Many of you may be starting your training for a fall marathon this month if you haven’t already. As the mileage increases, you may notice aches and pains that didn’t once exist. While training for my first marathon last summer, I never saw a massage therapist and I should have. I tried to work out tight calf muscles and hips with a foam roller and yoga. It wasn’t enough. My 18 and 20 milers were uncomfortable. I finished with a positive experience but it could have been a lot less painful.
The week before my second marathon in April, I finally went to not one but two sports massage therapists. The first worked exclusivey on my right leg for 30 minutes and solved 80% of my problems. They said they could feel bunch of scar tissue that had built up from a previous injury and was causing the tightness and pain. I do not remember getting any injury! To break something down like that, you need to go to a massage therapist regularly. I don’t really like the idea of spending $120+ every month on what I’d call a luxury so this presents a dilemma many athletes encounter – how much are you willing or have to pay to be injury free or are you willing to put up with the pain?
After Boston and Chicago, I enjoyed the free massage post race. I can’t imagine how sore I would have been without them! I couldn’t sit for days. Two days later I had a real sports massage for an hour that cured my soreness within 48 hours.
I was invited to check out Massage Envy which is a spa that offers affordable massages. I am always reluctant to visit places like this. I automatically assume if it sounds too go to be true, it probably is. A 1-hour massage is $49.99 for your first time, $74.99 for 90 minutes. To give you a comparison, most 60 minute massages in Boston run $120 and up.
If you join the monthly membership at the Back Bay location in Boston, you get an hour massage or facial every month for just $59.99. It’s a ridiculous deal in the world of Boston massages – with the exception of the $30 deal from the South End massage school which I tried and was really underwhelmed. I was impressed to see that the facials use Murad products. I chose however to go with a one hour deep tissue massage with Heather to hopefully reduce my soreness for my European vacation.
When I arrived, the staff were very friendly and didn’t care that I took their picture! I took a seat and was promptly taken into the back on time. I was surprised at how many rooms there were. Afterwards they were also kind and didn’t try to sell me any extra products or memberships although I wish they had because I loved my massage.
Heather did a fantastic job. Her pressure was on point and just what I needed after running the marathon. The room was calming and table comfortable. I really had no complaints. At this point, I had had 3 other massages near by in Back Bay. Heather’s was one of my favorites, and I’m not saying that because it was the only one that was complementary. She listened to my concerns and worked on the areas that I requested longer than other parts. She dug deep when necessary but didn’t try to torture me. I left wanting to buy a membership but was off to Europe for the next 10 days so decided to wait until I got back.
Deep tissue massage is so helpful for athletes to break down scar tissue that occurs naturally when we push our bodies to get stronger and faster to maintain flexibility, reduce stress and inflammation and chances of injury.
Now that I am going to start training for a half marathon later this month, I am totally planning to sign up myself and yes I will be paying. I would highly recommend having regular massages if you are training for a marathon. Massage Envy makes it a little more affordable. I do know that the popular therapists book up so make sure to make your appointment a couple weeks in advance.
Win an Hour Long Massage of Facial at Massage Envy
I am giving away a one hour massage or facial to one of you guys for just leaving a comment so let me know below what you do to stay injury free while training! Massage Envy has locations all over the US so check to find one near you. This giveaway is restricted to Massachusetts residents only but can be used at any location closest to you.
Jennifer Flood says
To stay injury free I work on stretching and foam rolling, but I would love to try a massage too!
JHIll Design says
We are all about the deep tissue massage over here for tight hamstrings and IT bands, never been to Massage Envy but would love to try!
A mix of bar method and running is key for me!
OMG! This sounds great! To stay injury free I always stretch and wear proper equipment! It’s important o just be careful in general!
I foam roll as much as possible after running, and do yoga!
Stretching before and after long runs is key for me.
taking the time to stretch before and after is key for me to prevent injury!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment says
Doing mobility work on a regular basis has been a huge help for me!
I’m currently training for a half in September! To stay injury free I foam roll, stretch and use muscle soaks in a bath religiously. I also rub Blue Emu into my legs then massage it deeper with a handheld massager! I’ll definitely have to try a massage!!
I spend a lot of quality time on the foam roller! A massage would be better though… 🙂
i try to make sure yoga is a regular part of my workout routine to stay injury-free!
I have to see a chiropractor!
I do a lot of cross training and some strength training to keep me injury free. I’ve never had a massage but I would love to try one.
lots and lots and lots of foam rolling even though I haaaaate it!
To stay injury-free, I’ve been trying to see a sports chiro for Graston and ART regularly; plus, I’ve been doing a slightly abbreviated version of the Myrtl routine after most runs (aiming for daily -- not quite there yet). My favorite massage therapist is going back to school, so I’m on the hunt for someone new!
