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Sports Massage Pre and Post Event


When to get a sports massage? Timing of Sports Massage

Since there are a couple of big events coming up soon, the Rosarito- Ensenada Ride & Ensenada marathon, as well as regional Xfit events, I want to start with timing issues.

Professional sports massage works with the muscle and fascia to help boost performance, prevent injury, and ease discomfort.  There are specific times when sports massage athletes should consider: 1)during training, 2) pre-event, and 3) post-event.  

1) During training:
I recommend every 2 weeks for most competing athletes, every 3-4 weeks for those how just love to train and compete for fun, and every week for the elites who vie for top place.  

The effects of massage are cumulative.  Each therapy sessions builds on previous therapy and achieves more results in your body and mind.  So, if you wait too long (more than a month) between massages, they will not have a progressive effect on one another. One massage is still amazing and useful, but you should not expect it to cure all your aches pains, especially if it is an old pain.

2) Pre Event:
I recommend that athletes get a massage 2-3 days before their competition (and one or two easy workouts before). This will put your muscle and fascia tissue in the best condition for performance and reduce the likelihood of injury when you push yourself to the limit (muscle failure) in competition.  

The massage will lengthen your muscle fibers and give them an easy workout to prepare for maximum performance (maximum contraction of muscle fibers).  Any tissue that did not have maximum circulation will have time to recover with fresh blood and oxygen before the competition.

3) Post Event:
I recommend massage at the event or within 2 days after.  Massage has been shown to reduce DOMS [delayed onset muscle soreness by 30%], so it can definitely help with you recover faster. A short massage at the event when you are still warm, and a full deep tissue massage one to two days after.  This will reduce muscle soreness and recovery time, as well as aid the healing process for any muscles injured during the competition. 

Pre and Post both would be best, but if you must choose, pre-event massage is more important for performance and injury prevention.  There are many ways to recover from soreness, but sports massage is unique in it’s ability to help prepare muscle fibers before an event for performance and injury prevention.  Having said that, in my experience, post event massage reduces soreness a bit more than pre.   

When you come, please drink plenty of water before and after In order to get the most out of your massage. Myofascial release and deep tissue sports massage will release waste products into your bloodstream (blood and lymph). To avoid headaches, you will want to  drinking more water the day before and after your deep tissue sports massage.  This is why I give you a couple glasses when I am done with therapy!

Athletes demand a LOT of their bodies. Make sure you give back.

Jesse Atkinson, Lead Therapist and owner at Ensenada Massage

646 128 5160


Integrated Sports Massage Therapy. Oddsson & Jevelus. Churchill-Livingston, 2011. 

M Hall, One Step Beyond Coaching, 2006.