Tag Archives: Sport

6 Reasons You Should Have A Sports Massage

2 Sep

Another half marathon completed today; Kenilworth Half Marathon. It was a good race and I really enjoyed it. The route was supposed to be undulating but it certainly didn’t feel that way at mile 12 with the last hill to conquer!

Above: I was quite happy after finishing! Usain Bolt would have been proud.

I was pleased with my time today especially considering the way I was feeling at the start of the race. Riding my horse doesn’t compliment my running at all. Riding requires me to be supple with loose and open hips. Running tightens my hips and my back is held stiff with little movement. I had, had a really intense riding lesson the day before the race which had left me very stiff and sore.

I felt so sore before the race I had to take some ibuprofen (not recommended before a run. It is advised that it is only taken after running when fully hydrated and urinating normally. Besides hyponatremia, it is said to cause kidney failure, especially if dehydrated. You may not notice symptoms, but minor damage could have been done to the body.) I was feeling so immobile though I had to take it or possibly sacrifice the race. I honestly don’t think I’d have got around without it. One thing that really would have benefited me though, and something I know I am in desperate need of is a sports massage.

I know a lot of people who run and don’t consider a sports massage as a necessity at all. Well it is.

A Sports massage is reported to have many beneficial effects in all athletes, whether you are a runner or a swimmer. Sports massage can be used pre-performance, post-performance, during training or for rehabilitation. Runners of all levels can benefit from sports massage. If you are looking for a way to improve your performance, then a sports massage is essential and highly beneficial.

What is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body that focuses on muscles relevant to a particular sport.

Here are 6 reasons you should have a Sports Massage

1. Decrease your chance of injury or pain

Many different movements and techniques are used in sports massage. Examples of these techniques include; Swedish style massage, effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), compression, friction, tapotement (rhythmic striking), vibration, gliding, stretching, percussion and trigger points. These movements and techniques are used to try to help the body achieve maximum performance and physical conditioning with a decreased chance of injury or pain and a quicker recovery.

2. Reduces and alleviates tight and painful muscles

The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissues, as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.

3. Reduce lactic acid build up

Deep massage enables fluids and nutrients to pass through the muscles. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourages your muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients, which aid recovery.

4. Can you touch your toes? 


Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched by the usual methods. The bundles of muscle fibres (fasciculi) are stretched sideways as well as longitudinally. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build-up within.

5. Reducing running pain (not completely!) 

Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways, including releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

6. Relaxing both muscles and the rest of the body

Muscles relax through the heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors in the muscle, senses: touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth. When they are stimulated there is a reflex relaxation of the muscles.

 

Some of the benefits are to the mind (psychological) and some are to the body (physiological). Possible side effects of sports massage are tenderness or stiffness for 1 to 2 days after the sports massage.

Sports massage can be useful for aiding recovery after a running event such as a marathon, immediately after, or a day or two after. The best results are obtained when the massage is performed regularly i.e. weekly. Be careful though not to have a deep massage the day before a big running race. This might make you tired and lethargic or if the massage was firm you may have soreness that could hinder performance.

748 Miles Completed… 1,264 mils to go (4 month left!!)

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Who has been your Olympic inspiration so far?

18 Aug

 

Well the Olympics have been and gone… but certainly not forgotten. In less than two weeks we have the Paralympics to look forward to which I have no doubt are going to be just as incredible.

There is still a huge buzz from the past two weeks, and I have already heard so many stories about how the games have inspired people to get out there and take part in sport, but will it last? I really hope so. For me, the Olympics demonstrated how ordinary people like you and me can achieve their dream with just a bit of dedication, determination and a goal.

My idol from the olympics so far has got to be Jessica Ennis and Charlotte Dujardin.

Above Inset: Jessica crossing the finish line.

Above inset: Charlotte and equally talented team mate Valegro

Two completely different sports, I know, but two sports I am personally very passionate about. I practice both sports and know how hard both sports are. At the level those two are at though, the hours of training and intensity involved must be unbelievable. Both athletes won gold. I am in complete admiration for both (and all of the other athletes too!) But for me, these two have given me a real focus and I know can help me achieve my own personal goals in both running and riding.

