Last week, Cinnamon explained how ice baths can impede the adaptation process our bodies go through after hard training. However, there are some circumstances when the benefits of cold therapy like ice baths, spot-icing, or cryotherapy may be worth the trade-offs. While the evidence suggests cold does not actually improve recovery, it may reduce post-workout pain and make a runner feel more recovered. The evidence is not clear whether this is simply a placebo effect, or that the ice does something to us physically to improve pain, but many of the world’s top athletes swear by cold therapy, particularly before their most important competitions.
When it comes to cold therapy, every runner who has every tried one has an opinion on the post-run ice bath. Those opinions tend to range from awful to very awful, and most runners spend their time in the ice bath counting down each minute of it. This probably explains why cryotherapy, which offers all of the benefits of the ice bath and then some in just three minutes, is becoming popular among athletes. I’m lucky enough to live in a town with more than one cryotherapy studio, and since I’m usually recovering from some sort of an injury, I’ve gone a few times and want to offer my thoughts for my fellow sore runners. Read more >>