Running Quick Tip: An Easy Way To Apply Ice Small Area Running Injuries

Running Quick Tip: An Easy Way To Apply Ice To Small Area Running Injuries


When you need to apply ice to small, focused areas, like an Achilles tendon or your knee, here’s a quick tip to help maintain direct contact between your skin and the injured area. One problem with ice packs is that, while these are OK for icing broad areas, they’re not ideal for directing ice to a very focused area.

Ice is one of the main components of the RICE principle: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.


Ice is used to help reduce swelling and inflammation of the muscles or soft tissues. After a recent bout with Achilles tendonitis, I learned a little trick for icing this area. A big plus: it uses items you probably already have around the house.

Take a few small dixie cups, fill them up with water just below the edge, and put them in your freezer (since I run a running club, I use the small 5 oz Gatorade cups, since we buy them in bulk by the thousands). After frozen, simply tear the edges away and apply the ice to the affected area. When treating my Achilles, these were so much easier to use – I could easily move them around the back and sides of my injury.

icing injuries and tips for runners

(left to right: empty cup, frozen cup, cup in use)

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About the Author Steve Carmichael

Steve is an RRCA / USA Track and Field certified running coach who has helped thousands of runners since 2010. He coaches runners online as well as provides speed, agility, endurance, and strength coaching through his company Run For Performance", in Columbus, Ohio. He is host of RunBuzz Running, a top-rated running podcast with 150+ episodes available for free on all major podcast apps. Steve resides in Lewis Center, Ohio with his wife, kids, and dog.

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