This time of year many runners are doing their 20 mile runs in preparation for a fall marathon. I did 19 last Saturday and 20 today. After both long runs my calf muscles were aching. So I hit the showers, sort of. As much as I wanted to stand in a nice hot shower I knew my legs needed to sit in an ice-cold bath. So I sat down and turned the cold water on full and let it rise all around me. If you haven’t tried this you’re probably thinking, “that must be freezing”. Well, you are 100% correct. It is very cold. But, the cold constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling for faster recovery.
Here’s a great article about it from www.runnersworld.com http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7124,s6-241-285–12810-0,00.html
Of course after the ice bath and streching, I take that hot shower. And it feels great!