For many people training for the half-marathon and marathon, long runs are an essential part of the training plan. Unfortunately, these runs can leave your legs feeling like they have lost the spring in their step. This occurs during long runs, because you are experiencing tiny little tears in the muscle tissue in your legs. As a result, you experience inflammation which causes soreness in your lower legs. One of the best things for preventing lingering soreness is to reduce the inflammation as much as you can soon after your run. This is where the ice bath comes in–it will help reduce inflammation and stimulate muscle tissue to begin repairing itself.
When should I take the ice bath?
Try to get into the tub within 15 or 30 minutes of ending your long run.
How much ice do you need, and what should the temperature be?
Fill your bathtub, and then add 2 to 3 bags of crushed ice. You are aiming for a temperature between 50-59 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius).
How long do I need to stay in the ice bath?
Try to stay in the ice bath for 10 to 20 minutes–you may not be able to stay in as long the first time you do it!
Are there any tips or tricks to make the ice bath more bearable?
Yes! One of the best things to do is take a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate into the bath with you. Also, make sure to bundle up on top (you are only submerging your legs). It also helps to have some good reading materials on hand to distract you from the cold!
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