I really try to get in the habit of taking a full ice bath (vs. the ice bucket just for the lower legs) after my LONG runs.
It doesn’t happen every single time, but those days that I am home soon after my run I definitely take one! I got back in the habit post 18 miler this weekend and kept myself distracted from the coldness by documenting the steps for this blog post.
Aron’s steps to an ice bath:
1. Fill the tub with cold water.
2. Change your sweaty running shirt for a warm sweatshirt.
3. Get a snack and/or cup of coffee to keep you warm.
4. Get ice (I have an ice maker in my freezer I use, but when I drive somewhere to do my long run I try to remember to buy ice so I can get more).
5. Get in the tub with the water only! This allows your body to get used to being in the cold, but not super cold.
6. Let the water continue to fill until your legs are completely submerged.
6. Dump in ice. If it’s really hard for you, don’t dump in all the ice at once, add it in slowly and it won’t be as painful.
7. Distract yourself with post run snack, tweeting, facebooking, words with friends, etc. I try to stay for a minimum of 10 minutes. After a couple minutes your legs get numb and it’s really not that bad. I make sure to move my legs every so often so the water around them shifts.
8. Get out and warm up! I make myself wait before jumping into a hot shower so I am not losing the effects of the ice faster than need be. I did just put myself through sitting in a tub of ice, why would I want to lose an ounce of the benefits? I wrap my legs in a big towel and continue to distract myself with various tasks for another 10 minutes.
Easy peasy! It’s really not that bad I promise.
For me the keys to making it bearable are putting the ice in AFTER you are in the water and having things to keep you distracted while you are in there.
Do you take ice baths?