretty tired. Think I’ll go home now.” Clearly, they edited out the portion where he continued by saying, “…and get a massage.”
Did you know the type of massage you get should be different based on when it is compared to an event? You certainly don’t want your typical super deep massage days before your event. The stimulation of your muscles might leave you achy during your activity. The standard massage immediately after may not help your muscles recover as quickly as variations can.
Here is a little information to help you through your pre-event and post-event training:
A pre-event massage can help an athlete prepare physically and mentally for the activity. Deep tissue or deep myofascial may cause discomfort during the event. Concentrating on major muscle groups that will be used is a good thing. They should be massaged in a way that is more stimulating, shorter strokes. We can use compression, friction, lifting and stretching. Tapotment (tapping) is a good way to stimulate the muscles. Joint mobilization may also be incorporated.
Post-event massages should be more flowing. Longer strokes are incorporated. Lighter pressure should be used and blood flow is encouraged. Your post-event massage should include more gliding, kneading, jostling and joint mobilization. Advance techniques such as motion palpation can be very stimulating and help you recover faster.
Think of your event as a 14-day cycle. In the week before your event, that’s when you should get a pre-event. The week after is good for post-event techniques. These are generally guidelines for the weekend warrior, once in a while type athletes. If you are a more serious athlete, we can talk about a regiment more suited to your ongoing training.
In the movie, Forrest was back to normal in the next scene. After a massage, a shave, a nice haircut and a few dozen Dr. Peppers, he was ready to find Jenny. A well planned massage will get you back up to speed quickly as well.