OLD SCHOOL: ICE BATHS. NEW SCHOOL: SKIP THE COLD TUB!

                                
     According to a BBC article, a new study casts doubt on the effectiveness and safety of the post-workout ice bath.  In addition to shocking the body — a dangerous event for anyone with a heart problem — the ice bath was not shown to be more effective at reducing soreness than other post-workout treatments, such as a warm bath or gentle massage.  See the BBC article at  
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17015767.
     Remember also that the whole point of training is to introduce a stimulus that will trigger an adaptation response in the body.  An ice bath may reduce the severity of the training stimulus, but that can then reduce the resulting adaptation response.  Put more simply, if you reduce the impact of a tough workout, your body might not improve as much.  
     The point of Smart Marathon Traning is to be smarter than we are brave; just because something is difficult or painful doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing for us to do as runners.  Being tough earns no extra points unless it’s combined with being smart.
    Keep in mind, however, that this doesn’t apply to your post-race routine.  A hard race provides a stimulus that may be higher than your body’s adaptation capability — which is why we don’t run hard races too frequently.  In those cases, anything you can do to reduce the impact of the race on yoru body will help with your recovery and reduce the risk of injury, all without sacrificing the adaptation level you can achieve and maintain.

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About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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