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Big Camps and 2 Weeks on the Road.

June 15, 2012

A lot is happening for FSM right now!  Just finished up a 3 week camp with the Danish Olympic Swim Team.  We have been working with this team for a number of years, and it was great to see some familiar faces, as well as some new ones!  This is certainly a team to watch for London 2012!  With current world record holders, and many top ranked swimmers in the world, we helped them pull through the intense 2-3 a day workouts!

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Now, I am on the road for 2 weeks with Ride the Rockies and Bicycle tour of Colorado!  While this may seem like a vacation to some readers, I assure you it is anything but!  Long work days, cooking and sleeping in the van, drive 3 hours, and repeat!  Two days off in the middle is nice.  Today I am headed out for a hike on Lumpy Ridge.


Highlights from the Epic Whiskey Massage Crew

May 12, 2012

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Soft Tissue Issues with Solutions

January 22, 2012

I was delighted this past week to have two of my great athlete clients come into the office with nothing but good to say about their long events. They had both started coming in to Stay Tuned Therapeutics in Flagstaff last spring, one was having mysterious knee pain, and the other with deep calf pain.  One is an ultra runner, one an ultra runner/XC long distance cyclist.  During training discomfort moves around, as is to be expected with the mileage, however, both have no report of the initial discomfort they felt, which at the time the discomfort was nearly debilitating.

Both of these athletes took ownership of their training and recovery.  By using massage with a therapist and specific soft tissue release at home: foam roller, stretch, tennis ball etc., they beat this thing!  Good job fellas!

FSM Double Header

December 28, 2011

Flagstaff Sports Massage crew will be some busy folks the weekend of January 7-8, 2012.  Traveling to the Phoenix area once again to fill the tables with athletes.  FSM will participate in the 12 Hours in the Papago mountain bike endurance race on Jan. 7th and XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run on Jan. 8th.

We will be at Papago Park in Tempe for set up at 4:30 am on Saturday.  National Anthem at 6:55 and the race starts at 7am.  We will be providing massage all day to solo riders and duo’s, teams of 2, and quads, teams of 4.   Award ceremonies at 7:30pm.  The massage therapy crew will then break down camp, sleep and get ready for day 2!

FSM will then set up camp at White Tanks Regional Park for the XTERRA Trail Run at 6am on Sunday the 8th of January.  This race is a 20k trail run and a 7k trail run.


Way too Hip!

We do see some carnage at these races.  For many, it’s no big deal to do events like this.  At times, we see people under trained or overtrained, most often though, participants are ready to roll and run!  A weekend like this is sort of an ultra event for the massage therapist, doing hours and hours of bodywork, doing our best to stay fed and hydrated.  Participants can expect their therapist to be ready to stretch, stimulate and flush the body.  During an event such as Papago it’s often a fine line between recovery work and tissue preparation for the leg to come.  Racers don’t fall flat from our massage tables, if there is any more race time to come, we use “special” muscle spindle stimulation techniques to invigorate the body.  And it works.  After going through a general flush and lengthening of the muscles, our therapist prepares you for more with quick paced techniques specific to your movement patterns.

We look forward to seeing you out there!

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Massage

December 19, 2011

FSM Massage

We at Flagstaff Sports Massage are stoked to be the sole provider of massage therapy at 24 Hrs in the Old Pueblo 2012! This years massage therapy tent will come complete with heated tables, and heated air! For the late nights, possibly cold, rainy days, we will keep you warm as a complimentary add on to your massage and flexibility session!  KinesioTaping, stretch therapy, flush work, and condition specific therapy, all the goods will be available! Rates for this event will be rolled back to the old school rates of 1993, $1 per minute! Have as many minutes as you see fit! Give a call at 928-699-1999 to pre-book your sessions, one less thing to worry about when you get there, walk-ins will be taken as well.


December 19, 2011

Flagstaff Sports Massage will be present at each of this years four XTERRA Trail Races. Licensed massage therapists from around the state are coming together to provide post event massage for you after the races! Sessions will be provided in 15 minute segments and you can have as many as you want. Rate per 15-minute session will be $20. These therapists are hand selected for their knowledge in sports massage, injury prevention, common injuries, and professionalism. Be sure to catch them after the race.

