After now completing my second 10 marathons in 10 days and using the ice bath both times I have become quite a believer in its ability to reduce swelling and help the body recover for further activity the next day. I have been doing 10 minutes each day in the bath. My plan after day 10 was again to use it so when I became a civilian on Monday and no longer a “Brathay 10in10 athlete” (I liked saying that!) I wouldn’t be too stiff.
As I walked to the ice bath, I passed the Cryolab Sports vehicle offering their freezing chamber of nitrogen and remembered Paul Foster had told me we (10in10ers) were able to us their services for free. Initially I dismissed the idea and continued to walk to the ice bath but then thought it might be worth a try and the experience so I turned round and approached them.
I had to strip to my underpants, take the chain off from round my neck and put on some fleecy socks and gloves. I stepped into the chamber and the 3 minute process started. Very quickly the temperature in the chamber started to drop and the mist started to go over my shoulders and drop out of the top of the chamber. Every so many seconds more nitrogen is injected and I could feel the air around me getting seriously cold, within 1 minute I was shivering. On the back of my calves it felt like there was ice in the air and it was tickling them. As I reached the end of the 3 minutes I asked how cold it was and apparently it had got to minus 128 degrees! I was too cold to ask the other obvious question, Centigrade or Fahrenheit? When the 3 minutes were up, I was relieved to be released from the chamber.
Getting out was really pleasant everywhere felt so warm! Unlike the ice bath where my legs go red, stiff and are freezing for ages, after the Cryochamber my legs quickly recovered. I was going to find it hard to believe there would be any benefits considering it was so much easier than the ice bath.
It is now the morning after, how do I feel?
Initially as I first woke up and moved in bed I could immediately notice the difference!
My achy knees weren’t aching and my legs were definitely less stiff. As I got out of bed and walked around the house I was hardly stiff, the best I have felt for 10 days! This is either a huge coincidence or the effects of the Crylab.
I do have a questionable down side to it though. Running very long distances over several days makes your toes very sore and swollen. I found the ice bath great help with cooling my feet and probably reducing the number of toe nails I’ll lose. With having the socks on, my toes aren’t as good this morning. I suppose a bucket of cold water after the Cryochamber would be the perfect solution. Also lots of runners doing what I have done over the last 10 days struggle with swollen ankles, would the Cryochamber help here with the socks on?
I did sleep slightly better last night than previous days during the 10in10 but there wasn’t much difference. I could probably do with more experience to give a better and more thorough comment.
I must thank Paul and Karl for letting me experience their Cryochamber. I will certainly enjoy the benefits at work today, shame I’m not doing 11 in 11! I’m really enjoying walking round the house this morning with very little soreness and no knee pain, this could be the way forward and I would definitely like to use their services again should I do the 10in10 again 😉
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