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Isabelle Tremblay osteopath

I n f o

When is the ideal moment to get a pre-race massage?


The ideal moment is 2 days before the race.  You will have lighter, more powerfull and more endurant muscles.  The muscle fatigue won't build up as fast as usual. You will therefore take advantage of all the benefits of your training hours.



Why prevent injuries?


It is much simpler for health professionals to tend to any muscle tension or injury as soon as the first symptoms are perceived. If your injury is months old, having caused your body to weaken itself in order to compensate for the injured area, it will be very difficult to work wonders.

The disadvantage of injuries is not so much financial as it is physical and psychological. Having to interrupt training for an unknown period of time results in losing any advantage gained by regular training (muscular strength, flexibility, proprioception, heart rate etc.). Financially speaking, treating serious injuries requires a lengthy and costly multidisciplinary approach.



What is the role of massage therapy during training?



Massage therapy during training is a not-to-be-underestimated ally. The massage therapist’s role is to offer support that is adapted to your needs depending on the sport that you practice, how many hours you train, the kind of training you do, your objectives, your posture etc. Our work consists in detect/unearth the muscle and joint tensions that limit your training progression. Of course, respecting recovery periods is also important, as well as not neglecting stretching sessions and being able to recognise the signs of physiological fatigue. This is a learning process and our role is also to teach you to learn to recognise these signals. This should help you evaluate the right moment for a sport massage as well as how frequently you should get them.



How often should I get massaged?



Professional athletes get regular massages, but not everyone can afford to have a multidisciplinary team following them everywhere.


The ideal time to get a sports massage is to make it coincide with an active recovery period.


If you race every week during racing season, you should ideally get regular massages every week or two.


If you’re a recreational athlete who trains hard but for fun, getting a monthly massage is appropriate.


If you don’t have the means or the time to get regular massages, take advantage of this service often offered on race sites. A 20-minute session is often offered free of cost and is quite sufficient after a race effort. Make sure that the massage therapist goes easy on you!



Should I get a massage the day before a competition?



Those who have experienced swedish relaxation massages before a race know what a mistake it is! You’ll show up at the start of the race with muscles that feel like rags, and your bed will seem infinitely more attractive to you than the finish line.


If you still feel that you must get a massage the day prior to your competition, make sure that:


  •  The massage you’ve chosen is a sport massage

  •  You’ve let the massage therapist know you have a race the following day

  •  The massage is short (less than an hour) and light



Should I get a massage the very day of a competition? 



The ideal time to receive a pre-competition massage is 2 days before the race.  If getting a massage before a race is really important to you, make sure that:


  • You’ve chosen a sports massage

  • Make sure the massage is no longer than 20 minutes



Should I get a massage the day after a competition? 



Scientific literature about the effects of massages and stretching on recovery is quite varied. Moreover, the day after a race your muscles might be painful to the touch, in which case a massage might not be very pleasant. You might want to wait until the next day, and the massage should be lighter and more geared toward disengorging your muscles.  



Can I train after a massage? 



Many athletes prefer going out for light training right after a massage. Blood flow is slightly hindered by massages, so going out easy can re-active it. The next day’s training session will be that much easier.

If you have an intensive training session, however, it’s best to wait a day. First, training after a massage will decrease its effects and second, you won’t have any fun during your training. Your muscles will behave like molasses in January.




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