How can everyday cyclists use massage to their benefit?
Each person is very individual with their massage needs. What is constant for most people is that you would want to avoid having a deep tissue massage within the coming days before a big race until your body is adapted to this. Joe Blow cyclist would not want to have a deep tissue massage if the goal is to feel good the next day. A deep tissue massage will feel like you’ve just lifted weights or gone for a massive ride in the following days after if you are not used to it. Expect about 2 days to recover. After you’ve recovered you’ll start feeling the benefits. Calves and the buttocks (the piriformis muscle – where Andy used his damn elbow and makes me scream) are most sensitive places for cyclists after massage. They are used in so many everyday movements so the soarness is amplified. If you insist on getting a massage the day before a race, make sure it is a light massage just to make those muscles supple.
Many of us cannot afford nor justify a massage whenever we feel like it, so when is the best time for a massage for us regular cyclists? The best time for a massage is the day after a block of hard riding. This falls on a Monday for most of us. This is after a hard weekend of riding and sets us up for the rest of our riding/training week. Again, expect to feel leggy until Wednesday or even Thursday, but by the time the weekend comes around (when most races and events are) you’ll be floating.
You’ll still reap the benefits of massage if you go once every two weeks. This will still allow the body to keep it’s adaptation to the deep tissue massage and will help enormously in your body’s recovery process.