Do you use essential oils to help your sports performance - running or cycling?
Having just completed the Dublin Rock n Roll half marathon I thought I would share how I used aromatherapy oils before, during and after the run to help my performance and recovery.
I took on the challenge of doing a half marathon having never run before and never entered a race before! I trained a bit but nowhere near enough and I have to say I was a little panicked when the race day was approaching. I think I ran maybe 5 miles the week before the race and that was will difficulty! So I turned to my trusted aromatherapy oils for help and boy did the do their job well!
During my training (what little I did). I used my own unique blend of essential oils for 'over exercised muscles oil'. I have had great success with this oil blend for other runners and cyclists. The oil can be applied before, during and after the race (after a shower). The combination of cajuet, thyme, lavender and rosemary are excellent for circulation, muscles and joints, reduces aches and pain, inflammation and fluid retention. Sports people have said it reduces the pain during and after their training or race. I applied this oil to my legs the night before (with a deep tissue massage) and on the morning of the run.
Testimonial from a client who received an aromatherapy deep tissue massage with the 'over exercised muscles oil', he applied the oil to his legs before and after the cycle too:
"I survived my 220 mile cycle at weekend, with no sore back. Thanks very much for deep tissue massage last week."
For the actual race you can use an amazing blend of basil and bergamot, 'runners competition oil'. This blend strengthens the muscular system and keeps the rhythm of the body flowing so that peak performance becomes easier. This oil also effects athletes psyche so inhale the aroma deeply to give you an added boost. You can apply this mixture over your whole body before the event. I applied it over my chest and arms so I could breath in the aroma while using the 'over exercised muscles oil' on my legs as I knew I would suffer pain with these after the run!
That's me just over the finish line of the Dublin Rock n Roll Half Marathon - I really couldn't have done it without the help of the essential oils!
After the run, I showered and applied the 'over exercised oil' over my legs again and for the next fews days too. I did have pain over the first couple of days after the run (as I expected) but it wasn't as bad as I feared. The oil reduces the muscle pain and I was able to go about my day to day business without much pain. The iced bath the evening of the run also would have helped reduce the pain in my legs too.
The day after the run I had an aromatherapy epsom salt bath. I had hot water (as hot as I could stand without burning myself), a few cups of epsom salts and added a blend of black-pepper, ginger and eucalyptus essential oils to the bath. These are all fantastic oils to help you recover from any sports injury or pain and the aroma was just so warming and uplifting. I felt a million times better after this bath!!
So that's it, I survived and completed my very first 5k, 10k and half marathon (13.1 mile) runs in the one day in 2.5 hours with the help of essential oils - bring on the next race ;).
The encyclopedia of essential oils, Julia Lawless
The complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood
Always consult the advice of a qualified aromatherapist when using essential oils.
If you'd like any more information about the oil blends mentioned in this article, please feel free to contact me The oils are available to purchase from me at Airmid Therapies (made to order).