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Summer Sports Survival Guide: Train, Compete, Recover, Repeat

Summer Sports Survival Guide: Train, Compete, Recover, Repeat

As you pound the pavement for hundreds of miles during your marathon training
program, repeatedly swing a golf club throughout the summer tournament season or
perfect your backhand on the tennis courts, it’s important to incorporate
recovery time into your sports training program to remain strong mentally and
physically.

Whether you are a casual weekend athlete or an intense
competitor, you tax and push your mind and body to extreme levels as you attempt
to accomplish your goal of finishing your first race, increasing your
performance or breaking a personal record. Get into the zone of relief by
setting aside time to relax, recuperate and re-energize your tired, sore muscles
throughout your training and competition season.

Release Tension
and Stress from Intense, Repetitive Training

Day-to-day training
builds your body’s strength and conditioning levels to help you successfully
accomplish your competition goals. Repetitive training, though, also builds up
tension in your muscles and stresses your tendons and joints, which can lead to
injury and decreased performance levels.

“While you are training, your
body is building up waste and lactic acid,” said Daryl Latimer, certified sports massage
therapist at Elements Greenville. “Flushing out the waste with massage sets
an athlete up to reduce muscle soreness and keeps them going longer and stronger
during training and competition.”

To manage muscle stress and tension,
Latimer advises athletes to incorporate regular massage therapy into their
training schedule, as well as use it as a pre-event tool on race day. Latimer
saw the positive effects of pre-event sports massage firsthand when he
participated in a sports massage program at Clemson University. He worked with a range of athletes, from
rowers to track and field participants, by helping them prepare their bodies for
intense activity with a specific massage routine 15-45 minutes prior to their
event.

“The goal of pre-event massage is to increase circulation,
flexibility and blood supply,” Latimer said. “You aren’t doing any deep work or
twisting of muscles because you don’t want to alter anything that will throw off
their timing. Pre-event massage allows athletes to reach peak performance sooner
and to maintain performance longer.”

Unleash the Power of Mental
Drive and Focus

In addition to preparing their bodies, athletes also
need to focus on maintaining strong mental health throughout their training and
competition. Massage is an excellent tool to help athletes achieve peace of mind
and manage the mental stress of competing. Massage is all about bringing the
mind, body and spirit to work together on the same playing field, allowing for
the achievement of total body wellness.

“An athlete’s psyche is the most
important thing,” Latimer said. “If the mind is healthy, the body is in better
shape as well. Massage increases memory and it helps get you into a relaxation
state. You feel confident and you can focus sharper, which is key for
athletes.”

Get Into the Relief Zone with Post-Event
Massage

After athletes expend all of their energy and exhaust their
bodies during a sports competition, it’s important to move into recovery mode.
This is the time for mind and body recuperation and healing to begin. A
post-event massage can help decrease recuperation time and facilitate a quicker
recovery period as the use of slower, longer compression and kneading strokes
flush out any waste and acid buildup that has accumulated in the athlete’s
muscles during the event.

“Once athletes get a taste of massage, they
keep coming back because they can recover quicker and they feel great mentally
and physically,” Latimer said. “Massage gives athletes longevity because without
maintenance, your body is going to eventually break down. That is a fact of
life.”

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