Using Cryo to help with my NYC marathon preperation
Some of you may know that I’m running the New York City Marathon on 5 November 2017 raising money for McMillan Cancer Support charity.
This follows the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 8 October 2017 for the Scope. Yes, I love running, and if I can support great causes while doing it, all the better.
This will be marathon number four for me. I have done the amazing Virgin London marathon three times, 2012, 2015 and 2016. Happily, I’ve improved with each one — who says getting older has to negatively affect fitness.
While I’ve always been passionate about health and fitness, I find that I do need a goal in sight to keep myself motivated. Running a 10k, a half or full marathon is that motivation for me.
It doesn’t hurt that training for a race comes with all kinds of benefits — muscle tone, improved mood, better sleep, and yes, it’s how I lost my baby weight from both my kids.
To keep things varied, I supplement my training with varied exercise classes: I love my yoga boxing classes at BXR, love the “Lomax Blast” in the City, and I have become addicted to GymClass with yoga classes to keep me stretched and balanced, both mentally and physically.
Keeping up this schedule (especially at 43) means that my recovery is just as important as all the training. This is why I am so grateful for cryotherapy.
As a runner (and especially when training and competing in marathons), I’m plagued by all manner of sprains, strains, and aches. This includes suffering from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) Hey, you have to take the bad with the good, right? – this is mainly where cryo comes into play. Cryo involves getting my body cold enough to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
My brain sends a message to my blood system to get it to rush to my internal organs to oxygenate so once my 3 minutes is done and I step outside the cabin the magic happens. The blood rushes to the muscles that are feeling sore to reduce this and helps reduce any inflammation…
I recently completed a 20-mile race and all I could think of as I struggled from mile 16 to the end was, "Tomorrow I will have a cryo session and all this pain will be gone”. All it took was three minutes at -140c and I was back to normal.
Everyone has their own system but I tend to do three sessions a week, one after my long run on Sunday and another mid-week after two days of cross training and my training runs which involve four-five miles on consecutive days. In addition, once a week I subject myself to a deep tissue massage with the wonderful Joanna Zachs.
Now if you’ve ever had a deep tissue massage, you’ll know they are miles away from the delicately scented, whale song massages of a luxury spa, but they do wonders for treating pain and inflammation associated with intense training. So, wish me luck with my races.
So what Is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is nothing new to elite athletes, having been championed by the likes of Mo Farah and Cristiano Ronaldo for its muscle recovery benefits for years now – but now more and more people are signing up for cryotherapy after hearing of its health and beauty benefits.
Inside a LondonCryo Cabin, you’ll be exposed to temperatures of -140. The extreme cold forces the blood to rush to the internal organs to allow them to be replenished with nutrients. After three (very cold!) minutes, the body will be flowing with oxygen-rich blood, this is where it helps with the muscle recovery. It also rejuvenates the skin, increases energy levels, improves sleep quality and relieves stress. Other benefits are that it can also boost calorie burn, encourage a release of endorphins and even help with pain management.
Cryotherapy helps me whilst training as it helps prevent injury and reduce soreness and allows me to return to training much sooner. In just a matter of minutes, I can get an all-around pain relief and recovery treatment. It helps with my performance and recovery. *You can help me raise money for this great cause by donating directly to my fundraising page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MariaEnsabellaNYC