"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ice is my friend!

In the words of the iconic legendary superstar talented artist world famous, OK, how about, one hit wonder turned reality star, Robert Van Winkle, a.k.a., Vanilla, my favorite post-run tip is definitely,"Ice Ice, Baby!"  I picked up this little trick while training last fall, when some friends of ours, who were nearing their own marathon race date, made the recommendation.  I admit, given that my idea of the perfect pool temperature is above 80 degrees, I was extremely hesitant.  But it only took one cold plunge to fully convert.

Why? The science behind ice therapy is actually pretty interesting.  It starts with the fact that following intense exercise, (for me that was 16 miles+ in the cooler months and 13 miles in the summer), your muscles experience microtrauma, or tears to muscle fiber.  The cold water helps to reduce swelling and associated breakdown, constrict blood vessels which then flush out wastes like lactic acid, and decrease the metabolic process and physiological process that can encourage more immediate recovery. Of course, these baths provide several other preventative benefits often associated with ice packs on the knees and dehydration recovery.

The general rule is to sit in water that is 35 degrees cooler than your body temp.  Often the cold water faucet will provide enough of a difference to give you these same results.  This could also be a swimming pool or stream. The suggested time is 15 - 20 minutes and ideally you follow this soak with a warm shower about 45 minutes later.  Again, more recovery pluses for going the way of a cold - hot combination.

Does it work?  Let's just say that on many long run mornings, I have seriously struggled getting up the stairs and into the tub.  I sit in the ice bath for 20 minutes, (a large glass of chocolate milk alongside), and once I get out I am literally dancing across the floor.  I have experienced very little soreness throughout training and I owe it all to A & K B, and absolutely none of it to Mr. Van Winkle! 

1 comment:

  1. Ice ice baby....All right, stop collaborate and listen. Ice is back with my brand new invention (the ice bath!). Wise words from both Vanilla Ice and David Holcomb!