Mighty Google has once again connected the dots on my behalf and it's pretty scary.. and useful.
Today, a friend sent me a video from Andrew Huberman about the benefits of cold water for increasing strength and endurance, and it just so happened that I also had an interview with him in my podcast queue, where he discussed the benefits of hot sauna and cold therapy. I took this as a sign and decided to listen to both.
I won't attempt to summarize or paraphrase the wealth of information in the interviews, as I would probably get the science wrong. All I can say is that my experience with ice baths has been life-changing. Mentally, I feel clearer for hours, and the physical benefits depend on whether I take an ice bath before or after my workout. I certainly feel enhanced recovery after long run and improved endurance for my strength workouts.
I haven't tried yet to take an ice bath before a long run, that's definitely one to experiment with
One interesting thing he highlighted was that many people, myself included, sit stoically still in the ice bath, and this is the most wimpy way to do it! It's far more beneficial, painful, and challenging to keep moving in the cold water as the water flow breaks the thin thermo layer on the skin. Making the cold water feel way colder. I know this for experience and now that I've been called up on it, I will have to adjust!
And after you get out, instead of wrapping yourself in a blanket, stand in the sun and let the wind dry you off. This I do... so not a totally wimp! :)