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  1. #1
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    Ice Bath? Rt can you esplain?

    I have back to back races this weekend so any trick that'll make my legs feel better I'll give a shot. Ice bath to help the weary legs? Can you explain how it works or any tips?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Yes I believe I can explain correctly, I run cross country races and do this every once in a while if my legs are sore enough.

    Ice baths work best with the coldest water you can stand for as long as you can stand it... although I don't know if I'd stay in more than 20 minutes. I've found 15 minutes is near perfect for me. I beliee ice baths work because the blood in your legs slows down, the circulation slows down as the cold penetrates. Then once you warm back up the blood flow returns and washes out the dead tissue/muscle that you torn up during your strenuous activity. This way the lactic acid and dead areas are removed, effectively cutting soreness.

    Heres the thing though. I've found that ice baths the night before races seem to make me feel sluggish the next day. My coach does not suggest it in fact. I can't say why this is, perhaps its only psychological. At the very least if you take one two days prior to your race you will feel great for the first race.

    Oh and wear socks when you take the bath. Don't ask me why, but if you try it with and without it makes a difference, it's not psychological. It's the weirdest thing, I was very suspicious the first time I tried it, but low and behold it makes it MUCH easier to get in, and stay in.

  3. #3
    The Riddler
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    I tried it today after reading the post. i didn't ride after a long race on sunday and my legs were ultra sluggish. Although there not back to full form, the bath really helped. and it feels good, in most parts...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo
    the bath really helped. and it feels good, in most parts...
    lol, oh ya forgot to mention: expect major shrinkage.

  5. #5
    i worship Mr T
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    that's basically it...

    Quote Originally Posted by LavaPunk
    Ice baths work best with the coldest water you can stand for as long as you can stand it... although I don't know if I'd stay in more than 20 minutes. I've found 15 minutes is near perfect for me. I beliee ice baths work because the blood in your legs slows down, the circulation slows down as the cold penetrates. Then once you warm back up the blood flow returns and washes out the dead tissue/muscle that you torn up during your strenuous activity. This way the lactic acid and dead areas are removed, effectively cutting soreness.
    the only thing i would add is that the cold water is a vasodialator (sp?) which brings the blood up to the surface of the muscle which helps to flush out lactic acid and other toxins, while the cold helps to reduce any inflamation in the tissues incurred during strenuous exercise.

    btw, i'm impressed that you can stay in for 15-20 min!!! after 9 minutes i was pretty sure i was turning hypothermic!

    Quote Originally Posted by LavaPunk
    Heres the thing though. I've found that ice baths the night before races seem to make me feel sluggish the next day. My coach does not suggest it in fact. I can't say why this is, perhaps its only psychological. At the very least if you take one two days prior to your race you will feel great for the first race.
    interesting. my coach recommends an ice bath after my pre-ride the day before the race. this is what i did last weekend and my legs felt great the next day. not at all sluggish. interesting that there are differences in recommendations on when to use the ice bath!

    Quote Originally Posted by LavaPunk
    Oh and wear socks when you take the bath. Don't ask me why, but if you try it with and without it makes a difference, it's not psychological. It's the weirdest thing, I was very suspicious the first time I tried it, but low and behold it makes it MUCH easier to get in, and stay in.
    do you keep your feet dry or do you just step into the bath with your socks on? i didn't wear socks but kept at least my toes out of the water. i'm also thinking of wearing a bathing suit the next time to stave off some of brutality as i sit down! i swear my ovaries are now located somewhere up behind my heart!!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
    mm blogging

  6. #6
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    I used an ice-bath a few times during summer cross country practice in college after the football team was done with them in our locker room.

    Of course, ours were set up to avoid any contact with the "sensitive" body parts . Big ol' trash can filled up with cold water and ice to just the right level. Of course the feet are very much subject to the cold, but didn't bother me to much. Generally about 10-15 min each day after practice.

    Ryan

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    interesting. my coach recommends an ice bath after my pre-ride the day before the race. this is what i did last weekend and my legs felt great the next day. not at all sluggish. interesting that there are differences in recommendations on when to use the ice bath!
    I imagine that this is because while running your legs have to absorb all the impact. I dunno though, could easily vary from person to person because of genetics or even leg size... Couldn't tell you.

