chill out with an ice bath
posted: May 31, 2010
In the running world, there’s nothing better and yet more daunting than voluntarily stepping waist deep into a tub of freezing cold water. Ice baths may sound mind-numbingly crazy, yet most runners find themselves craving the relief that comes after withstanding 10-minutes of this torture.
Create your own ice bath. Brrr!
Ice baths are great for general recovery. They help relieve those nagging, little injuries before they turn into big problems. The ice-cold water causes your blood vessels to constrict and this helps to reduce inflammation. Once you get out of the tub your legs will develop this fantastic melting feeling as the blood flow returns to normal and you’re well on your way to recovery!
Ice baths are easy to make! Simply fill your tub with cold water and add as many ice cubes as you can find. To stock up on ice cubes simply empty your ice cube trays into a freezer bag and refill the trays, repeat until the bag is full. If you’re low on trays (and high on freezer space) you can buy ice bags from the grocery store. Using the cold tubs at your gym or physiotherapy centre is another great option if it’s available.
All of these methods get the job done with minimal mess and maximal recovery but my favorite ice bath option is to finish the run by standing in the ocean! This ice bath offers complete convenience and breathtaking scenery.
Choose recovery and make an ice bath of your own. Try to make the temperature between 10-15 °C and stay in the tub for ten minutes. That’s all there is to it!
tips for withstanding the torment:
- sip warm tea or hot chocolate while sitting in the tub
- wrap a towel around your neck
- read a novel
Post-run recovery is arguably as important as training itself. Putting the same effort into what you do after the run will help you feel great during the next workout. Let us know if you discover any other distraction techniques for surviving your ice bath.
This post was written by Rebecca, an educator at lululemon Robson. She’s a track and field athlete specializing in the 800 metres. Her background is in Kinesiology and broadcast journalism.