Throughout history, running has been regarded as a lifesaving activity. Whether humans ran to escape the clutches of a ferocious predator or in more modern times to catch the bus, we need to be able to run and run well! Luckily for the majority of us, today, we run to improve our health and fitness.
Now that winter is well and truly behind us we welcome the warmer and longer days that comes with the spring season. Many of us will take up running recreationally, either in an event, a running group or on our own.
For almost the same amount of time we have been able to run, humans have been giving each other the gift of healing through the power of touch. As far back to 2500 BC Chinese writings describe massage as a form of treatment for a variety of medical purposes. More recently, studies have been conducted to highlight the benefit of a regular massage program for recreational runners. One study, conducted in Canada in 2011 by Dawson et al. showed that a regular massage can help the runner achieve their running goal.
All the participants of the study were novice runners and undertook a ten (10) week running preparation clinic. There were twenty-eight (28) participants in the study; 12 in the “no massage” group and 16 who received a weekly thirty (30) minute massage.
The results of the study showed that 100% of the “massage” group completed the 10 kilometre race while only 58.3% of the “no massage” group completed the course. This does not mean in all incidences that massage will get you to the desired goal, but it definitely shows that it can help!