Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Recover Quickly From a Marathon

This WORKS you runners and triathletes out there! So listen up and give it a try.

I finished the London Marathon on Sunday and as of yesterday (Wednesday), I was mostly recovered. Today (Thursday) I feel like I could actually run again. OK to be fair, I did more of a walk/run this race, but it was still 26.2 miles. Anyway, I have also run a 3:36 marathon and used this same practice to recover.

So here is the secret: THE COLD PLUNGE.

I know what you are thinking, "But Amie, you hate, despise, and detest the cold." Why yes, I do! However, you have to remember the other important part of the recovery plan: ALTERNATING HEAT IN WITH THE COLD SO AS NOT TO WANT TO DIE.

Here is the sitch. On Tuesday, I went to the Porchester Spa, which costs all of £14 with my Westminster Resident Card (awesome). It is really more of a Turkish Bath, but spa has a nicer ring to it in my opinion. A photo of the cold plunge is there on the right.

Anywho, here is what you do:
  1. Spend about 10 to15 minutes in a hot sauna or jacuzzi to really get your blood flowing. I like to stay in there until I just about pass out, I love hot. 
  2. Get out of the heat, and hot into a cold plunge  (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit) up to you waist for at least 5 minutes (or as long as you can stand it, 5 minutes is it for me and I imagine if I had balls I'd stay in for even less time).
  3. Repeat several times. 
 I am telling you, this works. After the first cold plunge, my legs felt amazing. All the soreness in my quads and hips was gone. While I still have a little residual soreness across my shins today, that is probably a function of my weird gait while walk/running and trying to keep from aggravating my sore posterior tibial tendon. The rest of me is just fine, thank you very much.

For all you Bay Area runners wanting to give this a try for yourself, here are a few places with cold plunges:

Watercourse Way in Palo Alto - see the photo there on the left. I love Watercourse. You can rent a tub room for 30 minutes or an hour and it is totally worth it.

Jin Healing for Women in San Francisco.

Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg (duh)

Burke Williams in San Jose - not sure about a cold plunge here, I haven't ever been to this spa. Anyone out there know?

You're welcome.


Rich said...

Works for recovering from marathon boozing sessions, too!

FinnyKnits said...

No cold plunge at BW, but they do have a cold shower mist thing which I've never tried because I'm too busy poaching myself in the steam room and jacuzzi. Love that place. Also, Watercourse Way is great and there are other bath house type places all over Santa Cruz because obviously...hippies.

hub said...

Also in sf: kabuki spa