Over the last couple of years I have had a nagging left hamstring and after hard training sessions or races it always aches the following day. It also bothers me every now and again when I run and seems to affect my left hip as well; not enough to make me stop but just an annoyance. Like a typical bloke I have never bothered getting anyone to look at it, and have said after I got each of the last two Parish Walks out of the way, that I would get it looked at. I never got round to it and just hoped it would eventually go away!
Some of the guys I train with swear by a regular weekly massage and I kept thinking I might as well give it a try, but again never get round to it. I have had a few massages, mainly at the end of the Parish Walk or End to End, but had never really appreciated the benefits. A couple of weeks ago I saw an offer on one of the local deal websites, offering a reduced rate sports massage at Performance Sports Therapy, so decided to take the plunge and went along for the appointment on Monday evening.
I remembered Kirry, who runs Sports Performance Therapy, from the Parish Walk a couple of years ago as she was doing massages at the finish. She also remembered me as the guy who about 15 minutes into the massage realised he had forgotten to stop his Garmin watch when crossing the line. Anyway, after a brief consultation I mentioned my dodgy hamstring as an an area I would like to Kirry to look at. After getting to work on left leg she couldn't find any problems at all with the hamstring but said my IT band was quite tight. Moving down to my left calf she found a massive knot in the deep muscle and proceeded to pummel it. I like to think I have reasonably high pain threshold, but getting rid of that knot was quite painful at times as I tried to conceal my pathetic screams!
My calf then had most of the focus, but on working back up to the top of the leg my IT Band had loosened considerably as a result. Kirry advised the cause of my hamstring issues was very likely due to the issues with my calf. No such deep knots on my right leg, but after the massage was finished both calves felt like they had been through the mill and Kirry advised me to ice them both when I got home and I duly obeyed. Waking up Tuesday morning the calves were still a little tender, but my hamstring felt completely different - no tightness and a lot more flexibility.
Tonight, I was at circuit training at the NSC, usually a trigger for the hamstring to give me a little grief, but it didn't bother me in the slightest, so I am definitely going to book in some more massage sessions prior to the Parish Walk. Sorry if I disappointed anyone with the misleading blog title!
Tomorrow, it is the Manx Harriers 5km Walk on the Access Road and an ideal speed session. So if you haven't got anything on get yourself down to the Manx Harriers Clubhouse for registration from 6.30pm, for a 7pm start.