The Glory of Post-Workout Recovery

All athletes know that recovery is key for success. Here at the OTC, nothing is different.

The recovery methods and techniques available for the elite athletes who live here are many, and most of them I’ve tried.

I mentioned NormaTec pants in my last post: inflatable, compression pants that help pump blood to the legs and flush out lactic acid. These can be used pre- and post-workout. Though they felt kind of weird and almost uncomfortable the first couple times I used them, I’ve gotten used to the pressure, and it actually feels quite good, particularly when the compressing cells are pressing on a sore or painful area.

Getting rid of that lactic acid with the NormaTec in the OTC!

Most high schools and all college sports training centers have some form of ice baths. At Hemet High School and at Northern Arizona University, where I went to college, the ice baths were basically horse troughs filled with cold water and ice. These can reach around 50 degrees, and the athlete only gets in them for 10-15 minutes. They can go in up to  their neck if they wish, but who wants to do that?

Here in Lake Placid, the cold tub is actually that: a tub, like a hot tub a hotel would have, but filled with ice-cold water. There are two horse troughs in the treatment center, but they’re filled with hot water for hot baths.

When I use the ice bath, I usually go in to my hips, and occasionally will sit on an inflatable ball, which puts me in up to my stomach. I’ve only once gone lower than that, when I had bruised ribs from my saddle. I went all the way up to my chest for that one…and I will never do it again! It took over an hour to get warm again!

Following rough days at the track, many of the skeleton athletes will get in the cold tub. This week in particular, after sliding, 5-8 of us have been getting into the cold tub as soon as we get back to the training center. Since the recovery center closes at 6, we have to rush back sometimes, but it’s well worth it. Actually, several athletes use this tub multiple times a day.

Braving the cold tub after sliding

There are many other treatment options available to us, including stem (a machine that sends electric pulses through the area targeted), foam rollers, stretching machines, and ice machines located throughout the training center. They make it easy for us to treat ourselves, and the trainers also make themselves avaliable to us. It’s much easier to take care of injuries and soreness when I’m here, as opposed to back home in California or in Virginia.

We certainly take advantage of everything that we can while we’re here!

I want to send out a huge thanks to Robbie and Susan Robinson for their donation! It helps boost my confidence so much when I know that I am supported by not only family, but friends as well! I appreciate it so much!

For those who are interested in supporting me in my run towards the Olympic Games, please contact me either at lsesalter@gmail.com, or send your donation to my name at 196 Old Military Road, Lake Placid, NY 12946.

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