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Thread: ice baths

  1. #1
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    ice baths

    does anyone regularly incorporate ice baths as part of their training/recovery program?

    we used to take ice baths weekly when i was running track in college. i found them beneficial. just curious if the cyclists on BF use them also.

    NOTE - i was actually a jumper (long jump and triple jump) and do not wish to be associated with running. it is of the devil.

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    Senior Member johnybutts's Avatar
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    I have in the past between stages of a stage race. I don't think they hurt.
    I'm sure when you were getting to the point of blowing nothing was obvious but making the pain stop...I don't know about you but after the fact I always look back at those moments and think 'why didn't I just keep going' but at the time there wasn't enough oxygen on the planet to make me take one more pedal stroke.

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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    disagree. an ice bath would ruin life for me.

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Gives me raisin nut and shrivel dink so I tend to avoid... Already spend far too much time saying that it isn't my belly button...


    But seriously, no though I know several guys who do.
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    I did them occasionally for a little while. It's hard to get enough ice at home without spending money, and it's just not pleasant. They did seem to help though.
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

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    Can someone explain to me how ice baths help besides impressive shrinkage?

    Fundamentally I can't understand how slowing down your bodies ability to clear toxins would help it repair itself. Icing slows your bodies lymph/blood systems which is what helps recovery.

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    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    I tried it once or twice a long time ago. I found it nearly impossible to sit in the ice bath.

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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Sounds like torture.

    In fact I read that pimps use ice baths as exactly that..
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    Senior Member ttusomeone's Avatar
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    I recently bought a pair of 110% compression tights, and they come with ice packs and pockets within the tights to put the ice packs. It's supposed to simulate the ice bath. I've only had them a week and have used the ice packs two times now. You can definitely feel the cold and your muscles feel different afterwards, but I haven't used them enough to know if they are actually helping or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshred View Post
    does anyone regularly incorporate ice baths as part of their training/recovery program?

    we used to take ice baths weekly when i was running track in college. i found them beneficial. just curious if the cyclists on BF use them also.

    NOTE - i was actually a jumper (long jump and triple jump) and do not wish to be associated with running. it is of the devil.
    Yes. Great for recovery on multiple day efforts.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterwaterfall View Post
    Can someone explain to me how ice baths help besides impressive shrinkage?

    Fundamentally I can't understand how slowing down your bodies ability to clear toxins would help it repair itself. Icing slows your bodies lymph/blood systems which is what helps recovery.
    The simplistic answer is the same reason you put ice on an owie. Any waste products have been cleared from the muscle within a few minutes of stopping the effort that caused the waste products.

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    Quote Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
    I tried it once or twice a long time ago. I found it nearly impossible to sit in the ice bath.
    if you can make it past the first 2-3 minutes, the next 8-10 are easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterwaterfall View Post
    Can someone explain to me how ice baths help besides impressive shrinkage?

    Fundamentally I can't understand how slowing down your bodies ability to clear toxins would help it repair itself. Icing slows your bodies lymph/blood systems which is what helps recovery.
    to be honest, i can't explain biologically what the ice bath does that helps, but i know that the day following the ice bath i felt much more rested and legs felt refreshed when compared to not taking an ice bath. we usually did them the evening before a track meet.

    anecdotal, i realize.

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    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    I don't but have buddies that swear by them. The one thing that I think of is stripping down and jumping in and getting good ole body shock which sounds miserable. My buddies go in fully clothed and usually are drinking something warm like coffee and that makes things sound a bit more pleasant. I agree though, one more cost to racing so I probably won't start anytime soon
    "whenever I see someone biking faster than me, I assume they aren't going as far"-proscloset

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    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    I don't typically use it but I do have the following data points:

    -after a road race this spring, I happened to go straight to the ocean which, around here in spring, is friggin cold. Standing around in the cold water throwing sticks for my dog, my legs felt super refreshed. I went for a hard ride the next day and didn't feel particularly fatigued.
    -after a very hard ride this past week, I did a cold-shower-aimed-at-legs after washing. The following day, I didn't feel awesome but pretty good considering the length/difficulty of the previous day's ride.

    Neither of these are "ice baths" but I think the main part is the vasoconstriction and vasodilation that results from the extreme temperature changes helping to flush the muscles of waste.

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    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    ...In fact I read that pimps use ice baths as exactly that..
    impressive pimp knowledge mattm!

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    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    After a particularly hard effort, especially in-between back-to-back days, I find that an ice bath makes a world of difference both in terms of soreness relief and performance the next day. The first 30-seconds is misery, although one trick is to take a shower to clean off the gunk just before the bath, turning the water progressively cooler as you shower. That way, the bath isn't such a shock. After 30-seconds, it's tolerable and after a couple minutes, it's downright relaxing (in a Jack London sort of way: http://www.jacklondons.net/buildafire.html).

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