What’s the difference between pre and post race massage and what impact can it have? EP Therapist Gail explains what they both mean and why we adapt treatments accordingly.
Over the 11 days I worked with the GB AG athletes as part of the massage team, with treatments at various stages of their race prep.
So if you’ve not really had massage treatments as part of your training and race prep you may not know that we adjust each treatment dependant upon the time before the race. Treatments the week before will be different to 24-48 hours before which in turn will be different to treatments after the race.
The week before – deeper more intensive treatment, either a general but sport specific treatment or for niggles and injuries. Common after affects of this kind of massage can be fatigue and muscles soreness – this is why we say no intense activity on the day of treatment so your body can recover and adapt without undue stress.
24-48 hours before – even with the best prep, being cramped on a plane for 24 hours in the case of the Australian athletes, can lead to unexpected aches. And so massage treatments are light and fast purely with the aim of loosening and activating muscles, some great additional techniques include soft tissue mobilisation to free up tissues and tendons.
Post treatment – this can be directly after or up to a week after, the main benefit is reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and aiding the body in recovering. Treatment is specific to the individual and how they are feeling post race, it can be light or deeper, muscle specific or general with an additional aim of relaxing as events can be stressful!
If you have any queries about massage or race prep and training do get in touch with us, you can also book in with me directly for massage, cupping and kinesiology taping by clicking HERE