Massage Mondays

Massage for your muscles will help you to run fast and  help you make the most out of your sprint training.

If you like to run fast and you have never had a massage perhaps reading this blog will help you change your mind on how it will benefit your sprinting.

In the sprint world I became a part of in the mid 1990’s, a 10 to 15 minute massage was performed multiple times in a training week. Multiple short massages was one reason I had the ability to perform routine high quality speed work week after week with few injuries over my entire sprinting career. 

Massage for sprinting was not about luxury or about relaxing to music while a therapist performs a massage.  Massage for sprinting was about performance to run fast. 

Massage for sprinting is about performing a little bit of muscle work at a time, before, during and or after a training session. The hamstrings are perhaps the most critical area of the body for a sprinter. The hamstrings need to work efficiently and without error for a sprinter to routinely perform high quality runs. An athlete must sprint well once before that quality of sprinting can be replicated. Much can be gained if the hamstrings are properly prepared from appropriate massage. Much can also be lost if a sprint training programs does not include a variety of regenerative therapies performed routinely. 

Key Guidelines of massage for sprinting
  • before competition use light, slapping type of massage
  • don't go deep into the muscles within 48 to 72 hours of competition unless the competition is insignificant 
  • deep massage lowers one of muscle to far for what's needed for competition 
  • use of inappropriate type of massage performed by an unskilled person can 
  • undo the training effect you have accomplished during final preparation for key competitions.
see more about these guidelines page 64 The Charlie Francis Training System

Massage is important because it will speed up recovery time and improve flexibility. These attributes can benefit athletes and non athletes.  It's an exciting idea to know that small fragments of time will be gained in a race by hundredths and thousandths of seconds when appropriate massage is performed for sprinters. 

 The malleability or tonus of the muscles determines what sort of leg speed you can put out and this of course is a key determinant of performance The Charlie Francis Training System
To watch a practical session of how Coach Charlie Francis applied massage for sprinting checkout South Africa Series Practical Session 5: Massage Demo 




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