Is it time to warm up to ice baths or should we keep them on ice?
Ice baths and performance have been a staple in elite athletes but is the practice truly worth it, especially for the everyday athlete. As a cyclist, runner or triathlete it has a time and place but making sure you do it at the right time in your periodization is key.
How to take an Ice Bath
Ice baths, when done properly, can help to constrict blood vessels and flush waste products out of your system. The ideal temp to get your water down to is 50-60 F but don’t feel the need to start at the coldest temperature possible! Start on the higher side and slowly work the temp down as you continue to use ice baths in your training routine. You can use an everyday kitchen thermometer to check the temperature to make sure you are staying within a safe range.
As for how long you should not spend in the water, the absolute max of 10 minutes is when first starting out. This is especially true if you have no one overseeing you. Also, much like with temperature, start shorter and work your way up.