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Recovery protocols

Simple and effective rapid recovery protocols

Ice baths are funMuch is written on recovery protocols.  At time of writing, one of the simplest and most effective procotols is, as close as practicable to the conclusion of a training or racing session, an ice bath in 12-15 degree celcius water, standing upright, ideally at at least mid chest depth for 10 minutes.Ice bath closeup of ice

Theories as to why this works vary, there's the rapid cooling of core temperature and graduated compression by standing upright that may both contribute to the athlete's recovery. There's certainly a strong placebo effect as well.

Ice baths aren't so bad after allDr Shona Halson from the AIS published a recovery handbook in 2010, in which is noted that both contrast (hot & cold) and cold water immersion were effective, while hot immersion and passive recovery were less so.  Cold water immersion is easy to set up, equipment as simple as a large plastic rubbish bin and a few bags of ice are sufficient to set up a cold water immersion recovery session.

It's also good to show some solidarity, some coaches firmly believe that if they are to make their athletes suffer, they should lead by example : Never do to them that which you won't do to yourself!

Any ice bath session should be concluded no less than 70 minutes before resumption of competition or training.