Sports massage, evidence for benefits?

A while ago on the podcast (I can’t remember which episode) a user asked if there was any benefit to getting sports massage and the answer from Coach Chad was basically no, there is no evidence to support getting a massage makes you faster and I haven’t had a sports massage since. Fast forward to a few episodes ago and the guys are talking about how they had a massage therapists at a race with them, does this mean that there is a benefit to them now? Has new research been done that changed their approach?

My logic behind massages, if it makes me feel better, it allows me to workout better. Sometimes i have blockers, whether it be neck pain… i had this weird “behind the knee” pain. It wasn’t an injury but it was built up tension.
Saw an rmt, had a painful massage, but most of those problems have not come back since.
This means i have less worries while on the bike and can focus better on the effort.

Less tension, means you can move better, more efficiently…if you don’t have any tension in your body then maybe you just don’t need massages for that purpose. Some other people use it for relaxation/meditation.
Ultimately, not feeling like crap, wellness, fascia release… might all help with your marginal gains.

And it’s my opinion, i’m no scientist (or massage therapist for that matter)


I’ll get one every few months and it does help remove tightness and knots in various places up and down the kinetic chain.

It’s not a pleasurable massage for sure. It’s like being slightly tortured. But it helps with being able to keep running and riding for sure.


I can only afford one a few times a year and it’s generally not relaxing. I file sports massage under the same thing as stretching and yoga - any direct benefit to getting faster, no but if it makes you feel better, you go better. Massage definitely helps me feel better but I’ve learned the hard way many times over, treat a true sports massage like a workout, and take a recovery day afterwards.

Sports massage is beneficial but so expensive. I wish I could afford to spoil myself like this more often.

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I doubt sports massage doesn’t make you faster and more robust. I think any massage allows me to work out better. Even more so if it’s sports massage. And tbh, I’ve noticed many positive effects after sessions. I felt decreased muscle spasms and tension. Even if it’s not a pleasurable massage, it improves my mood and sleep. I always go with pleasure at and let the specialist there “torture” me. I wish I could afford to spoil myself like this more often. It’s worth the investment as long as it keeps me in good shape.

The pros have done it for years - especially in multi day stage races. I think it helps with recovery so it may help you train with more intensity more often. That said I had them when I ran a lot - not now I cycle as I get less niggles on the bike. As mentioned it’s pricey these days for regular appointments. Does feel nice and benefits mental relaxation as well - which is useful these days!