Ice Baths for Recovery?

I came across a blog post tonight asking for opinions on ice baths for recovery from a long run.

In my experience they do seem to work. I don’t remember what it was that first got me to try an ice bath after a long run but I have been using them for recovery from long runs , over 20 km, for at least a year now.

I took ice baths after my last two marathons and seemed to recover faster than I did after my first marathon when I did not take an ice bath for recovery. In fact, after my last marathon in October I was back to running less than a week after the marathon.

If you have not tried one after a long run you may be wondering how an ice bath helps recovery from a long bath. Basically it is thought that ice baths help by reducing swelling and tissue breakdown, helping flush waste products out of affected tissues and finally decreasing metabolic activity and physiological processes. If you want to be read more about the theory behind ice baths have a look at this article.

What do you think? Do you take ice baths after long runs in order to speed recovery?

3 thoughts on “Ice Baths for Recovery?”

  1. Ice baths while uncomfortable during that initial shock do wonders for me. I didn’t do them for years and then broke down one day and just tried it. For me it takes the edge of the ouchiness you get after long runs. Anything over 12 miles, I will usually do an ice bath. I wrote a similar article several month back on it if interested and I included the steps I take. (sorry didn’t mean to hijack the comment – just delete the link if it is not helpful to you)

    http://www.themarathonrunner.com/taking-ice-baths-after-long-runs-and-marathons-aids-in-recovery/

    Thanks! I am enjoying your blog,

    Steve

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