The other thing that I did to aid my rest/recovery portion of marathon training this week was to get two awesome massages whilst over in Bangkok. I love getting massages and whenever I finally get one again, I tell myself I'm going to make it a regular part of my routine and training, They are so beneficial! Professional runners make sure massages are a regular fixture in their routines, so why shouldn't the everyday, non-professional runner follow suit?
Massages are so beneficial for runners for these reasons:
1) They help repair any adhesions and minor scar tissue between fascia and muscles whilst relaxing said muscles. These adhesions/scar tissue lead to abnormal movement and impaired mobility that leads to injuries, so put simply: massage helps prevent injuries.
2) They promote faster healing and reduce pain simultaneously. Again: so essential for recovery.
3) They help relieve stress, which again helps to prevent injuries. A less stressed/happy runner is a healthier, less prone to injury runner!
4) They help recovery by improving blood circulation.
What type of massage is the best for you as a runner, you may ask? Word on the street (ok, word online) is that the 3 top massages of choice for runners are Swedish massage, Active Release Technique/Therapy, and deep tissue massage, but really any massage of your choice will help to some degree, whether just to relieve stress and tension. I reckon those amazing Thai massages where my limbs were stretched and pulled this way and that definitely did some good. LOTS of good. I came out feeling amazing and as if I'd just spent the last hour ish doing some sort of yoga or stretch class. Highly recommended!
If you are planning on adding massages into your routine regularly and in leading up to an event or race, then its important to note that the experts' wisdom is to not have one too close to race day. Aim for 2-3 days prior to a race, so as not to undo all your hard months of dedication or training work by having sore post-massage legs. Similarly, wait 1-2 days after a hard session or hard race before getting any deep tissue work done.
When I wasn't getting pummelled and manipulated as part of those wonderful massage treatments, you can probably already guess what the majority of the rest of my time in Bangkok looked like. Oh yes, it featured delicious green and red curries, spicy fresh green papaya salads, pad thais, mystery green things and other snacks on sticks, fresh fruit, spring rolls, spicy soups, garlicy morning glory and other stir-fried veggies, mmmmmmmm..... I LOVE the food in Thailand! Loving the fact that Bangkok is so close (and so cheap) to pop over to, as it's only an hour and forty minutes from me here in Hanoi, but yet it's a world away in terms of both food and feel of the place. I love both places, don't get me wrong, but they are just so very different.
Here are a few shots of those amazing dishes, haha, some 'tourist' photos from the weekend that was all too brief:
What about YOU? Do you regularly get massages, as part of your training program? Do you regularly take rest days?
Have a wonderful week one and all! xxx