Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ice, Ice, Baby

This is an ironic running tip. While much of the (U.S.) running country is covered in snow and ice, this blog tip takes advantage of the frozen tundra by-product. I have to admit that I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to recovering from a long run...I often seek coffee instead of a more healthy recovery drink and far prefer jumping into a hot bath (spiked with Epsom salts) vs. doing the polar bear plunge. Like many things in running, I know that ice is recommended over heat for recovery and injury. For injury, there's the adage of R-I-C-E; rest, ice, compression and elevation. You can add a fourth ("S") if you have a chiropractor/therapist or home version of "stim" or stimulation--I do both.

With nine weeks and 272 Boston training miles under my belt, my body was "barking" after last Saturday's 20 mile run and a somewhat aggressive tempo run yesterday (see them on my DailyMile profile.) After the eight miler, I spent the rest of the day sporting my Skins compression tights to help with the recovery. Aside from the run stress on the body, I am also dealing with the bursitis in my left heel and some reoccurrence of some muscle issues in my stress fracture area of my lower left leg. I checked out both with my running PT and a podiatrist before I got into the full swing of training (see "Turn your Head and Cough" blog.) I tweeted in the afternoon that my hot tub was calling my name to calm all the negative action in my left leg. A fellow running tweet mate, @LWong76 reminded me to "ice bath first" so I set out to ice down that bad boy last night.

At my last running PT session, I'd remembered a tip my PT passed along which was to start with cold water (not ice water,) and add ice to bring it down to the right therapeutic temperature. I put a kitchen bag into a rubbermaid garbage can and filled it with cold tap water to just below the knee (see the video in the embedded Vimeo clip.) I took advantage of Mother Nature's white stuff and filled a kitchen pot full of Colorado snow and ice from my courtyard. As the recipe called for, I scooped in the white mixture and before I knew it, I had a leg slushy which was wicked cold, but I was comfortably able to handle it. I soaked for several minutes and decided to remove my leg when my skin was tingling and beet red.

Today, I have my leg wrapped in my McDavid compression wrap and things feel much better. Today is a recovery/cross training day so I will likely get some cardio on the bike or eliptical. Nine weeks down, and nine weeks to go for Boston. I see more leg slushies in my immediate future.

5 comments:

  1. I use the ice bucket approach for my foot and lower calf sometimes, just like this. The other thing is that there is no therepeutic benefit, and possible a cost, to ice bath/soaking in water below about 48-55 degrees. All you need is to stimulate the bodies response to shut down blood flow, not frostbite! Cheers!

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  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Ankle Brace

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    karma rainbow 6

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    karma rainbow 2

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    karma km-2500 L

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine