Should I Get A Sports Massage Immediately After A Marathon?

30 December 2021

It is increasingly common for organisers of long-distance endurance events to have ‘massage areas’ set up at the end of the race.

Sports Massage after a Marathon Running

Generally, at Sports Massage, we prefer our clients to get one the next day instead of the same day as it is better overall in terms of recovery.

Many therapists recommend clients avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after a bodywork session. Exercising after a session can both increase muscle soreness and compromise the value of the soft-tissue work you’ve just received. “Strenuous exercise” includes activities such as running, weight lifting, high-intensity aerobics, or power yoga classes.

Light exercise such as moderate walking, gentle stretching, or swimming laps at an easy pace is OK for healthy individuals.

One widely accepted view in favour of this 24-hour recovery period is that sustained pressure on connective tissue makes it more gel-like. The technical term for this change is the thixotropic effect. This state of increased softness lasts about 24 hours, so high-intensity exercise may pull or move the tissue back to old patterns or even induce new strain patterns.

Benefits of Sports Massage after a Marathon

A post-event massage can help treat tight muscles. Muscles can become tight after exercise due to overtraining. The tightness can be the result of microscopic tears of the muscle fibres incurred during activity.

An increase of tight muscles can lead to injuries such as muscle strains and tears. Massage helps to treat muscles post-exercise to prevent tightness from occurring.

Massage helps by increasing the energy circulation to remove metabolic wastes. Decreasing the amount of metabolic waste left over from exercise helps to reduce the chances of tightness.

Recently, someone posed the same questions to Dr Lewis Maharam, a leading running sports physician the same question at his blog. He posted up an excellent answer to the questions.