Not too long ago I posted about maybe training for another full marathon. Well here I am, a few weeks and several long runs later, finding myself in the midst of training for those 26.2 miles of glory once again.
Saturday morning I woke up nice and early (but a little late for me considering I typically get up at 4:45 am on work days) and braved the cold for 22 miles. I actually placed my run perfectly – right in between two rainstorms. And the cold wasn’t all that bad.
At least not when you compare it to the dreaded ice bath that was waiting for me when I walked through the door of my house, courtesy of my amazing husband. I’m not sure if every distance runner endures an ice bath at the end of a particularly long/brutal run, but in my experience, the pain is worth it (wow I can’t believe I just said that).
During my cool down walk to my house, I’ll text the hubby to let him know I’m going to need a dip in the torture tub. He gets up from his cozy recliner and fills our guest bathtub with cold water. As soon as I come in from my run, I brace myself and sink into the cold. The hubby comes in with an entire bin full of ice and slowly pours it into the already freezing cold water. I immediately turn the stopwatch on my phone to make sure I’m not in there a second more than I have to be (10 minutes).
Sometimes there are tears, sometimes not, and for someone that is not a fan of the cold, this feels like the longest, most unpleasant 10 minutes EVER! I have heard some mixed reviews about the ice bath.
- It reduces swelling (duh).
- It takes care of your entire lower body so you don’t have to get a hundred ice packs to cover specific spots on your legs.
- It helps your legs recover and heal faster from all the damage you just did on your long run.
- It reduces muscle soreness later in the day (Note that I said it reduces, not diminishes).
Now, some cons:
- I have heard that unless you have a race or something coming up that you want to be in tip-top shape for, you need to allow your body to try to heal itself without any help of the ice bath.
- It SUCKS.
Does anyone else use an ice bath after long runs? Any tips to making it a little more bearable?