Ice Bath Alone, or Hot Tub with Hotties
Today I'd like to discuss something near and dear to my heart. Supermodels. Do you know a supermodel? Probably not. There's not much chance you even know a regular model, or even a ridiculously good looking male model (like me). If you grew up in Vermont, then there's an even better chance you've never even met someone who doesn't have bangs and a giant donut ass. So, now you see why supermodels are so important to all of us. God this place is ugly.
When I get done with a long workout, I've often found myself thinking 'wouldn't it be nice to hop in a hot tub right now? with a supermodel?' Well, WOULDN'T IT??? Sure. It would it be nice. But would it be GOOD for you? In my case, no. First, because I am married. And second, because after I go tearing around town in my Converse Allstars (sponsor please sponsor) ripping a massive FARTLEK here and there, the last thing on earth you should do is hop in a steaming hot body of water. You should hop, instead, in a frigged cold bathtub full of ice cubes, shivering and cursing so loud the neighbors start to wonder if your harboring a wolf-man.
WTF you might say? Well, get this. Hot tubs are designed to increase circulation to your ancient muscles and joints. Which means one thing amigos. Inflammation. Running is particularly hard on your body, and really wears on your hard and soft tissue. When you heat these up post run, blood goes rushing to your aching muscles and the resulting inflammation causes increased muscle damage and hurts your ability to recover. Remember. Ice it for 24 hours. Then heat it to keep it from stiffening up.
Anyway, back to ice cubes. You don't need to literally sit in ice cubes. In fact, you can get a pretty awful 2nd degree burn from an ice pack applied directly to your skin (don't fall asleep while icing people - you will get a blister the size of an burnt greasy pizza pie for sure). All you need to do is plop yourself down in a tub of cold water with a sweatshirt on and an ipod roaring, and sit there for two whole songs. Then get out, try to dry off without falling over (harder than it sounds) and run downstairs and have a nice tall glass of recovery coco. It sounds super dumb, but this really is a great way to help your body on the road to recovery.