Saturday, March 04, 2006

The 5th Discipline of the Triathlon

The first three disciplines of the triathlon and pretty well know. For those who need a refresher they are swim, bike, and run. The fourth discipline of the triathlon is nutrition. Nutrition is so huge and its something I stress to everyone who is new to triathlons or endurance events in general. Now the next discipline may not actually be #5 on the list, but it’s up there and it actually applies to all endurance events. This very important discipline is simply surviving the deep tissue massage. For those of you who have never had a deep tissue massage we are not talking about your cutesy, nice and relaxing, day at the spa, ideally by hottie of opposite sex, almost fall asleep massage. No this massage is dig in deep, push, poke, force, scrape your muscles to the bone, leave you sore the next day, release all the toxins that have build up over time battle. Sounds pleasant right? :) Well it is and it isn’t. Personally I’m a proponent of incorporating these massages into your training. As endurance athletes we demand a lot and the body takes a pretty big hit. Now cross training, pilates, and yoga (Nic is like the yoga zen master) are great for reversing some of the damage that we inflict, but I don’t believe they can do for your muscles what a deep tissue massage can do. Now again this is just my opinion, which might not be worth much, but if you are dealing with a lot of muscle soreness and stiffness I might suggest you give deep tissue a tri. (sorry couldn’t resist) A good masseuse/masseur can release a lot of the crap that builds up in the muscles from repeated intense training. All that it can be painful at times (I’ve come close to screaming a couple of times) I think repeated visits can have big benefits as you go through your training and racing seasons.

Now I bring this up because Friday I went back to have my first deep tissue massage since I started training and it was brutal. The first time back is always the worse, but I promise that it gets better. I was actually pretty sore last night and a bit today, which wasn’t surprising but not exactly fun. The true sign that it was a good massage is that you might actually be light headed or feel a bit nauseas afterwards. This is just an indication of all the toxins that were worked out of your muscles and that your body will flush out with drinking lot of water afterwards. I suppose after reading this you will never ever consider this option, but I really do think there are benefits to suffering for an hour or less. So the question is does anyone else get regular massages and have similar opinions or am I just the only one nuts enough to continually put myself through them?


Blogger Nic said...

I used to cry during my deep tissue massages, man do they work. Reduced my recovery time from my last (legitimate) marathon from over a week to only a few days. I need to get more of them, though, that's for sure. Maybe it will help my hip...

I love my new title, btw - may the zen be with you!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

My RMT has to keep telling me to breath through these massages, they are deep and they hurt. I tend to walk out of my sessions soaking wet from sweating so much. They are great though and I really need them, I now go every 2 weeks no matter what!!

4:17 AM  
Blogger Keryn said...

I love those massages. I am always left sore, but feeling better afterwards. The best part is that my husband can tell the difference and actually encourages me to go! :)

9:15 AM  
Blogger a.maria said...

omg i have a definite love/hate relationship with deep tissue.

thanks for the post though, reminds me i REALLY need to set up an appt. here soon!

oooh its gunna hurt so good...

11:03 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

never had one, but reading about it peaks my interest. i just might have to subject myself to it and see how i like it.

7:24 PM  

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