Thanks for the love on My First Run Commute; here’s the second in the series!
As a pretty serious dancer growing up, I saw my fair share of injuries, and spent a lot of time at the physio. Back in July, right before the start of my half marathon training, I started to feel a few little nagging pains cropping up, so I decided to take the preventative measure of seeing a sports massage therapist.
I found a therapist called Prim through Zesty, and made an appointment for the Monday, being the day after my long training run. Reading the website, I found out that Prim was a long distance runner from South Africa. Perfect, I thought, she’ll get me. Not gonna lie, I assumed Prim was female. I was wrong. I had a slight moment of panic when I realized Prim was a man, thinking how awkward it was gonna be getting my thighs rubbed by a guy with a slightly sexy accent. But obviously and predictably, he was completely professional and it wasn’t weird at all.
He took a good look at my biomechanics and noticed that I had a lot of tension in my hip flexors and ankles, due to the fact that I’m extremely hypermobile and my muscles do what they can to overcompensate. This is nothing new, as hypermobility has caused me a lot of problems over the years; however it’s also made me a more mindful dancer/yogi/runner, which can only be a good thing.
I was given a thorough rubbing down which was painful to the point of gritting my teeth and trying not to scream. Thanks to Prim being a runner himself, we had plenty to talk about, and he gave me plenty of exercises to do to build strength, as well as nutritional recommendations and training tips. I left feeling completely satisfied, if not a bit jelly-legged, and all was well and good.
What I hadn’t expected was a follow up text message checking in on how my legs were feeling several days later, along with a recommendation for a supplement he’d mentioned in the session. That, alongside the fact that Prim just gets runners, is the main reason he was the first person I called when my arch pain flared up earlier this week.
What I wish I’d known before my first sports massage:
- It’s OK to wear running shorts. You don’t have to be in your underwear if it makes you uncomfortable.
- It’s really helpful if you wear or take along your running shoes, so they can take a look at the soles and get an idea of your gait.
- It will hurt. A lot. Even if you don’t think you have any problems or tight spots, the massage therapist will find them!
- Don’t expect to run for a day or so after a massage. Even 2-3 days if it’s your first one, but ask your therapist for their opinion.
- You’ll feel pretty beaten up the next day. That’s normal. Ask the therapist their opinion on painkillers for your specific case. (When I went back recently with plantar fasciitis, I was told no anti-inflammatories after the massage, since my body needed to inflame slightly as part of the healing process).
- Get the most out of it- ask questions! My massage therapist is very knowledgeable and recommended me stretches, nutritional advice, and even gave me a tennis ball for myofascial release exercises.
Any other tips? What was your first sports massage like? Would you recommend them to others?