Sarah Mac

I didn't give ice baths much thought back in college. You just jumped in the training room tub after a hard workout. Check the temp, add some scoops of ice, flip through some old soggy running magazine and try to forget you're freezing your $%^* legs off.

I left those ice baths in the past until I started training for my first marathon 4 years later. I decided to bring them back into my routine. I remember I searched the internet to see if you could do them at home. Of course you could!

I was training with my friend Dave and I introduced him to the ice bath after our first 18 miler. He is a swimmer turned runner and thought I was INSANE. I had to prove to him that runner's actually did this. Then he got in his first ice water soak. He lasted about :45 seconds and screamed like a little girl boy the entire time.

Watching him curse me while he stomped off to 'warm up' got me thinking about the rituals we runners never even think twice about that non-runners may deem crazy. Like... snot gloves. You know the $1 a pair cotton gloves perfect for blowing your nose into and potentially throwing away mid-run if your hands get too hot. Or driving part of your long run loop to drop off Gatorade. Hiding little bottles behind fences or trees. (This one's old school now that people have the belts, but I used to drive my long run to hide hydration along the way). Not to mention race day rituals. The ‘crazy train’ never stops.

What is a ritual that you think non-runners would find crazy? Or maybe one you thought was crazy before you became a runner?


-If you look at the Google image results for 'ice bath runner' you'll see a surprising number of pictures. Here's one more to add to the mix: my popsicle legs after last Sunday's long run.-

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