Recently, we learned that dehydration and electrolytes may not be the culprits behind cramping during races. For those of us who have been running for many years, this was difficult to digest.
A couple of years ago, word got around that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (AKA NSAIDs, AKA ibuprofen, etc.) might actually be interfering with the healing process so we all became ice bath officionados.
Now, we learn that maybe icing isn’t such a great thing to do, either!
Richard Lovett, writing in the August edition of Running Times, says that researchers have long known that tearing the muscles down is part of the process of building them back stronger.
What’s new is the realization that inflammation is one of (Nike coach) Magness’ “signaling pathways”–and probably an important one. You could think of it as your muscles’ biochemical call for help. Ouch, we’re damaged, they’re more or less telling the rest of the body. Come help us repair.
So by quickly reducing inflammation, we may be reducing the impact of the workout we just finished.
Part of me is happy to learn this, because ice baths are not super fun. However, I reserve the right to jump in Lake Natomas after a long run on a warm day. It may not help my training, but it is still refreshing and fun.
The obvious question that we have to ask now is: How long before we learn that compression socks, while they are incredibly sexy looking, don’t really do anything good for your muscles?
(Thanks to G-Man for the tip!)