Preventing Marathon Injuries with Soft Tissue Therapy

It’s never to late to start looking after your soft tissue, and that doesn’t just mean after race day.

Preparing for a marathon is no small challenge, and recovering from one isn’t a walk in the park either! But recovery doesn’t just happen after the big day.

Whether you’re aiming for a PB or to just get to the finish line, you should be so proud of what you’ve done so far. Sometimes taking on a challenge in the first place is success enough.

As the months of training rack up, it’s important to look after your soft tissues and make sure that your body regularly recovers from the physical tests you are putting it through.

If you’ve signed up to a marathon, you likely enjoy running and are probably not planning on to stopping as soon as race day is over, so ensuring that you don’t experience an injury is key. 

Soft Tissue Therapy is going to be your best friend. The benefits of for marathon runners are endless. It can help pre-race day when your weekly mileage numbers ramp up about a month or so before the big day, as well as afterwards when your focus is maybe more heavily on recovery.

It’ll be no shock that 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 general body maintenance but also, for injury prevention. 

We’re firm believes that factoring in Soft Tissue Therapy into your training programme is a MUST! Getting treatment regularly throughout your training and recovery period can help you achieve your goals, and keep running, without any unwanted tightness, pain or injury that can become part of a runner’s life. 

Common Injuries

Every sport comes with it’s own list unfortunately, and these may be quite familiar with some or most of you, but the most common injuries we tend to see with long distance runners are:

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

You’ll be happy to know that Soft Tissue Therapy can play a part in recovering from all of these complaints. 

Benefits of Soft Tissue Therapy

This form of Therapy can be the difference between a good run and a great run, or an injury and being injury free. Some of the benefits include:

  • 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?

We recommend having bi-monthly sessions for maintenance throughout your training but as the mileage and volume of training increases you may feel that you need Soft Tissue Therapy every week. Shorter runs are generally planned during the week and a longer run at the weekend as its more time consuming, so we find it beneficial for runners to get Soft Tissue Therapy 2 – 3 days post long run, but in general:

  • 1 – 3 days pre/​post marathon — a light flushing massage
  • 3 – 5 days pre/​post marathon — deep tissue massage

Home Remedies #

There are also some things you can do at home to help your body prepare and recover for your runs and race day:

  • Cold/​hot bath post training for 20 minutes
  • Sleep: aim for 6 – 8 hours per night
  • Nutrition: See a Sports Nutritionist for specific advise for your goals, training plan and any dietary requirements you may have.

Self Massage #

For in between sessions, keeping the body loose and reducing tightness, here are a few tips for self massage that you can do either in the gym or at home:

  • 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

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.

Whoever you are, and however frequently or far you run, Soft Tissue Therapy is a great way to aid recovery and get you back training soon after the marathon. Runners often say after a treatment that their muscles feel easier, lighter, and that they have more energy and less fatigue. 

Most importantly, they feel like they can run again.

If you would like to book an appointment with one of our experts Soft Tissue Therapists, click the button below to get in touch today.

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