This month I had the privilege to provide much needed support to the many participants of both the Vineman 70.3 as well as the full Vineman. As both of these events attracted highly motivated and driven athletes, I found that many participants I had the opportunity to work on did not know of my favorite recovery methods. In this blog I am going to touch upon the dreaded ice bath.
The ice bath is a great method to kick off the recovery process by controlling inflammation. Submerging one’s body in 54-60 degree water limits the inflammation by constricting the blood vessels limiting the flow of inflammatory material into the affected area. It is best to do an ice bath after a hard workout leaving enough time for a proper muscle cool down before the plunge. There is often a misconception that inflammation is bad, but it is necessary for the healing process. Too much inflammation, however, can prolong the healing process.
One of the most inventive ways to make an ice bath is to use a 32 gallon garbage can and fill it with cold water. To control the temperature add ice as needed. Hang out in the cold water for 6-8 minutes. Check out this site from Active.com that informs of the dos and don’ts of ice baths. ICE BATHS DOS AND DON’TS