Health

Forget Ice Baths—Runners Are Trying Cryotherapy Instead

This muscle recovery technique is all the rage, so one run-blogger decided to give it a try.

I have a love-hate history with ice baths. Okay, mostly hate. I am NOT a fan of the cold. I am a SoCal girl born and raised and think 50 degree weather calls for a beanie, scarf and boots. So yeah, I have done ice baths in the past during marathon training and back to back races. I really do think they help. But I also think they are torture.

So, when I heard about cryotherapy a while back, I decided to give it a try. My best friend was super surprised that I was going to try this because I avoid the cold at all costs. But I wanted to try it for a few reasons…

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Why I tried Cryotherapy…

I was curious. Okay, if I’m being honest I am a sucker for anything ‘new and improved and exciting’! I wanted to try it for myself.

Recovery is important to me. I ran the OC half marathon and had the Tinkerbell Half Marathon the following weekend so I wanted to make sure my legs were ready.

It was on sale. <- That is the reason I buy a lot of things. What the heck, right?

It is quick. I usually take an ice bath for 10 minutes (or however long I can stand it). Cryotherapy is only about 3 minutes of exposure to extreme cold.

I was hoping it was magic and going to help me recover in 3 minutes. I wanted my muscles feel great.

instructions

They take safety precautions like making sure you blood pressure is okay and talking to you the whole time. (You should only try it will supervision.)

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Since it was my first time I opted to ‘only’ do it for 2.5 minutes. You can work up to 3 minutes.

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Thoughts: Yes, it’s cold. Super super cold. But there is something about ice baths that is more painful. I feel like an ice bath is a piercing cold. This is very cold on my skin, but not like I’m being stabbed with an icicle.

Results: I didn’t really feel a big difference, but I only went once. I want to try it a few more times before I decide if I feel a difference. I was happy it was something I could actually do instead of ice baths.

Have you tried cryotherapy? Thoughts?