The Ice Bucket Challenge!
While we don’t want to downplay the widespread participation in the Ice Bucket Challenge or the fact that the ALS Association has been able to raise 100 million dollars (a 3,500% increase from the $2.8 million ALS was able to raise during the same period of time last year), we do take pride in the fact that runners once again are able to “one-up” the average person. While people are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads and experiencing the cold rush for a minute or so, runners for years have been participating in ICE BATHS where we immerse our bodies up to our chests in ice water for 10-15 minutes!
So what are the benefits of ice baths for runners and what are the best conditions for an ice bath…
Benefits of an Ice Bath
- reduces inflammation and muscle soreness following an intense workout
- reduces the drop in performance that follows a hard, long, or fast workout
What are the best conditions for an ice bath
- MOST EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AFTER WORKOUT
- STAND IN DEEP WATER. The bulk of the advantage from ice baths actually seems to come from the water pressure not the cold water temperature, so the best way to do an ice bath is if you can stand in a pool, lake, or river. Although less beneficial (because of less water pressure), sitting in a fairly shallow tub is better than nothing and will still provide some benefit.
- TEMPERATURE OF WATER BETWEEN 50-59 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
- DURATION: 10-15 MINUTES
So while we’ll show our support with the Fad of the Ice Bucket Challenge, us runners will continue to do what we’ve always done and utilize ice baths as a recovery tool!