Needing a massage on TITANIUM90: Day 6 — Road to MILO MARATHON 2013

I feel sore. My legs are sore and my muscles are sore. My golly, my entire body is sore from the five days of training! Is this even possible and can such a dream be fully realized in between meeting deadlines, meeting clients and preparing for presentations? Add to the mix social obligations that needs to be met and the answer looks like there’s hardly any time left to do the things that we really want to do.


But that’s not entirely true. The truth is that if we really want to make something happen, we give it our best shot. We make time for it. We make adjustments. And in my case, I think that I would have to make some adjustments with my training program. For instance, I think that I would have to incorporate regular massage sessions as well to recovery more quickly. 

That’s not me but I do so miss going to the spa and get a massage!

One of the many reasons why I managed to train hard for my second BDM160 was that I got a weekly deep tissue sports massage from Coach Saturnino Salazar. He is a running coach and a former Philippine athlete. He was part of the national athletic team and is best known as an ultrawalker and marathoner. He has joined numerous international events and I’ve known him through other ultramarathoners who have approache him and trained under him to better their speed and endurance at race events.


As a training coach, I’ve seen him how he motivates his students towards excellence. I personally got to know him as someone who knows deep tissue sports massage. We were friends on Facebook for close to two years, interacting with running posts and chatting online before we finally managed to clear our schedules and meet for the first time. I really had no intention of getting a sports massage from Coach Salazar at that time. It was the month of November 2011 and I was going to do the Davao 100 Centurion Ultramarathon organized by FrontRunner Magazine. We met at Figaro at EDSA Shangrila Mall while he had three hours to spare in between training runs at the ULTRA Oval in Pasig. I had something for his students and then I inquired a few things about a persistent pain on my left ankle.


It just so happens that he also brought with him is massage tools and so he asked me to take off my shoes and he took a look at my feet and pressed it here and there and gave it a very strong and hard rub. That first moment that he pressed his fingers on my feet felt like a bolt of lightning climbing all the way up to my brain and tips of my fingers that I could not help but scream in pain! The pain I felt brought about by the deep penetrating and probing hands of Coach Salazar proved too much for me. And yet after about 15 minutes of going through my left foot, he looked at my right foot too.


Since I was never a believer in getting a running coach before meeting up with him and him probing my legs and feet, I began thinking that perhaps I should seriously consider getting him as my personal running coach in order to improve my performance with my runs. I’ve been running regularly and leisurely for about 17 years at that time and though I’ve accomplished several marathons and ultramarathons, I still dreamed of improving my speed and endurance. That first meeting with him also showed me my areas of weakness and the areas where I was prone to get injured. I learned a lot from our first meeting. 


Coach Salazar developed a training program for me and so I stuck with it preparing for the BDM160. There were times that I missed meeting up with him but I do make it a point to at least see him once a month since it is difficult for my work schedule to go all the way to ULTRA and then head straight for the office just to be able to attend to everything and make my training possible.


And now that I am training for the MILO MARATHON 2013, I need his help again. I’m following a new program that he has outlined for me and he coaches me on areas to improve on my speed, recovery and even with how I approach my nutritional needs for training. The question you might be wondering now is – what’s the difference of a deep tissue sports massage from other forms of massage available out there?


This is a photo of a Thai massage session


One, deep tissue  sports massages HURT. It hurts like HELL. It feels more like you are experiencing a masochistic session and if you are the type of person who is into what they call S&M sessions then it is something you might actually enjoy. Most athletes do not enjoy deep tissue sports massages because of the pain involved but they’ve learned to live with it.


Two, it hurts like HELL because iyou will get to know your body a little better . For instance, many runners into running have read that when you experience having Ilotibial Band Syndrome [ITBS] it could mean almost anything. There’s the issue of overstriding your legs when running and instead of running with shorter strides in a marathon, you end up running like a sprinter with legs wide apart from each step. It could also be that you didn’t get enough stretching either. Or it could be because of muscle imbalance. In short, sometimes identifying the areas of soreness of our bodies will not be the end all be all but in fact would open the doors in understanding what areas we still need to improve on, what areas needs more rest and whatever else that could be connected to that particular muscle soreness.


Three, deep tissue sports massages is for those who want to recover much faster. When your muscles are stiff from a hard training run or you’ve finished your first marathon, chances are your muscles will stiffen for the next few days. Running may prove to be painful and difficult. Study after study has been shown that world class Olympic athletes gets daily massages and these sessions help them recover faster. This is especially truer for athletes who are considered past their prime and are in the 35-40 years old age bracket. So you think it’s no longer possible to run fast in your mid 30s? Think again. Carlos Lopez of Portugal won the 1984 Olympics and he was close to 40 years old [some articles say he was 38 and others say he was 39 at that time but you get the picture].


Fourth, deep tissue sports massage is an opportunity to bond with your running coach [given that your coach is trained to do it]. I always noticed something when I get a massage that I cannot explain. Somehow the spirit of the person and his temperament rubs off me and is transferred to me during the entire massage session. This is true regardless if I get a Swedish massage at a spa near the house or if I get one at the barber or get one at the bench of ULTRA Oval when I meet up with Coach Saturnino Salazar. In fact, this shouldn’t really surprise me since even in the New Testament, Jesus Christ felt his power leave him when a bleeding woman merely touched the edge of his cloak and was healed by just believing and touching Jesus’ garments. So if you’re planning to get Coach Salazar, then get ready to become an energizer bunny as his zeal and positive attitude is indeed contagious. Man, all this writing about getting a massage really makes me want to get one right now!




But for those interested in getting in touch with Coach Salazar, he has a Facebook Page called UP AND RUNNING WITH COACH SALAZAR. Look it up and you can send him a personal message there. He holds his training at the ULTRA Oval in Pasig City [this is about two kilometers away from SM Megamall] and he is almost there on a daily basis. You can also ask him to add you up as his friend and he might just add you too! But if you want to arrange a session and have one deep tissue sports massage, drop by the ULTRA OVAL and text him that you are coming. Speaking of text messages, leave me your email address here as a comment if you are interested or PM me or DM me on Facebook or Twitter!






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