Triathlon Training: Benefits Of Massage

October 11, 2011

Written by: Cliff English

Are you an athlete who cringes at the thought of making massages a part of your regular training habits? Coach Cliff English explains why seeking massages before your muscles seize should be an integral part of your training plan.

I definitely cannot say massage therapy is a foreign recovery modality concept to most triathletes, and even the most stalwart holdouts can be seen on occasion receiving a post-race massage or two. It seems massage is still viewed as a luxury and an indulgence and is used very infrequently. Most will still wait until every muscle has seized up and muscles and tendons are about as tight as the weave of carbon on your carbon-fiber bike.

Sure, if you wait until that point, you will garner some brief relief from your ailments. However, for an athlete at any level, the real benefits arise from frequent massage therapy and from working with a massage therapist that understands sports massage and your body. I believe that if you are serious about your sport and performance, it is essential to integrate massage therapy into your training program. To help convince those that are still unsure, I have enlisted the help of certified massage therapist Briana Averill to strengthen my points. Averill is a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist in Tucson, Ariz. She works with runners, cyclists, triathletes and swimmers ranging from the weekend warrior to Olympic medalists.

Massage therapy has numerous benefits for athletes. Massage can speed up recovery after a large day of training, a race or a big block of training. According to Averill, “Massage increases blood flow to the muscles to help speed healing by flushing out the metabolic waste.” Averill says it can also give the athlete a chance to reconnect his mind and body and decompress. In a similar manner, “active recovery” can be utilized in the weeks that you do not have a massage scheduled, and it is also a very effective means of flushing metabolic waste.This would usually entail a light 30-minute swim or a 60-minute bike ride at a lower-end aerobic effort (zone 1).

Averill says that regular massage can help manage and prevent injury by bringing awareness to areas of the body that are not functioning or responding as efficiently as possible. “The therapist, if he understands the nature of the various injuries or dysfunctions can treat the athlete accordingly if it is within his scope of practice to do so,” she says.

The ideal frequency for massage therapy is twice a week for an elite athlete, once a week minimum. For a recreational athlete, it would be once a week to once a month based on need.

In coaching, one of the key components to success is a strong athlete/coach relationship built upon trust and effective communication. Similarly, it is key to establish a relationship with your massage therapist so he not only gets to know your body but also is able to work out with you what type and depth the massage should be for what you need in that microcycle (week) or training cycle. Massage should be periodized, and when you integrate it into your yearly plan, it will really reap huge benefits.

“Every person is different and what is highly effective for one person may not be for another,” says Averill. “But in general, for big load weeks, getting a good, deep flush once or twice a month is great, but not so deep that fatigue is increased in the muscles.” Averill cautions that your therapist should be in tune with your body and should have the experience to know how much is beneficial. Recovery weeks are a good time for more specific work. Then, in a competition week, it is all about what works for you as an individual just as with a taper.

“Some of my clients have responded well with deep, specific work early in the week before a race,” says Averill, “while others just prefer a nice, easy flush mid-week to a few days before.”

Ideally, I like to have my athletes get a massage the day before either a day off or the day before a light “active recovery” day. This is a good example of how to effectively use massage as a key component in a microcycle. A deep massage the day before a key track session or bike interval session will leave the athlete feeling sluggish for that session, and for most it would end up being a tough day of training.

When possible, schedule your pre-race massage early in the race week and then definitely get a post-race massage either right after the race (highly recommended) or the day after with your regular therapist. Throw in an ice bath lasting three to five minutes somewhere shortly after the race, and you will get the type of recovery that most pros use. This combo will have you recovered and ready to start another block of training in no time!

For daily preventive maintenance, it is also recommended to do a little self-massage with a foam roller, a TP massage ball, quad ball, roller stick or pretty much any self-massage torture apparatus you can get you hands on.

The rollers are effective to roll out the quads, IT bands and calves while the smaller balls are perfect for getting into glutes, adductors and soleus muscles. Remember that while a healthy dose of pain is always part of a triathlete’s daily regimen, too much may not always be a good thing.

Staying on top of your recovery with frequent massage is a great way to keep your body fine-tuned and running like the world-class machine that it is!

Coach Cliff English has over 15 years of experience coaching athletes ranging from age-groupers to Olympians, first-timers to Ironman champions. For more on coach Cliff’s coaching services and 2009 training camps, visit