Helsinki IFK forwards Lennart Petrell and Joonas Rask know that if you miss your ice bath, your body will remind you next morning. The team’s cold-water immersion pools speed up recovery when the intense season puts the physiques of the players to test.
Weight training, on ice training, cooling down, cold therapy. The tight training schedule of IFK’s first team dominates the routines of captain Lennart Petrell and vice-captain Joonas Rask.
After morning training in August, Petrell and Rask are waiting for their turn in the Avantopool Kinos cold recovery pools in the team’s new recovery room in Helsinki Ice Hall. Two Avantopool cold pools glowing in the club’s red color make cold recovery smooth in the middle of hectic training schedule.
The players need to optimize the recovery process especially during the season, since the time to recover between games is short.
”You need to stay fresh every day during the season. You’ll know next morning if you skipped the pools after the game. If your muscles ache a little at night after the game, it’s usually gone in the morning, thanks to the cold therapy”, says Rask.
Recovering from a game usually starts with a jog or some bicycling.
”There’s a big difference in how you feel if you leave it at that or continue with cold therapy”, Petrell says.
Skating puts particular strain on waist and hip muscles. Cold-water therapy soothes the inflammation in the muscles and joints by stimulating the local circulation and metabolism.
”Cold therapy definitely also helps you sleep”, Petrell continues.
Cold therapy, upgraded
Cold-water immersion has been a part of the muscle recovery regime of IFK players for a long time now. The arrival of the Avantopool Kinos baths has elevated cold recovery to a more professional level at the club, as ice buckets and other makeshift solutions have made way for Avantopools which are equipped with automated temperature control and constant water cleaning.
“Avantopool is always ready for use at the right water temperature”, says Petrell.
”Cleanness of the water is also a major plus compared to some of the pools I’ve seen. When you’re aware that fifteen guys are using the same pool, knowing that the water is filtered and clean makes sitting in the pool a lot more pleasant”, Petrell says with a laugh.
Both Petrell and Rask give praise to IFK for its investments in high-quality cold therapy.
”Recovery is critical for success, and cold therapy is an important part of the process when the season heats up. The club does everything it can to help us recover”, Rask says.
”It sends a clear message from the club to the players. They spare no effort to give us the best chance to succeed on game nights”, says Petrell.