Its not easy to stay motivated though and there are times when our goals just seem so far away or almost impossible. If you stay focused and keep that goal in mind you CAN DO IT.

Here are some tips to make sure you stay focused:

1. Write down your goals. Put them up where you will see them everyday. I write my goals and stick them on our fridge at home. (I spend a lot of time in the fridge!) If you are having a bad day they can help keep you focused and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing them off once you have achieved them and planning the next one.

2. Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself goals that you aren’t going to achieve, start small and think big. If you just run for 10 minutes then it is 10 minutes you might otherwise have spent on the sofa. I often find by 10 minutes, Im warmed up and I carry on anyway.

3. Sign up for that race today. Sign up to a race, whatever the distance, its a race and its a goal. Then tell ‘everyone’ you know about it, that way you will have to do it or you you will just look silly!

4. Imagine yourself at the Olympics! So your running along and you feel like stopping, you’ve had a long day at work and you just want to turn back, go home and put your feet up. Instead, why don’t you push yourself. Imagine yourself on the Olympic track in front of the worlds media, your country are cheering you on, ‘Come On!’ you can feel the crowd moving you along… Just a bit of imagination can get you over that finish line and it could be a PB.

5. Keep a diary of your achievements. Use map my run or a programme that can track all of your runs. That way you can see your progress over time. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing just how far you have run. If you are having a bad day… just look at how far you have come. You know you can do it.

6. Remember how lucky you are. After my riding accident last year when I was unable to run for a while it has made me realise just how lucky I am to still be able to do what I love. I never take running for granted.

7. Put your kit on. Once you put your running gear on, theres no turning back. Can you imagine how guilty you would feel if you had to take it all off and hadn’t bothered going out for a run? … So theres no excuse. Get your trainers on a get out there!

Have you got any tips you can share that keep you motivated?

Miles so far 683. 1,329 to go


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I’m Broken

5 Apr

It’s been a while! …I have been running, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. I ran for sport relief and have done some long runs most weekends but I have been suffering since I upped my mileage this year. I have ignored the pain but it has become worse. My friends have been telling me to go and see a professional but i have just shrugged it off with the theory, the pains not killing me.

It was actually my horse, (Looby Lou) who I had the fall on last year, who prompted me to go and seek a professional to help with the pain. I have increased my riding a lot this year, and have really taken a positive step forward with Looby since I have been much stronger from my fall. However she has been showing signs of pain and discomfort in her one side. I therefore immediately called out my equine Chiropractor. Looby has since been much happier and forward going. So perhaps it was time I sorted myself out too.

I have seen so many Physio’s and chiro’s and any other therapist that could have helped, but thought I’d ask around for a reccomendation. My very close running pal recommend the Chiro that i went to see and she was fanatastic. She demonstrated passion for what she was doing, expertise and she managed to give me a real confidence that she could really help me. She said I should’t just accept my pain as the norm.

Our bodies are so important to us, and I have completely neglected mine. My legs take me so far everyday, and I am feeling so guilty for not looking after it properly and seeking a professional before now. Luckily no irreparable damage has been done, but lesson has been learnt.

So appointment was just a few days ago, and i am currently feeling like I have been hit by a lorry. I was told to rest for a few days which has not been easy in the slightest. I admistteldy went to a spinning class this mroning, which was fantastic and a great work out but painful, very very painful. I just feel sore.

The chiro has also alluded me to my core, which she did say was very strong. I am so shocked at how dissapointing working the core actually is! No fireworks there.

Looking forward to next weeks appitment and being on the mend and getting some real mielage in and starting to achieve my run for 2012 challenge. I am so behind.

I have entered a Half Marathon in June and been deliberating one for April (we are already in April!!) targets to work towards anyway.

285,77 miles run to date (very behind my target… a lot of miles to make up)

1,726 miles left to run.