For many, the idea of massaging sweaty, post-marathon bodies sounds more like an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe than an appealing career choice. However, by the time we have massaged thousands of bodies, most massage therapists don’t even notice sweat, dirt, or body hair.
We are too focused on the task in front of us: making your muscles relax.
As a massage therapist at Greensboro Massage and Bodywork, and one of the sponsors for the Junction 311 series of marathons, half marathons and 5Ks, I provide sports massage for runners after every race. As many runners struggle to climb onto my massage table with their stiff with sore muscles, many say “Sorry about the sweat.” I promise, I am truly not bothered.
After a quick discussion assessing your areas of discomfort or any chronic issues, I shake, rock, press and tap your muscles, trying to restore blood flow. Post-race massage helps with your cool down process, relaxing contracted muscles and improving circulation. It is a little lighter and faster than a deep tissue session, and may include stretching or body movements. I balance the pressure between accessing the muscles but not sending you into spasm or damaging already exhausted muscles. The soothing massage begins the healing process after a hard race.
Benefits to expect from post-race massage:
Recover more quickly
Reduce chance of injury
Relax and lengthen your muscles
Relieve pain or muscle cramps
After your post-race sports massage:
Swedish massage, while having a reputation for being specifically pampering, can be a great benefit during your healing process. The message’s signature long, flowing strokes eases muscle tension and increases blood flow.
I’d recommend giving yourself at least three days to recover before scheduling a deep tissue session with us. Deep tissue massage addresses both superficial and deeper muscles and fascia, and how they are interacting. The modality involves focused and work to improve problem areas. Regular Deep Tissue massage during your training can help you avoid chronic pain, improve mobility and prevent injury. Healthy muscle tissue will help you run faster and longer.
What is it like doing massage at the races?
Being at the races is an exciting way to get out of the office, meet new people, and have fun with my passion of helping people. The massage is fast-paced and lively. The music pumps. People cheer as their loved ones finish. The air buzzes with emotion. It’s a total rush.
I also get to learn about each athlete’s personal time and motivation for the race.
I love the varied responses for why people run. Some have a bucket list item to check off, while others have a running group so they can rationalize drinking beer after. Some clients on my table are running for the first time, and others are half-way to completing a goal of running a marathon in every state.
Whatever the reason people run, I’m always happy to have the job of giving back to athletes striving to grow and push themselves, even if they are sweaty.
Co-Owner and Massage Therapist
Greensboro Massage and Bodywork
(Licensed Massage Therapist # 13978)