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ice baths

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(@onthebrink)
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do any of you guys use ice baths after a hard session? what's the optimal amount of time and temperature for the best recovery?


   
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(@nic404)
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Just in my personal experience (no studies to quote) but we would have our baths covering the legs fully (waist level) and it would be mostly ice; we would let it sit twenty minutes before we got in it (let the ice melt a bit and water was colder). We did three times at anywhere from 1-3 minutes with breaks to dry off with a towel (but didn't do any heat). I know some runners who do ice baths nearly 5 times a week at ten minutes but just one rep. I don't feel that length is better, IMO the frequency is much better. Not a lot of cyclist I know do this, after a hot event it is nice.


   
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(@onthebrink)
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hmmmmmmmmmm, i've heard pros and cons. pro that it helps aid recovery (reduces inflammation and swelling of the damaged muscles) but if you do it too much it's hard on the nervous system...any other thoughts guys?


   
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Going-Long
(@going-long)
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The run down Nic404 gave is a good one!

I work like that sometimes when i have the energy to get in and out. other times I take a few blocks of ice (home made with Tupperware), plunkc the blocks in, plunk myself in, turn the water to full cold and go!

With the second method I use, I will just sit there for 12 to 15 minutes depending on how long it takes to cool my body. (sometimes the water comes out of the tap much colder!) Then get out, dry off, and don't move around much. Give your body a chance to heat itself up.

I have been doing both ways for years and you can feel the differance when the bath is not done...in a very big way. I personally know 3 world class pros who like the 12 minut bath rather than the in and out....but I like both.

Remember to stretch out before the tub.

Cheers - G/L

To most the marathon is the ultimate test of human endurance. To us it's just the cool down!

Pain is temporary - Quitting lasts forever

Regardless of how hard you train - The time is going to go by anyway so if you are going to throw a leg over your bike you may aswell bust you ass, make as many watts / do as many intervals as you can.


   
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(@nic404)
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Good idea on the tupper ware ice blocks, I'll have to try that. Usually we are in a hotel so we'd just haul garbage cans full of ice; I rarely do it at home unless I'm really sore but then I just am lazy and buy from the corner store.

I'm kind of twisted in that I do like ice baths, but I would be suffering to do 15 minutes. Most times I've suffered because of excess length but we shoot for as cold as possible, maybe there is a difference between the blocks and my method. Maybe I'll try to measure next time.

To further refine it, we could say a protocol for a scorching hot day would be luke warm to cool shower (you could even do full on cold bursts if the ice bath was too much hassle) and out for stretching (make sure the shower wasn't too cold so muscles are warm). Stretch and do whatever while bath is waiting and then hit up the bath.

Nic


   
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MaxWatts
(@maxwatts)
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I prefer the 10-15 minute method. It only sucks for a minute or two until your body adapts. It's one of the best recovery tools going in my opinion. It's a bit of a hassle when you are wasted from a ride, but really makes an improvement in the way the legs feel the next day.


   
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Going-Long
(@going-long)
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Posted by: MaxWatts
I prefer the 10-15 minute method. It only sucks for a minute or two until your body adapts. It's one of the best recovery tools going in my opinion. It's a bit of a hassle when you are wasted from a ride, but really makes an improvement in the way the legs feel the next day.

Bump that max!

I agree 100%. an ice bath is the greatest thing going, it's nearly free and you don't have to worry about your ice getting held at the border!

....And yes, it only sucks for about 3 minutes or so, then the pain vanished and you just sit there. I Think Nic404 might be using a colder method if I understnad correctly. ie-bath full of ice...you might be able to hurt yourself like that it you sat in a tub of ice for 15 to 20 minutes...so in that case, burst may be the key! Labor intensive as they may be.

Cheers,
G/L

To most the marathon is the ultimate test of human endurance. To us it's just the cool down!

Pain is temporary - Quitting lasts forever

Regardless of how hard you train - The time is going to go by anyway so if you are going to throw a leg over your bike you may aswell bust you ass, make as many watts / do as many intervals as you can.


   
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Spun
 Spun
(@spun)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 14
 

How soon after your race do you need to get into the ice bath for it to be worth the effort?

Sometimes is takes hours to get to a place where you can get into an ice bath.

-Spun


   
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MaxWatts
(@maxwatts)
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I would say the sooner the better, but recovery nutrition is more critical. Even if it's hours later it will still help.


   
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(@gasoline)
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Posted by: Going-Long
I agree 100%. an ice bath is the greatest thing going, it's nearly free and you don't have to worry about your ice getting held at the border!


G/L, you just wait until WADA bans them too. Lol!

I have used ice baths in the past and I like them. I never liked the way that after a hard session I would be very hot (and bothered) for some time after and the baths helped keep me cool which is good. Also the legs seem to feel (slightly) better a few hours after them as well, but mainly I just like to feel chilled out and keep the body temperature down.

Also if you can't get ice you can try to just use a bath of cool water or something I would do after most rides is to take as cold a shower as you can get and just use the shower head to rinse water over you're legs for a while - perhaps not as good as the real thing but trying to get an ice bath after every race or training ride can be difficult enough.

Thanks

Gas


   
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Going-Long
(@going-long)
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Yeah, what are we going to do when WADA bans the ice bath??? They are going to have to drum up some really slick test for that one. I mean...fair is fair and not everyone (Kenyans for example) may not have easy access to al the ice they want like we do. So an even playing field is just right!

I wonder what the detection time on an ice bath will be? Do you think it will be a pee test......more likely a blood test! We are going to have to move to really high tech "stealth ice" so we can slip under the radar! Maybe a 4 day cycle of DNP to bump body temp before the race....hmmmm. Too bad there isn't something that we could take to help lower overall body temp during a race to reduce the overall effects of cardiac drift. So we could keep all our hard fought crit taking Ox to the legs rather then using more blood to cool the body. Hmmmmm.

Sorry if I got off topic O.T.B.

I think i need sleep.

G/L

To most the marathon is the ultimate test of human endurance. To us it's just the cool down!

Pain is temporary - Quitting lasts forever

Regardless of how hard you train - The time is going to go by anyway so if you are going to throw a leg over your bike you may aswell bust you ass, make as many watts / do as many intervals as you can.


   
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