With marathon season on its way a lot of people will find themselves nearly one quarter of the way into their training plans in preparation for the London marathon.

Now is usually when first timers and experienced runners start to develop tension in certain muscles and niggles in different areas of the body.

The use of soft tissue therapy by a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner can help with the maintenance and alleviation of these issues.

A skilled soft tissue practitioner can help to minimise injury risk and maximise training session quality by:

  1. Improving Sleep: Sleep is the key to recovery and human life. If we don’t sleep well, the body is unable to repair, store and prepare us for the next day. Massage can assist the quality of sleep by allowing the nervous system to calm down and relax.
  2. Improved recovery between training sessions: Massage supports your training schedule by allowing you to complete a greater percentage of training at a higher standard. Soft tissue therapy can reduce unneeded tension and niggles and pick up any possible signs of injury before they develop into something more serious.
  3. Improved blood flow and circulation: Massage can help with blood flow and circulation, helping the body clear out toxins and harmful materials from muscles, fascia and tendons.
  4. Recommended massage sessions and timing: To maximise the benefits of all your hard work and training, make an appointment every 2-3 weeks, usually on a rest day, in the initial phases of your training plan. Increase to 1 massage every 1-2 weeks when the volume and intensity of training will be at its highest.

In the taper period, massage should be increased to one each week. Volume of training has decreased but intensity will still be high. This time allows the body to repair, overcompensate and prepare itself for the big day. Soft tissue sessions during this time will focus on any specific niggles and ensuring that an optimum movement and comfort is available in the joints. It is also a great time for somebody to ask their therapist any concerns to help with the inevitable “taper brain” that turns up in this period due to down time.

Soft tissue therapy - A physio holding a patients arm

5. Post Marathon: Congratulations and well done! Now that you have made it through your marathon, attention can turn to restoring the body to its pre-marathon state.
I personally recommend runners wait 2-3 days post marathon for any soft tissue work. Wait until you can push into your own muscle tissue without severe discomfort before any deep intense work.

Feel free to contact James at james@complete-physio.co.uk, one of our specialist soft tissue therapists, to organise your treatment or discuss how he can help you reach your goals.

James is available at our Bury Street (next to Gherkin) clinic on:
Tuesdays: 11-2000
Thursdays: 0800-1200
Fridays: 0800-1100 and 1300-1800

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a physiotherapist to see if we can help please feel free to contact us at info@complete-physio.co.uk