Saturday, July 9, 2011

My First Ice Bath!

I took the plunge!  After a year and half of weekend long runs, I finally gave the infamous "ice bath" a trial run.  Sounds insane, right?!  It turned not to be nearly as bad as I had envisioned.

I hit the trail at 6:00am this morning and ran 15.2 miles.  My pace averaged 10:39 which is spot on for my target pace at this point in training.  (My goal is to run the marathon at a 10:30 pace in September.)

Once home, I immediately started the coffee.
Started cold water in the tub.
Bathroom break.
Poured myself a cup of coffee and placed it by the tub.
Pulled out the tray of ice & recruited my girls for help.
Pulled sweatshirt on (no need to freeze on top!)
Sat down in the cold water.
Add ice overtop the legs.
Relax for 8-10 minutes.

Why an Ice Bath?
Cryotherapy (cold therapy) constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown.  Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps return the byproducts of cellular breakdown to the lymph system for efficient recycling by the body.  Not only do ice baths suppress inflammation, but also help to flush harmful metabolic debris from your muscles.  (source)  

Afterward, I warmed up in my hot pink compression socks (from The Recovery Sock) and elevated my legs for some much needed rest.   Five weeks done in Marathon training (145 miles!)... 12 to go and I'm feeling GOOD!

Have you ever done an Ice Bath?  Does it actually aide in your recovery?


  1. I HATE ice baths! I rarely take them because I'm a wuss, though there's no doubt they aide in recovery. I took one after the Boston Marathon because my legs were so trashed, and I know it helped!

  2. No I have never taken one. I'm a wimp I dont know if I could sit down in a tub of ice water. Congrats on your first ice bath. You have such great little helpers.

  3. Ice baths are great in the summer but they are TORTURE in the winter!
    Congrats on a great run!

  4. Nice work! you are going to do great in your full!
    Hey I have been looking at compression socks. What do you think of them?

  5. Taking an ice bath after my latest half-marathon definitely helped me recover faster. I will be doing plenty more of them as I continue training this summer.

    I second Kris's comment... ice baths are torture in the wintertime!

  6. I love your posts Jess, what great information, thank you, I will try an ice bath.

  7. GREAT run today!! you are a SMART cookie to do the ice bath. Winter can be OK too- just have some hot coffee and a parka to wear. :)

  8. I'm doing my first ice bath tomorrow after my race. I don't have the child labor on hand, but I do have a sweatshirt!

  9. Ha! This brought back (chilly) memories of my first ice bath. Brr! But seriously, they speed recovery so much, they're worth every goosebump!

    When I lived near the beach in San Diego I would regularly end my winter long runs by wading in the water -- about 55 degrees. All the recovery benefits, with pretty scenery to boot. ;)

  10. My first ever ice bath was today as well. I did 13 miles and thought I could use the extra help in recovering. It was COLD..

    My legs are feeling pretty good right now.

  11. LOVE love love the ice bath. I need one after 8 miles or more. I wear a sweatshirt... when I remember :P

  12. Never had an ice bath... to chicken!

    Your training looks like it is going great.

    Keep it up!


  14. I love the ice bath, I can't believe it took you this long to try one. I do them whenever I feel any kind of pain or know I did a little to much. With my ankle history it totally helps. And agreed Ice baths great in the summer and down right terrible in the winter. I also take my Nook in the tub with me and read to distract my mind or edit my run on my Garmin.

  15. Love seeing your girls helping. I have never done an ice bath. After my too intense runs my body is already quick to shiver. After every run I do get out of my sopping running clothes and put on my warm knee-high socks, even in the TX heat. I really should look into getting some true compression socks.

  16. I love Ice baths! They really help with muscle soreness.


I appreciate your feedback and comments!