Every summer, cyclists from across the globe make a trek to Iowa for the famous Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa -- better known as RAGBRAI. The trip across Iowa means preparing your body for hundreds of miles ridden within one week. Thousands of people successfully complete the ride each year, but you have to be prepared. Massage can be a great tool to help you get your body in proper shape -- or to recover from the ride afterwards.
While every cyclist is different, everyone can benefit from adding massage as part of their race training schedule. We’ve pulled together a suggested massage schedule for RAGBRAI.
One Week Until Race Day: Deep Tissue Massage
About one week -- but at least 4 days -- before the start of the race, schedule a deep tissue massage. This will loosen up any tighteness you may have gained from training. In bikers, the IT band, quads, hamstrings, and lower back tend to be the problem areas.
A deep tissue massage will release lactic acid buildup and set your muscles up to repair properly before the strain of RAGBRAI hits. Allow yourself at least four days to recover from a deep tissue massage before hitting the Iowa roads.
One Day to Race Day: Swedish or Relaxation Massage
The day before -- or it could be two or three -- schedule a Swedish or relaxation based massage. You’ll have had time to recover from the deep tissue, but can still benefit from the relaxation massage. This massage will cause less stress on your muscles than deep tissue -- but will still help you loosen up for the big race.
A gentle massage will help you flush out toxins and lactic acid from the muscles -- thus helping prevent injury during RAGBRAI and ease discomfort of riding high mile days.
During RAGBRAI: Chair or Spot Massage
Massage is not only helpful before and after a race, but even during! RAGBRAI lasts a whole week with camps each night. At the RAGBRAI camp, there are massage therapists offering services to riders. Take advantage!
Many of the therapists will have chair massages and some will offer table or spot work at the camp. If you’re body is sore from being in the saddle all day, a nice relaxing massage could be just what you need. IT could also prevent any overuse injuries or uncessary strain.
After RAGBRAI: Deep Tissue or Sports Massage
Now that you’ve completed RAGBRAI and dipped your wheel into the Mississippi River, celebrate! And then schedule an appointment with your massage therapist. A nice deep tissue or sports massage will help you recover from the long ride quicker and with less pain. Expect to feel sore for about two days after a deep tissue -- many say it feels like a hard weight lifting workout -- but then you’ll feel lighter than air.
If you’ve suffered an injury during RAGBRAI, massage will help you heal quicker. Discuss with your LMT your injury or pain issue, and they can develop a plan for treatment. Most of all -- be proud you tackled RAGBRAI!
If you would like a specific massage plan for your RAGBRAI training, please contact me today!