Preventing Marathon Injuries with Soft Tissue Therapy

It’s nearly marathon time and with runs getting longer, it’s time to take care of your soft tissue.

March is finally here and apparently Spring should be in the air. You should give yourself a huge pat on the back for keeping the training going through a pretty chilly month – and why not reward yourself with adding some soft tissue therapy into your routine? 

This month I spoke to Lauren Forsyth, our expert Soft Tissue Therapist at Canary Wharf, on the benefits of STT for marathon runners. With your weekly mileage numbers likely to peak later this month it’d be a great time to understand how this great treatment option could help you.

Training for a marathon is very hard on the body and you need to take care of yourself. This is why soft tissue therapy is a great supplement for not only maintenance but also injury preventative.

Factoring in soft tissue therapy into your training program is a MUST! Getting treatment regularly throughout your training can help you achieve your goals without any unwanted tension/​pain that may occur.

COMMON ISSUES SEEN IN LONG DISTANCE RUNNERS:

  • ITB syndrome
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome, i.e. runner’s knee
  • Achillies tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Glute, hamstring, quad and calf tightness
  • Minor muscle strains
  • Neck, shoulder and back tension 

BENEFITS OF SOFT TISSUE THERAPY:

  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce muscle soreness 
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce stress hormone- Cortisol 
  • Reduce lactic acid by increasing blood circulation 
  • Improve mobility
  • Prevent injuries
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WHEN TO GET SOFT TISSUE THERAPY?

  • Bi-monthly for maintenance- throughout training but as the mileage and volume of training increases you may feel that you need soft tissue therapy to every week. Shorter runs are generally planned during the week and a longer run at the weekend as its more time consuming. So I find it beneficial for runners to get soft tissue therapy 2 – 3 days post long run. Pressure can vary depending on how the runner is feeling on the day.
  • 1 – 3 days pre/​post marathon- a light flushing massage
  • 3 – 5 days pre/​post marathon- Deep Tissue massage

HOME REMEDIES FOR RUNNERS

  • Cold/​hot bath post training for 20 minutes
  • Sleep: 6 – 8 hours per night
  • Nutrition: See one of PSM dietitian for help

SELF MASSAGE

  • Foam roller- ITB, quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings for 1 minute each
  • The stick: Quads or get a friend to roll your calves/​hamstrings until tension reduces
  • Massage ball: Glutes
  • Stretching: Quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings- dynamic stretching pre training and static stretching post training

Runners often say after a treatment that their muscles feel easier, lighter, and that they have more energy and less fatigue. And most importantly, they feel like they can run again.

RECOVERY:

What you do in the days following a marathon is just as important as what you did before. Running 26.2 miles places high demands on the body and you’re likely to end up with depleted fuel stores, accumulated fluid in the muscles, dehydration and perhaps some damaged muscle tissue. So, not surprisingly, you will be susceptible to injury and infection after the race.

Unfortunately, there’s no formula for calculating how long your body will take to recover – this will vary from runner to runner. A seasoned marathon runner – or someone whose training plan included a high mileage base – can expect to bounce back quicker than a marathon novice for example.

Soft Tissue Therapy is a great way to aid recovery and get you back training soon after the marathon.


Posted

9 months ago

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