I’ve heard all sorts of inspiring stories following the London Marathon last Sunday: how one man sacrificed his PB to help an exhausted competitor to the finishing line; closer to home, a colleague of mine who completed for the sake of her sponsorship for charity, despite having sprained her ankle just four miles in. I shall be giving my colleague a post-event massage on Friday – better late than never!
So what is post-event massage? What it says on the tin: the massage given to support an athlete after a sporting event or training session, any time from five minutes to 48 hours after the event. The closer to the event the massage is given, the less time we spend massaging. Just 5-15 minutes’ massage is enough immediately after an event, but an hour is perfectly fine from 24 hours afterwards. Post-event massage is not deep, involving only light to medium pressure, so as not to worsen any injuries.
What are the benefits?
Post-event massage will help the tissue to recover faster after exertion. It enhances circulation, facilitating the delivery of oxygen and removal of waste products from the tissues. It also reduces the incidence of and aids recovery from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, that ouchy feeling when nothing is seriously wrong, but your muscles moan at you the next day). The massage will also help to stretch and relax the muscles, keeping joints mobile. Best of all, it is a great way to detect the early signs of injury and prevent a nasty accident, so worth getting regular post-event massages if you train hard and want to keep on top form!