Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Report from the sports masseuse's table

So, this post is mostly to help me remember the key points of today's sports massage and to remember the long-term value of the expense.

First: the issue. Tenderness in my right hip tends to crop up during the later part of half marathon training cycles, then fades away once I cut back on running.

It's been happening for a few half marathons now, but this time it's much earlier in the training cycle. And I've got a masseuse whose prices are totally reasonable, so I figured maybe it was time to get this issue figured out.

What Jake ended up targeting most was my TFL, which goes across the hip and hooks up to the IT band.

My understanding is, when that's tight, it makes a lot of other things tight — the IT band, the outside of the quad, parts of the glutes, the knee. Its tightness could also be coming from tightness in the lower back, all of which combines to pull the right hip up instead of keeping it level with the left.

I walked out feeing much more supple in my lower body; Jake said to wait a day or two to run, which I was planning on doing anyways based on my personal sked.

Here's what I learned and need to apply at home: Roll my hip over a lacrosse ball. Keep foam rolling the IT band and quads.

Stretch all tight muscles by flexing the opposing muscle (oh how I hope I can remember this if I get one of my every-few-years in-the-middle-of-a-sleep-cycle charley horse).

Do the series of stretches that we ended with, during which my flexibility was praised (OK, that's not helpful to anyone else reading this, but I got to work in some self-promotion, which is nice).

And so back to the comment about remembering the long-term value of the expense. I don't mean that as, I'm broke and/or massages are absurdly expensive.

What I mean is that I should think of them as preventive care rather than treats/rewards — more like the equivalent of spending more money on healthier options (compared with cheap, processed foods) than the equivalent of splurging on dinner out instead of eating at home.

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