Great North Run 2014 – Post Event Massage

Massage Therapist Rachel Chapman has participated in the Great North Run – without running!

Following both the Great North Run and the Slate Stinger cycle event in the Lake District, I had the opportunity to provide post event massage to support the Meningitis Now charity. As the runners returned to the charity village many, of the charities they were supporting offered free sports massage from therapists giving their time.

For me, it was a very busy day with over 100 people running for Meningitis Now.  Many opted to have a massage, mainly to help reduce muscle soreness over the next couple of days. Although busy I thoroughly enjoyed the day because of the amazing atmosphere the event generates.

Many sports people have a massage both pre and/or post event whether it is a long race like a marathon, a half marathon or triathlon, or after team sports like rugby or football. This could be: as part of their:

  • As part of routine maintenance.
  • As a part of warm up.
  • To alleviate pre-competition anxiety.
  • To aid recovery between bouts of activity.
  • To minimise the effects of fatigue and or muscle soreness.

Following activity massage is usually linked to the prevention of muscle soreness and associated loss of function. If people are unaccustomed to prolonged exercise, such as running a marathon if they are not a frequent runner, they often find that they suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is normally first felt 12-24 hours post event peaking at about 48 hours, but complete resolution may take a week to 10 days.

Massage has been found to help alleviate the symptoms of DOMS as it is thought to increase blood and lymph flow, decrease oedema and reduce pain. It has been found that if massage is administered 2 hours post event there is a significant reduction in muscle soreness between the 24 to 48 hour period which continues until resolution of symptoms.

Current literature has found that even a 10 minute sports massage, consisting of effleurage and petrissage strokes, is necessary to have a significant effect.

Rachel Chapman

Massage Therapist


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