I might be crazy, but I love ice baths. Don’t get me wrong…they don’t feel good during. Last week, I sat on a piece of ice but I was so cold that I couldn’t move it. A big ice cube stuck under your butt for 20 minutes is not cool. But I have a great routine that makes them bearable and they really pay off. Here we go…Ice Baths 101.
If you’re a runner (new or old) training for a race or building mileage, you should be taking an ice bath at least once a week for 15-20 minutes. After every long run, I drive to 7-Eleven and purchase a vitaminwater revive and 2 16lb bags of ice. I fill the bathtub halfway up with cold water making sure that the water is high enough that it will cover everything from the hips down.
While the tub is filling up, I get my iPad out and turn on old episodes of The Biggest Loser. I also grab my phone (for a timer), a post-run snack and a cup of green tea (I drink Yogi Green Tea Muscle Recovery after long runs). Once it’s done, I throw the ice in and jump in as fast as I can. Fully clothed because I’m scared of freezing to death.
Once I’m all the way in the water, I set the timer on my phone to 20 minutes and hit play. Watching The Biggest Loser distracts me from the fact that my back is cramping from the cold and makes the time fly by. Today, my 7 year old cousin Malani joined me and took this amazingly awful picture of me. She’s such a gem.
Bad post-run hair is necessary if you want to look like a real runner. I’m not really sure what that face is I’m making or why I look like I’m 13 years old, but just try to focus on the complete Lululemon outfit: Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve, Cool Racerback and Wunder Under Crop. You need every one of those items.
After 20 minutes, I ring out my clothes, wrap myself in a warm and fuzzy robe and sit with my legs propped up for another 15-20 minutes. I think it’s important to continue to rest my legs and let the healing magic of the ice settle before jumping into a hot shower. After my shower, if I’m not in a rush to get somewhere, I use the Grid and the Stick to roll out each muscle.
It’s a pretty long routine from start to finish and I’m not a doctor or trainer so I have no science to back myself up. All I know is that I ran 7 miles today and my legs don’t feel sore at all right now. A little tired, but definitely not sore. That is worth the shock of the ice and the pain of the foam roller. I’m sticking to my routine. If for nothing else than to produce hilarious pictures like this. Seriously, what is up with my face?