What does a Typical Day of an Event Sports Massage Therapist look like?
Posted on 1st August 2022 at 12:21
If you’re one of our newsletter subscribers, you’ll already know that we’re often out and about providing post-race sports massages across Coventry and Warwickshire. For those of you learning about Fire & Earth for the first time, you’re may not of been aware that we did event sports massage.
No matter how long you’ve known us, we thought it’d be interesting to share what one of our days providing event support typically looks like.
Event sports massage therapy usually involves an early start!
The day starts with us waking up at early o’clock, having a quick breakfast, checking the weather forecast app, and double-checking by looking out of the window (as you do). We like to know what the conditions are going to be like for the event as it’ll affect how the runners’ bodies feel after the race.
We load the cars with all our gear. When we get to the event, we’ll meet up with the rest of the team – say hello – and then make sure we get everything set up and ready. At some events, we’ll also have some of our training students with us so they can get some additional practical learning.
If we’re set up nice and early we go and have an explore. We love watching the event build up as people start arriving… smiley faces, nervous faces, excited faces! The atmosphere is always brilliant: really friendly with a real buzz about the place. Runners can come from all over the UK but there’s always good local support.
The weirdest thing for us is watching the race start and not being in it!
Time to spring into action
It doesn’t seem long until people start finishing the race. This is our cue to get busy with the post-race massages. It starts relatively steady but, as the main bulk of runners return, the massaging started to get more frequent with no breaks in-between. Luckily, we like being busy!
Massages are about 10 minutes long and we mostly concentrate on legs, but we’ll also see a couple of tricky backs or knees that need some attention. When it’s hot weather, we’ll see more runners who are struggling with cramp if they haven’t managed to fully hydrate.
One of our favourite things about massaging at events is hearing all the stories about the reasons why people were running, the charities they were raising money for, the PBs, the setbacks, everything!
We’ll finish up about 4/5 pm. Tired but satisfied, and happy to have helped so many people on the day. We pack up and head home where we’ll have to unpack the cars and get the washing machine on. There are always A LOT of towels to wash!
Why have a massage immediately post-event?
Fast recovery is the primary purpose of a post-event massage. Massage immediately after an event can make a real difference in how stiff your legs become later and prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). We’re trying to flush through fresh blood to help the muscles recover while breaking down the lactic acid to speed recovery. It assists in a pain-free recovery and gets you back to training with minimal soreness, inflammation, or stiffness.
At the event, therapists use a lighter pressure than usual and the massages tend to be short - 10 minutes or so - as we want to avoid aggravating any muscle damage sustained during the race. Post-event massage can also identify injuries that may have occurred during the event so you can treat them promptly.
It’s best to wait at least 48 hours after your race before having a full deep tissue sports massage. This gives any soreness time to ease and injuries to settle so they can be assessed properly by your therapist.
One final thing – a big shout-out to everyone else involved in the events we attend. Whether you run, organise, marshal or support, you’re all awesome!
Feeling inspired to become a sports massage therapist yourself? Have a look at our Level 3 Diploma course and get your training started!
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