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    do you keep your feet dry or do you just step into the bath with your socks on? i didn't wear socks but kept at least my toes out of the water. i'm also thinking of wearing a bathing suit the next time to stave off some of brutality as i sit down! i swear my ovaries are now located somewhere up behind my heart!!
    I have always just stepped into the bath with the socks on. Getting my entire lower body into the bath is the hardest part. Once in I would just concentrate on relaxing, not tensing up as you want to naturally do. Have read a book and listened to music while in the tub. Whatever you can do to keep yourself in for a while A high tolerance for pain will help you in any sport after all.

  8. #8
    bleeding eventually stops
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    cold is a vasoconstrictor

    [QUOTE=*rt*]the only thing i would add is that the cold water is a vasodialator (sp?) which brings the blood up to the surface of the muscle which helps to flush out lactic acid and other toxins, while the cold helps to reduce any inflamation in the tissues incurred during strenuous exercise.

    Cold as well as cold water are vasoconstrictors, the opposite of a vasodilator. The primary mechanism actually is not well understood. Presumably it's via the anti-inflammatory mechanism you mention. Beyond that it would be conjecture. Perhaps simply the constriction and slowing of cellular metabolism is enough in itself. It's also possible that it may interupt the arachidonic acid pathway and prevent formation of many of the cytokines responsible for membrane permability which lead to inflammation.
    Definately works though. Not only for achy legs, but for any type of musculoskeletal injury. Massage is really great for increasing circulation and getting rid of lactic acid. Most of the euro teams have their own massage therapist for good reason.

  9. #9
    i worship Mr T
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    whoops. guess i was wrong.

    [QUOTE=dr.dirt]
    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    the only thing i would add is that the cold water is a vasodialator (sp?) which brings the blood up to the surface of the muscle which helps to flush out lactic acid and other toxins, while the cold helps to reduce any inflamation in the tissues incurred during strenuous exercise.

    Cold as well as cold water are vasoconstrictors, the opposite of a vasodilator. The primary mechanism actually is not well understood. Presumably it's via the anti-inflammatory mechanism you mention. Beyond that it would be conjecture. Perhaps simply the constriction and slowing of cellular metabolism is enough in itself. It's also possible that it may interupt the arachidonic acid pathway and prevent formation of many of the cytokines responsible for membrane permability which lead to inflammation.
    Definately works though. Not only for achy legs, but for any type of musculoskeletal injury. Massage is really great for increasing circulation and getting rid of lactic acid. Most of the euro teams have their own massage therapist for good reason.
    i just assumed that because your skin got red from the cold it was the result of vasodilation. but, come to think of it i should have known that it wasn't because i've used vasodilators while skiing in the hopes of keeping my hands & feet warm. (didn't work)

    btw, what kind of physician are you?

    rt - wishes she had her own masseuse to take to races
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU-XC
    I used an ice-bath a few times during summer cross country practice in college after the football team was done with them in our locker room.

    Of course, ours were set up to avoid any contact with the "sensitive" body parts . Big ol' trash can filled up with cold water and ice to just the right level. Of course the feet are very much subject to the cold, but didn't bother me to much. Generally about 10-15 min each day after practice.

    Ryan
    ah. if i didn't have to submerge those sensitive areas it would be MUCH easier! i've been known to wrap my legs in ice bags from knee to hip. i'm good for about 20 minutes or so like that.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LavaPunk
    I have always just stepped into the bath with the socks on. Getting my entire lower body into the bath is the hardest part. Once in I would just concentrate on relaxing, not tensing up as you want to naturally do. Have read a book and listened to music while in the tub. Whatever you can do to keep yourself in for a while A high tolerance for pain will help you in any sport after all.
    i'll give socks a try and see if it helps. i agree. getting my entire lower body into the water was the worst and nearly caused me to hyperventilate. once i was in and remembered how to breath i was ok. don't know if i could have read a book. i'll give that a try along with the socks! i'm also thinking of trying to wear a bathing suit to see if that makes it any easier to lower myself in.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  12. #12
    bleeding eventually stops
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    i just assumed that because your skin got red from the cold it was the result of vasodilation. but, come to think of it i should have known that it wasn't because i've used vasodilators while skiing in the hopes of keeping my hands & feet warm. (didn't work)

    btw, what kind of physician are you?

