After a 14 km run this morning, in the rain, I was encouraged to take an ice bath to help decrease swelling in my joints and muscles. It's just as nasty as it sounds. Actually, I didn't even put any ice in the tub, I just ran the cold (which happens to be very cold) until I was sitting in the water up to my hips. Wow, that hurts. Fifteen minutes (I used a stop watch) of sitting in freezing water is really uncomfortable, but supposedly it does wonders for injury prevention and in no way causes damage to your body. My knees and hip flexors have definitely been sore after the long runs, so it seemed like a good (albeit crazy) thing to do today.
I learned a few tricks to make it more bearable though:
1. Get in first, run half an inch of warm water, then turn it to freezing so it's not a total shock to the system.
2. Wear a sweatshirt (roll it up a bit).
3. Have a hot drink while you're in the tub.
4. And my own touch... read a good book to make the time pass faster.