Crossing the finish line after a 26.2 mile or 42.195 kilometer run is definitely a reason to celebrate, but it also means that you need to look after those muscles and joints that you just worked to the max. The best way to do this is to get a massage, specifically, a sports massage.
Why is it the best type of massage?
Each type of massage has its own benefits, but a sports massage (which is a form of Swedish massage) has advantages that help runners in particular. It has been found to improve the range of motion in certain joints (think hips and knees), as well as reduces the amount of soreness you feel after going that type of distance because it increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to your muscles. This also helps prevent and/or heal any injuries you may have sustained to your tendons or muscles during the course of the race.
When should you get it?
Some athletes use sports massages during their training sessions by getting them on a weekly or biweekly basis but, at a minimum, you should give your post marathon body a rubdown within 48 hours after the race is complete. Some of the major marathons offer 15 minute massages at the conclusion of the race, so be sure to take advantage of those; however, you’re also going to want to have a full body massage already scheduled within the next couple of days to help your body relax and heal after the grueling workout you just put it through.
Always be safe
Be sure to let your massage therapist know if there are any areas that are bothersome to you (such as a sore knee) so they know whether to direct additional attention to the problem area or, based on the situation, avoid it entirely. Your safety is the number one priority, and that starts with communicating with the person who wants to help you heal.