    rt - wishes she had her own masseuse to take to races
    hmmm vasodilitors while skiing? tell me more... thats kinda a new one. XC or alpine skiing? Was it a prescription med? If you tell me you were huffing some ciggies I'm gonna throw a at you. (they are pretty good vasodilators.) Doubt you were taking Viagra although that would be hilarious in it's own right.
    I'm not that surprised that it didn't work. It would be a good way to make you hypothermic pretty fast.
    During Montezuma's revenge like 10 years back there were a bunch of massage therapists available and it friggin saved my hide. I really could not believe how much better my legs and I felt after a 5min rub down between some of the stages.
    p.s I'm an ER doc

  13. #13
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    I wonder what effect icing my legs would have on my performance if I iced the night before, like 10 hours before the race. You see I'm a sous chef at really busy high end restaurant and Saturdays friggen kill me. It's around a 13-14 hour day with 100+ degrees, not much break time...maybe 45 minutes total. It's a real struggle to eat enough. I know that sounds stupid, I cook for a living and sometimes I don't get to eat like I should. Anyway, most mornings I feel okay. A little stiffness that a little stretching and walking around gets rid of. Sunday mornings on the other hand I usually feel awful, swollen feet, very sore and stiff legs, sore back. Then I race at 11am after getting home from work at 1am and I still feel sluggish, heavy legs all that. So, what do you guys think? Ice the legs after work or would that be bad? Any other advise for my crappy sunday mornings would be much appreciated. Thanks
    I like to ride bikes.

  14. #14
    i worship Mr T
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    wow! hat's off to you for doing Montezuma's Revenge!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.dirt
    hmmm vasodilitors while skiing? tell me more... thats kinda a new one. XC or alpine skiing? Was it a prescription med? If you tell me you were huffing some ciggies I'm gonna throw a at you. (they are pretty good vasodilators.) Doubt you were taking Viagra although that would be hilarious in it's own right.
    I'm not that surprised that it didn't work. It would be a good way to make you hypothermic pretty fast.
    During Montezuma's revenge like 10 years back there were a bunch of massage therapists available and it friggin saved my hide. I really could not believe how much better my legs and I felt after a 5min rub down between some of the stages.
    p.s I'm an ER doc
    i rode part of that trail 2 summers ago and it was the toughest 13 miles i've ever ridden!

    yep, vasodialitors while skiing. Alpine skiing. it was an rx med but for the life of me i could not tell you which one (probably not viaga though....heheheh). my dad prescribed it (he & i both gave it a try and the only result we saw was that our fingers got really red! ) i'm pretty sure it wasn't strong enough to make us hypothermic. regardless we decided that our best recourse was to find better gloves.

    ah, i work with a bunch of ER docs.

    rt <-----epidemiologist
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  15. #15
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    I tried the ice bath after a race this past sunday. I don't really know how well it worked. I guess I did feel better the next day. There wasn't enough ice in my water, I used 10#, next time I'm going to try 20#. The water temp was up around 45 degrees after about 15 minutes.
    I like to ride bikes.

  16. #16
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    I prerode the race course fri night and did the ice bath afterward, I didn't feel much difference, maybe a little less stiffness. The next day I didn't feel 'on'. Maybe it had a bad effect on me. I didn't ice bath that night after the sat race, warmed up and raced on sunday and felt like superman. Who knows...

  17. #17
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    shout out to rt

    We gotta do some chatting.
    There is a big bold world out there for some mtb research. I've got a couple research projects cooking on skier injury stuff, but have had doing a mtb injury study in the back of my brain for awhile. possibly in conjunction with a sports fellowship I'm starting to line up.
    You do public health stuff?
    pm me

  18. #18
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    can't pm

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.dirt
    We gotta do some chatting.
    There is a big bold world out there for some mtb research. I've got a couple research projects cooking on skier injury stuff, but have had doing a mtb injury study in the back of my brain for awhile. possibly in conjunction with a sports fellowship I'm starting to line up.
    You do public health stuff?
    pm me
    yep. i do PH stuff.
    e me at:

    RSL4
    at
    CDC
    dot
    GOV

    we'll chat.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
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