ICE/WATER IMMERSION IN RECOVERY HELPS ONLY SOME ATHLETES
Bosak, A., Bishop, P., Smith, J., Green, M., Richardson, M., & Iosia, M. (2006). Impact of cold water immersion on 5 Km racing performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1567.
"Anecdotal evidence suggests that cold water immersion immediately following intense distance running efforts aids in next day performance perhaps by decreasing injury or increasing recovery". This study compared 5 Km racing performance after 24 hours with and without cold water immersion. Well-trained runners (M = 9; F = 3) completed two successive (pre- and post-24-hour passive recovery with and without cold water immersion) 5-Km running trials, on two separate occasions, separated by 6-7 days of normal training. Immediately following the first baseline 5-Km trial, runners were treated with ice/cold water immersion for 12 minutes followed by 24 hours of passive recovery. Another session involved two 5-Km time trials, a baseline and another trial, after 24 hours of passive recovery.
Performance after ice/water immersion recovery was not significantly different from baseline while the control condition was significantly slower than baseline. Ice/water immersion recovery average heart rate was significantly less than baseline while the control heart rate was similar to baseline. Ice/water immersion recovery rating of perceived exertion after running was significantly less than baseline while in the control condition it was not significantly different from baseline. For the ice/water immersion recovery trials, seven Ss ran slower, three Ss ran a faster, and two Ss ran similar times. During the control trials, seven Ss ran slower, three Ss faster, and two ran similar times.
Implication. Cold ice/water immersion minutely reduces the decline of next day running performance in some runners. Responses differ considerably between runners.
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