Self Care Training Tips: Water and Ice


From Jeffrey Spratt, MT's Powerpoint Presentation to John Hancock Employees Boston Marathon Team 2016 "Training for Your Boston Marathon"


I love sharing my training tips with you for your Boston Marathon run. Knowledge is power and I want you to be empowered to run your best race.


There is a poem by Robert Frost, Fire and Ice, that inspired me to focus on the importance of water and ice in today's blog. Those miles are building up as you train for your Spring Marathon. It is vital to make sure that you are mindful of your hydration on and off the roads. It's as important in colder temperatures as in warmer weather. Check out this article, "The Importance of Hydration for Runners."


Our bodies are made up of 50-65% water so it makes sense that it is vital to support our body's need for hydration especially when you are placing the extra burden of marathon training on the body. Hydration reduces the risk of injury.


Its frozen counterpart, ice, is a must for recovery from your long runs and to help relieve joint or foot pain.


I know the thought of an ice bath in winter is hard to imagine.  There's a "down and dirty" way of getting the benefits of an ice bath in your shower. After you stretch, refuel and hydrate, take your regular shower. Right before you are going to get out, turn the water to cold. Run your lower extremities under the cold water. Two minutes is all it takes! Why is icing important? Ice helps to calm the muscles and facilitates the evacuation of the metabolic waste that builds when you stress your muscles during training. It helps to create a constant flow rather than allow the continuous build up of congestion. In addition, muscle cells are still active even though you've stopped running. They can’t get the necessary repair material to repair the microtears that occur in order to eventually build muscle once you are at rest.  Ice slows down muscle cells and helps to facilitate the flow of repair material to your muscles and then force excess material out of the muscle.


If you are suffering with plantar fascitis freeze a water bottle! Use it as you would a foam roller on your foot. It reduces inflammation and stimulates healing. We recommend the ice wrap for knee or ankle pain. Take 10 minutes before and/or after a run to wrap them around your knees or ankles to bring down inflammation.


Self care with a consistent post run recovery routine is vital to staying healthy as you add on miles.


If you haven't already included sports massage therapy into your training, now is a great time to do so. You need to condition your body to massage therapy as you train your body for running. You'll learn how your body responds to massage and can work with your therapist to figure out the best schedule as you head to the starting line.

Regular sports massage therapy sessions using the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy is a fantastic training tool to help you run your best race.

  •         Decrease your recovery time
  •         Increase your performance
  •         Prevent injuries
  •         Regular flushing and stretching helps you to recover and prepare with greater ease

To your journey!