|Title of the paper:||Effects of massage and cold-water immersion after an exhaustive running session on running economy and biomechanical parameters: A randomized controlled trial|
|Authors:||Iratxe Duńabeitia, Javier Gil, Haritz Arrieta, Ana Rodriguez-Larrad, Susana M Gil, Jon Irazusta and Iraia Bidaurrazaga-Letona|
|Institution:||Faculty of Medicine and Nursing|
|Department:||Department of Physiology|
Despite the growing body of literature regarding the effects of different recovery interventions on fatigue1, it remains unclear how efficiently these interventions affect running economy (RE) and biomechanical parameters in runners. Thus, this study aimed to compare the effects of massage and cold water immersion (CWI) for enhancing recovery and alleviating fatigue after an exhaustive running session.
We performed a randomized controlled trial to analyze the effects of massage and CWI on RE and biomechanical parameters in well-trained male runners (n=48) following a standardized exhaustive running session. Each participant attended the laboratory on two occasions. The first session was performed to obtain baseline measurements 24-h after the exhaustive running session and included anthropometrical measurements and a treadmill speed test to determine RE and biomechanical variables, such as stride length, height, angle, frequency and ground contact and swing time. One hour after this test, subjects either received massage treatment (40-min), CWI treatment (10-min, 10°±0.5°C) or rested passively in a sitting position for 30-min. Twenty-four hours after the recovery intervention runners repeated the treadmill speed test.
At 14 km•h-1 massage group significantly decreased RE (p<0.05). In addition, this decrease was significantly greater than the observed in the passive rest group (p<0.05, µ2=0.17).
At 16 km•h-1, greater swing times, stride heights, and angles (p<0.05) were observed in the massage group after the intervention. Moreover, stride height and angle increases were significantly greater than those observed in the CWI and passive rest groups (p<0.05, µ2=0.16-0.20 and 0.13-0.16, respectively).
No differences were observed between CWI and passive rest groups.
The results of this study suggest that massage seems to be a more effective recovery modality for RE and biomechanical parameters following an exhaustive running session compared to passive rest and CWI. Choosing the best post-exercise recovery technique becomes difficult for athletes as very few studies compare the impact of the different recovery interventions; therefore, our results may have important performance implications for recovery optimization in runners.
1-Barnett, A. Using recovery modalities between training sessions in elite athletes. Sports Med 36(9): 781–796, 2006.