Guest-blogger Dani Grabol gives us insight into all the compression gear we see people wearing. Dani is an ultra-runner, 2x Ironman triathlon finisher, and all around endurance junkie. She’s not a mom (unless you count dogs!) But loves seeing strong mommas out there training and racing!
Compression tights have long been used in the medical field. Originally designed for people who suffered from blood clots, compression tights are used to increase blood flows to limbs. At some point someone figured out that compression could also be used in sports and thus the compression craze was born.
When compression socks first made their debut I was all over it. I work in the medical field and knew that they were proven beneficial. I looked like a total goofball running around in my calf sleeves, but I didn’t care. I felt a difference. Personally I think the calf sleeves are amazing when you are running on a hilly course. It’s almost like you can feel the blood rush to your calves at the top of a climb!
For me personally, I think the biggest benefit to compression clothing lies in it’s ability to decrease post-race/run soreness and stiffness. Basically compression gets me back out there faster! I own several different brands of compression clothing, so here is my opinion!
Sugoi: I like these as post run recovery. I find the sock part not totally comfy but I am somewhat strange about socks. These are a great sock for recovery. They are a little hot for summertime running.
2XU: I have both the compression shirt and compression sleeves. They are the definition of compression! I love the top after a hard swim or upper body workout. The sleeves are great to sleep in, but I find that they are so tight running they cut off circulation to my toes and cause them to get numb.
CW-X Tights: Combine a pair of these tights with a foam roller and an ice bath and you won’t even realize that you did a race the next day! Excellent value for the price! I found them on amazon and have loved the full tights. I have the recovery pair and I sleep in them after races. I have never tried running in them, because it seems like they are just a bit too tight for running!
CEP Calf Sleeves: These are the sleeves that I wear to run in. They are breathable, not too tight to cut off circulation, and still work. They can be a bit hot in the summer heat, but that is my only complaint. I wear the sleeves so that I can still wear my favorite socks!
110% Recovery: This is a very unique idea. Take compression and combine it with ice packs! I am wearing my calf sleeves as I write this. I love them because unlike ice packs I am still able to be mobile and get around. Plus they come with a super cool bag that keeps them cold for up to 4 hours! The idea is that you bring them with you while you run and put them on immediately following your run. I know that they are pricey, but if you are like me and take a lot of ice baths then they pay for themselves pretty quickly!
If you aren’t totally sure about compression gear yet but still want some of the benefits here are some suggestions:
-Elevate your legs post run or race. Professional cyclist are famous for lying on the floor with their legs up in the air after long rides!
-If you are traveling from a race requires a long ride, make sure that you get out every couple of hours and walk around.
-Take an ice bath. Yeah I know it sounds really, really horrible. And it is. But it’s an incredible recovery tool. You only need to sit in it for 5-8 minutes to feel the benefits.
-Go for a swim or easy ride the next day. No matter how sore you are try to get in some light activity the following day. It doesn’t need to be anything challenging, the idea is to get some blood flowing to your sore muscles!