After a long run, like my 10-miler today, a nice hot shower sounds good. But if you want to help your muscles recover faster try an ice bath instead. Apparently cold therapy, known as Cryotheraphy, constricts blood vessels which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Truthfully I only do the ice bath occasionally after long runs but I know my legs feel better later in the day on days I do. Today I cheated and ran a bag of ice up and down my legs. It definitely was not the same but it seemed better than nothing. All I know is it was cold and my legs feel fine and strong sitting here hours later.