THE MESSAGE IS MASSAGE
By Mindy Solkin
Owner and Head Coach
The Running Center
Did you know that there are over 600 muscles in your body? After several weeks or months of running training, I'm sure that some of these muscles have spoken to you, crying out and saying, "Hey, enough already, I'm kind of in a knot, can you knead me out?"
If you haven't been doing it all along, now is the time to treat yourself to a Sports Massage. I have been getting massages for 20 years now, and feel that they have really helped me to stay injury-free (along with stretching, strength training, acupuncture, and listening to my body). There are many types of massage, but sports massage is more therapeutic, incorporating deep-tissue and cross-friction movements aimed at specific muscles. Some sports massage therapists may also perform stretching and strengthening techniques, too. Here are some of the benefits to a runner.
1) Brings oxygen and blood to the tissues, which helps to repair the tiny tears called micro traumas that occur when you run, and which must be patched with scar tissue.
2) Frees up scar tissue by bringing it in line with muscle tissue to loosen stiffness and muscle restriction.
3) Enables you to recover more quickly from the stress of running (especially the longer runs) so that you can continue to train at a high level.
4) Increases flexibility which helps to improve (or at least keep) your stride length.
5) Speeds circulation and reduces swelling, thereby preventing injuries or healing existing injuries more quickly.
6) Promotes relaxation, creating a positive effect both physically and mentally.
Remember, you are an athlete so treat yourself accordingly. After all, everyone needs to be kneaded!
© 2004 The Running Center™ All Rights Reserved
Mindy Solkin is the Owner and Head Coach of The Running CenterTM. She is
certified by USA Track & Field (USATF) as a Level III Running Coach (the
highest level) and by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a personal
Known as "Coach Mindy" to her runners, she has coached thousands of people
over the past ten years, helping them to achieve their goals on the open
roads and the winding trail, whether it is running their first mile or
pursuing their personal best in the marathon.
Mindy was the creator of the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society's Team In Training
marathon program in New York City and served as its Head Coach from 1994
through 2001. From 1995 through 2002 training over 3,000 runners to run marathons in cities around the world, Mindy was the Head Coach at Reebok
Sports Club/NY. She is also the creator of the Polar Heart Bra® and has been
a PowerBar® Team Elite athlete since 1994. She can be reached at www.TheRunningCenter.com.