Kori T. says
Stretching and foam rolling!
Yoga and consistent strength training.
Heather @ Run Eat Play says
I make sure to stretch, foam roll, and listen to my body!
I always make sure to stretch and add in pilates and barre workouts!
Yoga, foam rolling and ice are my go-tos, and definitely making sure to include adequate rest days!
I try to stretch everyday & use the foam roller a few times per week. I’ve never had a sports massage & would love to try one!!
Ice was my best friend during my recent prep for my first competition. I was luckily injury free but after foam rolling ice just made my muscles feel like brand new! Wish I had had a massage though 🙂
Amanda F says
I am currently working on muscle imbalances and flexibility hopefully to help with my running. Also I get terrible trigger points in my back between my shoulder blades (thank you desk job) and getting regular massages would definitely help with this!
I try to eat well, foam roll, and get enough sleep! But massages are gods gift to mankind!
Congrats Cara, you won. Sending you an email now 🙂
Danielle Kempe says
I’ve heard great things about Massage Envy & would love to try them out. I’ve actually never had a massage.
I stay injury free by listening to my body & not feeling guilty if I skip a workout -- if I’m exhausted my body needs the sleep more!
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
When you work in fitness, massages should be part of your monthly routine. Yet, I’m guilty of not getting them often enough. I foam roll a few times a week and do yoga, but of course, I could always use more tender-loving-care on my tight muscles. I’d love to win!
Julie O'Neil says
My foam roller, lacrosse ball and the stick are my lifesavers but I also see a sports chiro every month or two to correct any imbalances and muscle tension that builds up. A massage envy opened near the Garden recently that I’ve been wanting to try!
I have to foam roll my legs, especially when I’m doing lots of running 🙂
I use foam rolling and stretching, though I should do a lot more of it 🙂 Funny you wrote this because I have an appointment tonight at the Massage School! Fingers crossed it is a good one.
I just bought a travel sized foam roller for a knot in my thigh that’s been killing me. It’s definitely helping but a massage would be amazing!
Lisa @ Lisa Living Well says
Stretching and yoga work well for me!
Emily B says
To stay injury free I do yoga and try to do an active recovery the day after long runs!
Laura Campbell says
To stay injury free I like to do at least 2 yoga classes a week, preferably one hot to loosen the muscles and one restorative to relax my brain and my muscles. Id love to get more massages, but alas college doesn’t always let that be possible so foam rolling and tennis balls are my go to.
To stay injury free I foam roll after runs and stretch out my hips. I also try to have a consistent yoga practice. I’ve done a few deep tissue massages when marathon training -- but like you think they are so expensive! Massage Envy sounds like a great deal and I will have to try them out!
foam rolling! especially for my IT band
I stay consistent with my yoga practice and try to use my foam roller as much as possible. Great giveaway!!
Foam rolling is key for me to avoid knee pains!
I had a bike accident last July and am JUST finally getting closer to “normal”. I’ve had to learn to really listen to my body, learn what exercises work best with my current abilities, and, of course, practice yoga and foam roll!
Stretching,foam rolling,proper diet,right equipment and strength training!But you are right a massage could avoid future injuries I will try it!Unfortunately I cannot enter the Giveaway because I am from Greece!
Foam rollers are great but there is nothing like a massage! It’s amazing how many knots build up and you don’t even know they are there.
Yoga and lots of foam rolling are key for me to avoid injury!
I start my training for the MCM this week! Would love to add a massage to the training plan too : )
Foam roll and strength training are high on my list. However the biggest thing I do for injury prevention is know my limits and adjust my training plan accordingly.
I definitely space out the days I’m training so I don’t train on back to back days
Anna S., says
I try to stretch and foam roll to stay injury free but I should do both more often!
That sounds amazing!! To prevent injury I make sure I am stretching and that I am taking days off when needed, not overdoing it.
I rely on stretching after a long workout but would LOVE to try a massage. I’ve never had one!
I make sure to use the foam roller and to take rest days.
I would LOVE to win a massage. I’ve been meaning to get one for ages now.
I just found your blog and am loving it! I am training for my first marathon and I try to stretch and do yoga as much as possible to stay injury free. I hope it works! 🙂
I have been stretching and foam rolling, but really could use a massage!
Kim K. says
stretching, foam rolling, ART and massage!
Amanda Sakovitz says
Stretching and massages are key for me!
Thomas Murphy says
I stretch and get lots of rest.
i try to stretch after every run and sometimes lie on my back with my legs against the wall (especially after long runs!)