Triathlon is a demanding sport which places the body under a lot of stress. You are training three different sports and that requires sustained, repetitive muscular contractions for each sport. The greater the contraction, the greater the force generated, more muscle fibers are recruited and therefore shortened. This translates into tight muscles, reduced range of motion and decreased circulation to tissues. There are times we need to slow down in order to decrease stress and increase focus and once in a while, your mind and body need to be pampered by booking a session with your massage therapist. The benefits of regular massage work are as follows:
Motion and Flexibility: Sports massage can help relax overly tense muscles and provide increased range of motion. It’s a good idea to have a massage 3-4 days before a race, as it can contribute to improving performance.
Shortens Recovery Time: Exercise and competition is stressful on the body. This can lead to injury if proper precautions are not taken. Sports massages are ideal to help the body deal with this stress. A proper massage increases blood flow, assists in the body’s natural healing process, speeding waste removal and general health improvement. Swelling and inflammation associated with physical activity is also reduced. Scar tissue, a normal side effect from severe injury, can be broken up and lessened with massage.
Supply of Oxygen and Nutrients: Blood flow into muscles is vital to creating new tissue and increased strength and stamina. Massage increases blood flow for additional oxygen and nutrients.
Helps Eliminate By-Products of Exercise: Lactic and uric acids are natural by-products of exercise. Each can be lessened with blood and lymph flow in the body and increase the waste output by a sports massage.
Psychological Benefits: There is much to be said about psychology and sports. Many do not realize the value of a massage with sports and how a quality massage has more than just physical benefits. The body is only as strong as the mind, so having a strong mind that is relaxed and focused is a definite edge in highly competitive sports. A stressed athlete is not nearly as capable as one with a clear mind.
Reduces Pain: A body in pain is a sign of overworked muscles and is not healthy. Massage increases blood and lymph fluid flow, thereby speeding the injury rehabilitation process. A massage also helps with pain from spasms and cramps, common with elite athletic training.
Explore what works for you and enjoy your massage! Let it be a wonderful retreat from the stress of training AND know that it will help keep your body in top condition