Fowles, J. R., Boutilier, G., & Murphy, R. J. (2003). Cold water immersion following intense interval running improves subsequent running performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 183.

This study evaluated the effects of cold-water immersion (to the wait in 8oC water) after intense interval training on performance. Ss were active individuals (M = 9; F = 7). They performed vertical jump, a treadmill run to fatigue, which was then followed by an intense 6 km interval run that included 72 flights of stairs (average time to completion 43.5 min). Ten minutes after the interval run, Ss were assigned to a cold immersion group or a control group that completed light stretching exercises. Two days later, Ss once again performed the performance tests.

Treadmill performance time was reduced in the control group (from 9.04 to 8.19 min) but improved in the immersion group (from 11.99 to 12.82 min). Vertical jump, heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, performance in the intense interval run, and soreness were similar between groups.

Implication. Cold-water immersion following intense exercise may reduce the effects of fatigue and improve subsequent submaximal performance but not maximal performance.

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