The marathon countdown continues. I’m 47 days away from the big day! And I hit a distance PR this weekend at 17.25 miles. It makes running 26.2 miles seem more doable. I mean, I was only 9 miles away from a full marathon this weekend. Holy cow! I might actually be able to do this!
Running long distances wears me out. A couple of weeks ago, I ran 15 miles and came home looking like this:
So you can imagine what I felt like after 17 miles! And besides being tired, my legs felt super tight. Our running coach has been talking about the benefits of an ice bath, so I decided to try it out. I look like a hot mess (but in my defense, I’d just run 17.25 miles!), but here’s how it went:
The idea behind ice bathing is similar to putting ice packs on an injury. Ice decreases swelling and tissue breakdown and helps to flush out lactic acid, the culprit behind muscle soreness. Sitting in an ice bath is basically just putting an ice pack on all the big muscles in your legs at once. Then, when the tissues begin to warm, the increase in blood flow helps with the healing process.
So did it help? Scientists question whether an ice bath is really beneficial or not, but I actually think it did help! My legs felt tired the afternoon after the run and ice bath, but not as tired as I’d anticipated after 17 miles. But I could really tell a difference when I woke up the next morning. My legs felt like I’d had a workout, but I wasn’t one bit sore, and my legs didn’t feel tight or tired like they usually do. And the only thing I did differently was take an ice bath.
Mmmm. It looks like ice baths may need to become a part of my running routine. Oh, brother. That’s going to be 10 minutes that I’m not going to look forward to!
So what was your adventure for the weekend?
Has anyone else had experiences with an ice bath?