Ice baths

ice bathWhen I got home from yesterdays ride, I walked across the street and got two bags of ice. I've done a couple of ice baths before and can really recommend them for recovery. Put just enough water to cover your legs, dump two bags of ice in the bath, put a t-shirt on, get a hot drink and sit in the bath for 10-15 minutes. Dry off and then about 30-mins later take a decent shower to clean-up, avoid the feeling to immediately get in the shower afterwards though as it negates much of the benefit of the ice bath.

My legs feel great today despite the fact I was having slight cramps yesterday on the ride, and after the bath. Ice baths have come to prominince in the UK after Marathon Superstar Paula Radcliffe mentioned them twice in post race interviews, they do seem to have a lot of sense behind them, here is what the Squashsite.co.uk says and is amongst many .

THE THEORY

The use of ice immersion is justified by the hypothesis that hard
physical activity causes microscopic muscle & soft tissue damage &
that the application of cold helps to minimise the associated
inflammation & pain.

Another theory is that the cold causes the body to shut down the
superficial blood vessels and blood is then diverted to the deeper
positioned muscles. This has a “flushing out” effect upon the
muscles and substances such as lactic acid, which builds up in the
muscles following exercise, is removed. It is believed that reducing
post exercise levels of lactic acid helps in recovery & reduces post
exercise stiffness & soreness.

Based on the above couple of hypotheses, it seems logical that only
the muscles that have taken the brunt of exercise need to be
immersed. So a squash player wouldn’t have to go neck deep into the
ice bath. It would also seem logical that the cold immersion should
start as soon as possible after training or playing.

ps. No this isn't me, and no you don't need this much ice and a normal tub works perfectly provided your legs are covered, and no it isn't this painful.
pps if anyone has any good ideas to get the feeling back in my little finger I'd welcome them.
Tags:
Hey... thanks for your thoughts on a new bike... I'll definitely look into what can be done tire wise. Do you mind if I add you?
yeah feel free to add!

See how long it is before someone tells you to get tri-bars... ;-)
Well, since you asked.. I would suggest you get some Massage Therapy. Are you surprised? *grins*

Fact is.. most of the numbness I see in hands is related to tension between C2 & C4 in the neck. Muscles there getting so tight they can actually pull the spine a bit out of place.. and *wha la* .. you have a spinal subluxation.

You could get chiropractic care but if the muscles aren't loosened up first, they will most likely pinch off nerves & refer pain into the hand again.

Gently stretch your arms behind your back a few times a day.
Skip the heat unless you are alternating hot/cold.
And as you have pointed out.. Ice Is Your Friend! =D
Ah... the ice bath.

Any workout or race over 2 hours and I'm in an ice bath. I can attest to their magic. It's not the most comfortable thing, but they're great.

The trick is to get in the tub, then run the cold water, then put in the ice.

Oh, and a good book helps. It has to be a page-turner. :)
The Woodlands
(Anonymous)
I saw you comment on the Bigun's blog and thought I'd pop by as we'll be competing at The Woodlands. I'm Brian Pilgrim on the list and also at http://clydeologist.blogspot.com/.

I love the ice bath though I tend to neglect taking them during routine training.

Sub 4 bike huh...I'm going to have to start doing more intervals now, ugh.