Massages are no longer fun.
And they haven’t been for awhile. I get massages regularly while training — every 5 or 6 weeks. I wish I could go more frequently but it is too expensive. The thing is, I tell people I had a massage and thoughts of nice peaceful relaxation come to mind. That’s not how it is. She works hard on muscles that are tight and contracted and sometimes sore from training and it usually doesn’t feel very good.
At my most recent massage, she worked on deep core muscles that are all of a sudden getting a lot more work because I’ve really increased my biking and swimming game. When she started on my core, it was awesome because it made me feel like my abs were quite large (duh, the muscle group takes up quite a bit of real estate). But then she started digging in deep and it was much less pleasant.
I’ve been seeing the same massage therapist for a year and a half now and I’m pretty sure she knows my body better than I do. When I’m tight somewhere new, she comments on it. She knows right where to go when I tell her I’ve been doing x and think I’m a little more sore from it.
I consider massage an important part of my training because I can see and feel the benefits. I sleep better at night, I feel more rested and able at my next several workouts, and there are lots of other benefits that are harder to feel. Oh yeah, and this week after my massage I went out for a four mile run and it was the fastest I’ve run in months!
Getting regular (or even irregular) massages is quite expensive, but I’ve decided it’s worth it. I don’t know that I could do all that I do without it. Half marathons seem okay, but the mileage required for marathons and all the workouts required for triathlon really necessitate massage for me. Luckily, until now, I’ve been able to budget to make it happen. Hopefully that can continue for a long time!
Here are a few articles about benefits of massage: