Ice bath

Eyup chaps.

I was wondering what the consensus was re the benefits of an ice bath after a long run. Personally I'm a convert, but the problem is that I can't warm up afterwards - my core temperature plummets and it can take up to 2 hours to warm up again. I've tried layer upon layer of clothing, virtually setting myself on fire by sitting too close to my 'living flame' gas fire (nowhere near as good as the real thing) and blasting myself with my hairdryer. Nowt works.

I've been reluctant to have a hot bath after an ice bath on the advice of a soft tissue therapist - but a friend recently said that he always has a hot bath after his ice bath.

Ant thoughts guys?



  • Do you totally immerse yourself? I only usually lie in it up to the waist and have a jumper on and a cup of tea whilst reading a book and then take a warm shower. don't like the sound of a hot bath afterwards, sounds dangerous.
  • Plenty of layers, hot water bottle on your tum and a hot chocolate drink usually works for me.

  • Mozzy - I find the same so I'll be following with interest.  How long are you in the bath for?  I've been holding on for 15 minutes.
  • Not had one in ages guess i should start up again

    But a warm top on, cup of tea is a must and something to read, They are beneficial.

  • oo just thinking about an ice bath is making me feel cold!!
  • 15 mins up to my waist - sweatshirt - jumper - woolley hat - mug of tea - my mobile to text everyone on my address llist to keep me distracted - you name it I've tried it! But actually not the hot water bottle - I'll give that one a go!

    Whilst I'm in the bath it's not too bad -it's afterwards!  Brrr . . .

  • Reet - done a little bit of research and it seems that you want your muscles to warm up after an ice bath as quickly as possible. The cold water contstricts your blood vessels aiding the flushing of lactic acid and helps to reduce inflammation (presumably we all know that), but then the warm blood flowing back through your muscles brings with it all the goodies to aid muscular repair - so it seems that a warm bath after an ice bath may be the way to go - especially if like me you stay cold for quite a long time afterwards.

    The big sports stars are doing it

    and so is some traithlete dude

    But maybe we're just all complete suckers!

  • I think I'd rather live with the lactic acid to be honest...

    I did unwillingly have an ice bath after a race when staying in a miserly b+b where they'd switch the hot water off in the day. And my legs felt better - but even so! Brrr !

    I would think a few gallons of hot tea after would be a good idea.
  • After I have an ice bath I usually have a warm shower to get me back up to temp but if you don't want to do that then the key would be to warm your core.  You can do this by deeply inhaling warm air (from say a hairdryer or bowl of hot water and a towel like you have a cold) - this is what we do with people suffering from hypothermia as it raises the core quickly but gently.
  • That's a top tip BMJ! I'll try it! I can't have a hot shower as my mate broke the control - so it only ever reaches the dizzying heights of tepid!
  • I had my 1st cold bath earlier(no ice just cold tap) and it was hell! I didn't enjoy it at all.I only managed three 2 minute sessions, I just couldn't stay in, my toes were really painful. I have felt some benefit but would like to know if it gets any easier or you get used to it.
  • I love my ice and cold baths.  I only have the water up to my waist and always have a cup of tea and wear a woolly hat.  Afterwards it usually takes me hours to warm up, I made the mistake of having an ice bath in December one evening and I was still freezing cod the next morning!  I always stay in for 15 minutes but very occasionally I'll go for 20 minutes - brrr!

    Try putting your clothes on a hot radiator, that should work, maybe?image

  • Blimpy, do you get used to them? My legs felt ok it was just my toes, really really painful.
  • Madlot wrote (see)
    Blimpy, do you get used to them? My legs felt ok it was just my toes, really really painful.
    The more you have, the more you get used to them.  However, every ice/cold bath I've ever had has left my toes in pain, too.  I don't think that part will ever get easier... imageimageimage
  • I`ve always tended to do this after long runs, especially when I lved in Cairo but, I must admit, that I`ve not bothered since Winter has kicked in. It does work and I alwyas have a warm bath after.
  • hi all had my ist ice bath ok, is it just for after long runs onces a week or all runs thank you and may good falltune follow you all  kindest regards.
  • I always have a hot bath afterwards, but I find that missing the ice bath out usually gives me more pains the next day then if I didn't have a bath at all. The hot cold thing works wonders
  • Reet - turn to page 59 of Aprils RW gang - Mo Farahs tips - 'after a long run I'll get in to an ice bath for 10 minutes, then get in to a hot bath after'

    Sorted!  It's obviously is the secret to running a 13 minute 5k image. See you 2012 chaps!

  • That would be fine if you have 2 bathrooms I guess ! I'm leaving icebaths to the elites - I'm not sure if it would make a difference at my level other than a few less aches the next day ?
  • Yeah, you're right Cougie - it's probably a long shot but one can dream . . . 
  • I tried to have an ice birth after this weekend's LSR. Emphasis on tried. I could get my lower legs in but I could just not bring myself to properly sit down. What's the secret, bikini bottoms? will power?
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    I can't do it!  Tried it once, naively thought my nads would be the 'weakest link' but my feet let me down after about 15 seconds.  Proper dagger-like pains in the toes, absolutely unbearable.  Like many I suffer with Raynaud's syndrome (bad circulation in the extremities) - some of us just weren't built for ice baths!
  • I can manage 15 mins but then I really am pretty desperate to get out - and it is the pain in my toes that's the worst. If you're a raynauds sufferer then yeah - I can totally understand why an ice bath aint on top of your list of recovery strategies! Yeow!!!

    Wobbled - I think it does get a bit easier and try all the strategies that folk have suggested above. Distraction works - ie book/phone (but don't drop it!).

  • 15 minutes! That is seriously hardcore. I remember watching an interview with some West Ham player once and he said they only get in their ice baths for 3 minutes, and they wear underwear. 

  • Not entirely sure how much benefit you'd get from wearing underwear - especially not the itsy bitsy teeny weeny ultra trendy undergarments that I wear (hope you've all had your tea).
  • I usually run a little tepid water (about 6 inches or so) before getting in, then I add cold water till it just covers my legs and feet, then I add the ice and usually manage about 10 mins or so before having a warm bath. I tend to read a book to distract myself. I can't manage jumping straight into a ice bath, that is hardcore!
  • I used just cold water from the tap and that was cold enough for me. I do think it helped but my toes were in agony.

    Read somewhere that people use neoprene boots.

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

  • I often feel cold after a long run so I have a hot shower first to warm my body up ( i know you only have tepid, sorry - get it fixed ) then I put the hose on as cold as it will go for  my legs from groins down. Does the job. YOu dont have to shut down the circulation to the lower limbs - just cooling is adequate.
  • do you have horses they hose there legs down.
  • mozzy are you still having ice baths and how are you finding them,and anyone else.
Sign In or Register to comment.