Latest Scientific Study
As part of a Masters Degree I have recently completed I completed a study into the effects of sports massage on endurance (5Km) running performance.
The summary is offered below
14 male athletes from a variety of local running clubs took part in the study and were selected because they had previously run a 5-km race in 20 minutes or faster.
Each person was given a massage, placebo ultrasound or sitting for 15 minutes, in a random manner, before completing a warm up of up to 10 minutes and a 5-km time trial on the treadmill. Your individual times are enclosed.
Measurements were taken for anxiety and confidence before each run, and heart rate and perceived exertion were noted at every km during each run.
The results showed that 13 out 14 athletes (93%) ran their fastest time after massage. Average massage times were 39.5 seconds (3.19%) faster after massage compared with placebo ultrasound, and 37.38 seconds (2.02%) faster after massage compared to sitting.
Average heart rate and rate of perceived exertion did not alter significantly across the study, which shows everyone gave their full effort to the time trials. It was important for the integrity of the study that everyone gave their full effort, so I am grateful to you for this.
Finally, anxiety and confidence were not altered by the different treatments. There are some studies that show anxiety is lowered and confidence is increased buy massage. I think the reason it wasn’t changed in this study was the lack of a genuine competitive situation.
This is the first study to look at the effect of massage on an endurance event and has moved the research into sports massage forward considerably. The opportunity is now available for more studies into massage on endurance events such as cycling or swimming.
Which was kind og where I was heading TH ... I wouldnt have a clue what warm up to do for a 5k, short runs usually hurt in my experience
Ian M wrote (see)
Is it possible you could give some more details such as time between trials, and what proportion of athletes received what treatment at what trial?
The study was a randomised crossover study. Each athlete received each of the three conditions in a randomised order. 13 out of 14 athletes ran their fastest time after massage.
Trials took place at the same time of day (+ or - 1 hour) to avoid the event of circadian rhythms.
The study used similar methods to those of previous studies, therefore treadmill was used, 5km was used and self paced warm up was used.
Each athlete was permitted to do their own choice of warm up to more closely replicate the type of warm up they would personally carry out. The control here was that each athlete did the same warm up.
Repeated measures ANOVA as used to compare times after each of the three interventions.
UKA and the IAAF consider any event over 1500m to be endurance. Athletes were chosen for their ability to complete 5k in 20 minutes or less (this had to be proved by the athlete).
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