Tips for runners

Autumn is a great time to be a runner in Tulsa. The leaves are changing, the weather has finally cooled down enough to allow for safe, comfortable outdoor workouts, and it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the more than 113 miles of trails that wind through some of the region’s most picturesque areas, from the mostly flat, 26-mile River Parks trail system — ideal for marathoners looking to build a base – to Turkey Mountain’s 45 miles of rugged terrain, which provide opportunities for trail runners and ultramarathoners to prepare for the challenges of their next big race.

Throw in a plethora of specialty runners’ shops offering group runs and training programs at little to no cost; 5K races nearly every weekend; and two popular distance events — the 9.3-mile Tulsa Run and the 26.2-mile Route 66 Marathon (or its little sister, the 13.1-mile Route 66 half-marathon) – and there’s not much excuse to sit around on the couch.

Whether your goal race is a casual one-mile fun run or a 100-mile ultramarathon, Spa Maxx’s massage therapist, Jerri, has a few suggestions to help you stay in top condition:

1. Make regular massages part of your training program. “I recommend massage as often as people’ pocketbook and time allow,” Jerri says. “Massage is not just a luxury. It’s great for the flexibility of your muscles, blood circulation, your lymphatic system, in addition to stress relief, working out knots and trigger points that arise due to stress or repetitive movements.”

2. Schedule massages and workouts wisely. Pre-event massages can help pump you up for a race, and post-event massages can help speed recovery afterward, but these services should be short — no more than 10 minutes – so you don’t overwork your muscles, Jerri says. ”If you get a full-body massage, to your muscles, that’s like you’ve worked out for an hour,” she says — so don’t plan on going straight from a 20-mile training run to a long massage at the spa. ”If somebody just ran, you can go get a massage, but it needs to be a 10-minute massage to slow everything down,” she advises.

3. If you pull a muscle, DON’T STRETCH IT. Pulled muscles are already overstretched, so additional stretching will only exacerbate the injury. When athletes come to her with pulled muscles, Jerri applies counterpressure to help put the muscle back into its proper position. “We’re trying to restore your muscle to … the way it’s supposed to be,” she says. “We need to try to remind that muscle where it’s supposed to be.”

To schedule a massage or to learn more about how massage can enhance your training, call Jerri at (918) 744-5500 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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