Now before I start reminiscing of the 90′s and start singing along to Vanilla Ice, I really want to talk about recovering from your long runs.
Footballers do it, elite athletes do it, including marathoners Paula Radcliffe and Meb Keflezighi…. so what’s that I hear you ask.
It’s the ice bath. The theory behind it is that by exposing yourself to this extreme cold it helps stop small tears in your muscle fibres and the general muscle soreness resulting from intense or repetitive exercise. By fully submerging your legs in ice it means that a larger area is treated as opposed to an ice pack.
With the shock of ice felt in your body, it helps to constrict blood vessels, flush waste products, reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Then when the tissue warms, it increases blood flow speeding circulation resulting in quickening up the healing process. Total awesomeness that’s what I say, anything to aid long run recovery. So there are a couple of options :- A bath full of ice, the ocean/sea, a stream and even a wheelie bin (rubbish bin full of ice).
The camera never lies hey….. my face says it all, it was freezing cold although I did feel that it did work. It numbed my legs so much, ridding them of any muscle pain.
I’m building up the minutes, as I’ve heard some football players swear by at least 7 minutes in the ice bath after every training session for an injury free football season.
Do you take ice baths, or do you recover from your long runs another way? If you haven’t done it yet, I encourage you to take an ice bath or a dip in the ocean after your next long run, and tell me how you found it in the comments below.