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RT Article about Recovery Techniques

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:16 pm
by BoilerTom90
In the August edition of RT, there is an article that talks about how "aided, quick recovery from workouts may be counterproductive..." The article talked about NSAIDS, ice, and any recovery aid such as compression gear.

There were two things that surprised me. The first was the study that showed that ice baths can be counterproductive to improvement. It was stated it's fine to use ice baths if you're in racing mode and want to make sure you feel good for an upcoming race, but they should not be used on a regular basis when in "building" mode. A japanese study seemed to affirm that statement at least with cyclists.

The second surprise was when they lumped any recovery aid, such as compression gear, into the same category as ice baths. This was is a big surprise (wasn't part of the Japanese study), because I thought the whole point of compression gear was simply to increase circulation to the area.
Why would that be counter productive.

Years ago I had read how NSAIDs are counterproductive to recovery/building so that wasn't a surprise.

The gist of the article is that pain is there for a reason and it will trigger your body to recover on its own, and we shouldn't do anything to circumvent it.

What do others think about this?

Re: RT Article about Recovery Techniques

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:41 pm
by efahl
My purely anecdotal experience confirms that ice baths slow recovery and in fact have found that the hot-tub treatment gets me ready for tomorrow's run faster.  I've rationalized that increasing circulation to the affected areas gets blood (i.e., nutrients) to the tissues faster and thus heals things up faster.  As I get older (closer to 60 than 50 now), my peripheral circulation seems to be declining (I have to wear socks at night because my feet get cold otherwise), so anything that improves circulation seems to help recovery.


Re: RT Article about Recovery Techniques

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:38 pm
by Tinman
When I get a chance, I'll read the articles. My first response is, "It depends. Maybe right, maybe wrong." I"ve read other research articles that show cold therapy reduces pain substantially post-exercise, and ROM (Range of Motion) is increased due to cold therapy treatment. NSAIDs are good for reducing pain and swelling in the short-term.

Here's what I tell runners: Cold therapy is helpful for getting rid of aching, stiff legs, and should be used wisely. I never advise more than 15 minutes of cold therapy. Icing on specific sore spots need only take 10 minutes; no longer! Cold continues to influence local areas for several minutes after icing has stopped. By belief is most people ice or use cold therapy too long, which would delay recovery. Research from Denmark, back in the 1980s, showed that longer than 10 minutes of icing retarded the benefits of cold therapy.

Like everything that I advise runners do, I've tried various therapeutic methods, and I've found that cold therapy, done right, does speed recovery. In my experience, the key is to use short cold therapy sessions. However, I like to use warm therapies too. It just depends upon the situation. If I have acute pain and swelling, I use 10 minutes of cold therapy. But, the next time I exercise, I warm up the area with warm water (shower, bath, or soak in a bucket).


Re: RT Article about Recovery Techniques

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:32 pm
by Jim
My own experience with ice baths after long runs has been pretty good.  I'm usually able to handle more mileage the day after a long run if I have an ice bath (along with a cold beer and a lot of carbs) right after the run. 

I also find a 20-30min pool-running session about 5-6 hours after a long run just as beneficial as an ice bath, although no beer allowed in the pool.  I think it's the compression of all that water in the pool and the easy running movement that helps to flush out the muscles.