Race to the Massage Table

My sister and I were talking last December about how we both have always wanted to complete a marathon as a bucket list item.  We talked about how we had wanted to do it years ago when we were a wee bit younger, before we had kids, and before we had real excuses. So it sounded like a good idea when we decided this would be the year we would do it. Not for time. But just to complete it.  It sounded like a good idea when I impulsively signed up for the Hapalua, or the half marathon, as way to gauge where I was and how much training I would need for the real deal, the Honolulu Marathon in December.  It sounded like a good idea.

I really did mean to train.  And I did well for the first 2 weeks.  And then life happened.  I will not get into the details but when it comes down to it I have every excuse.  I am not worried about walking 13.2 miles with my sister.  I am not even worried about being sore afterwards.  However I do know the importance of a pre-event massage and a post-event massage.

Anyone who participates in a sporting event at any level could benefit from a pre and a post-event massage.  The desired purpose of these types of massages are to help the athlete perform at their best and to recover after the event.

A pre-event massage can be performed from 30 minutes up to two days before the sporting event.  The post event should be performed within 72 hours following the sporting event.

Physically a pre-event massage is intended to stimulate the muscles for the event.  Psychologically, a pre-event massage can either calm a person’s nerves before the event or get them amped up and excited for the event.  It all depends on what each athlete needs and how close to the event the massage is.

Generally the closer the massage is to the event the less invasive you want the massage to be as we don’t want to injure any change any range of motion of the muscles to be used in the event.  Additionally, the closer we get to the event the less lotion or emollient you want the therapist to use.  The lotion or emollient can clog the pores and restrict sweating.

When you are getting a pre-event massage your therapist should be doing any of the following:

  • Compression to increase blood flow to the muscles
  • Friction to create heat as that will help to warm up the muscles
  • Gentle active stretching of the muscles
  • Tapotement to stimulate the tissues

Post-event massages are typically conducted within 72 hours following the event.  A post-event massage can be done to improve recovery, to promote relaxation, but also to relieve the body of delayed onset muscle soreness or help acute pain sustained from any injury.  The results of the post event massage is remove waste, increase muscle or tissue elasticity, and to increase lymphatic drainage.

Typically the type of massage you receive during a post event massage is different than that of a pre event massage.

During a post event massage you should expect the massage therapist to do any of the following:

  • Active stretching
  • Petrissage (kneading)
  • Effleurage (long gliding strokes)
  • Compressions
  • Joint mobilizations

Luckily for you, and any athletes you may know, we do both of these types of massages at Oahu Spine and Rehab.  We look forward to being a part of you journey and race to the finish line. If you are a runner looking to add pre and post-massages to your training program, feel free to call OSR at 808-488-5555!








Leave a Comment