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hot tub vs. ice bath

Posted By: tati
Date: Sunday, 15 February 2009, at 6:22 p.m.

OK now I'm confused...I've always heard (and followed along) that it's great to get in the hot tub to loosen up after a hard effort but your best bet is to follow that up with an ice bath for optimum recovery.
So, in recent days/weeks I've been getting in the hot tub after long/hard rides & or runs and then soaking up to my hip for 10min in an unheated pool (frigid!). It's not as good as the ice tub in college, but it works fine.
Anyway...last night after arriving from Palm Springs I went directly into the hot tub for about 15min and then it was so cold outside that I bagged the unheated pool soak.
This morning I thought I'd wake up with heavy legs for my run, but to my surprise, it was quite the opposite- I had one of my best runs on a very hilly route. There was zero fatigue from the day before or the entire big week for that matter.
Thoughts as to which is better or in what combination?
Thanks!

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