How Massage Therapy Can Prevent Injuries and Aid Recovery for Cyclists
With the Tour de France reaching the last stages many of you will be inspired to do some cycling. For those who don’t know, the Tour de France is an annual multiple stage bike race, which is primarily held in France. This year will be the 104th edition of the Tour de France (Wow, I know, it’s amazing), and it runs from 1st July to 23rd July.
Before you put on your helmet and jump on your bike, I want you to know that bike riding can cause pain and discomfort to your body. But fear not, there is a way to help you avoid or ease cycling pain and cycling injuries. So, what can help? The answer is simple: You can have a massage. And this is what I’m going to talk to you about today.
Before we look into the benefits of a massage for cyclists, I want to explain why cyclists would need a massage. Cycling is a demanding activity that requires a lot from your body (especially if you’re competing in a bike race). Now this prolonged stress can damage your muscle tissues and cause leg soreness and cramping, and your upper body suffers due to being in an unnatural position for a long time. Now, with time, you can recover, but a cyclist (especially a professional one) won’t have the time to allow their body to recover on its own, and that’s where a massage can help: It can, for almost any cyclist, quicken your recovery time.
So, what are the benefits of massage for cyclists?
Well massage can help you in the following ways:
Improves your focus on the race ahead
Prevents injury by preparing your muscles and joints – this benefit is only for those who have a pre-race massage.
Reduces muscle pain and fatigue
Increases your flexibility
Reduces stress and pain
Delays onset muscle soreness prevention
Regenerates and restores tired and aching limbs
Shortens recovery time after a bike race
Reduces and manages your cycling injuries
Improves the function and quality of movement, especially the upper body
Increases your blood circulation and flow
Relaxes your mind – relaxing the muscles can aid this which can help re-energize you after a big bike race.
The timing of your massage is important, especially when you are preparing for a big race. As you can see from the benefits above, a cyclist can benefit from having treatment before and after an event. But when should you have these massages?
Before a bike race: It is advised that you never try a massage for the first time before a big event – it can be dangerous and you might be left feeling too sore to complete the race. Instead, it is suggested that you should try a massage a few days before the bike race and that it should be kept light.
After a bike race: Now, this is something that depends on the individual cyclist. A professional and well-trained cyclist can have a massage on the same day after a race – this is because muscles continue to tighten if left untreated overnight. However, if you are not a professional cyclist, then you should wait a little longer. It is suggested that you wait at least 48 hours before having a massage.
So now you know when to get a massage, let’s see what type would suit cyclists.
So, what type of massage is best for a cyclist? Well, you have two options:
A runner and cyclist leg massage: This treatment works to regenerate and restore your tired and aching legs by flushing out the lactic acid from your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. This results in your muscles softening and an improvement in the function and quality of your movement patterns.
A sports massage: This adaptable treatment has been developed to improve sports performance and to treat and rehabilitate injuries. It can take time for blood circulating through the muscles to remove the waste that accumulates after hard training, supply the ingredients needed to repair any damaged fibres, and to replenish the nutritional level. However, this can be speeded up with the aid of massage because it can encourage more blood to be pumped through the muscles.
Cycling in Bristol
As I’m sure you’re all aware, it’s bike race season, and that means there will be plenty of opportunities for you keen cyclists to take your bike for a ride. If you live in or near Bristol like moi, then you’ll be interested in these two upcoming races in Bristol:
HSBC UK City Ride Bristol:This is a five kilometre (three miles) non-competitive bike ride at Castle Park in Bristol. It will take place on Sunday 20th August 2017. All types of cyclists are welcome; you must register your free place. And your friends and family can also cheer you on while enjoying the free entertainment.
Bristol Grand Prix Cycle Road Race: This has been an annual bike race since 2015, and it is the UK’s fastest growing and most exciting city centre bike race (Yay, Bristol!). The race takes place on Saturday 19th August 2017.
As you can see, massage therapy can quicken recovery for cyclists, and it can help prevent cycling injuries and cycling pain. So if the Tour de France has motivated you to wipe the dust off your bike and take part in one of the many bike races, then good for you. I promise you won’t regret this decision, especially if afterwards you book in for a massage (wink, wink).
If you do take part in a bike race and live in or near Bristol, then don’t forget that I’m doing a Race Bib special deal, so do check it out.