/ Running in compression socks/tights
As winter is approaching I am considering some tights but not sure whether to splash out for compression.
Currently use a rolling stick on the calves which works well (but is very painful on a few spots)
A quick search on google scholar and pubmed didn't show many positive studies...
I don't think there is a huge amount of science that backs up many of the claims made by the manufacturers, but with hopefully sounding like a follower of Woo, I do think they can help.
As the weather starts to get cooler, they provide a tiny bit of additional warmth to some big muscles, I think this helps.
They can provide a bit of stability, particularly for calves, which I do think help a bit with fatigue.
Does the compression help with recovery, not sure.
I think any benefits are marginal and are possibly even primarily mental, but even that can make a difference.
If you don't mind paying out, they are certainly worth trying.
Well, you may get a lot of people who have paid £70+ on a fancy pair of new tights who will inevitably tell you about how wonderful they are and how much difference they made blah blah blah.
Academic research struggles to prove/disprove the effects of compression (can't do double-blind tests), but some recent studies show it works. Medical bandages and braces are tight for a reason!
I wear at least calve compression for anything longer than 2 hours. It makes me feel better afterwards. I suppose it's more to do with avoiding vibration/oscillation than with compression and blood low factors.
In contrast to what is usually reported, I don't notice any improvement wearing compression gear for recovery. In fact, after a long workout I prefer to wear very loose cloth. Massage really works wonders for recovery IMO.
that's why I said "honest"
Someone might tell me they bought some and they noticed no benefit. Sounds lie you could be that man...have you tried them?
I use full length compression tights for recovery after long runs (20 miles+) but never for anything less. I 'believe' they help me a bit but as has been said before, this could be placebo. However they were only about £20.
I recently bought a pair of Skinz compression shorts and I wear them on steep runs. The primary factor is they give some support to my quads, and on downhills they help save them a bit from some of the tiny muscle fibre tears that inevitably happen on the way down. My favourite local run has 800m of downhill over about 3.5km so my legs do take a bit of a pounding and I find the shorts leave me a bit fresher afterwards.
The golden answer in running is - try stuff, and do what works for you. If you ask enough people you'll get an answer to support any theory you want.
I ran the Lakeland 100 last month which is 105 miles with a lot of up and down.
My training involved two long runs on consecutive days. Very early on in the training I was running 20 miles and then 14 miles or so the next day. At the end I was running 30 miles on Sunday and then 20 miles on Monday. This was 3 weeks out of 4.
I did all my training in shorts or standard running tights. I did use compression socks for recovery on occasion but found they made no significant difference. Recovery shakes (or milk) did make a big difference to recovery however. They made an instant difference to my recovery speed and I noticed it if I forgot to take one out with me. I also used recovery shakes during long runs.
On race day, I think I was the only one without any compression tights or shorts/socks. So anecdotely, for ultra distances, they work. But from my point of view, I made it round without any. Having said that, my thighs hurt like billyo and my feet were swollen to twice their size at the end. I think compression wear would have helped, but there's no way of being sure.
For injurys, I think they're useless. Much better to work out what's causing it and get a regular sports massage to control it. I had a sports massage every 3 weeks.
Er, so in conclusion, no idea but you certainly don't need them to do lots of running. Like most things in life, try them and see how they work for you.
If you want to try compression stuff without breaking the bank, then check out redvenom.co.uk
Supposed to be made in the same factories, using same materials, as some of the big names, but at a fraction of the cost. Small uk company started by a couple of triathletes I think.
There's been threads on here in the past discussing the benefits if you do a search.
"On race day, I think I was the only one without any compression tights or shorts/socks. So anecdotely, for ultra distances, they work."
Is this anecdotal evidence that they work, or anecdotal evidence that people think they work? Not sure.
You got me. Actually I noticed that the winner wore shorts and a t-shirt. So maybe it's all a load of rubbish after all.
In the very small number of races I have done the winners have always been shorts and vest types and all the duffers in the compression suits come huffing and puffing in later.
The killer blow to your street cred on the other hand...
I think the problem here is that they're just addressing the symptoms (tight calves) and not the cause.
For the last 3 weeks we had a friend staying with us who is retraining as a physio and it was invaluable to get some insight into the various bits of my body that are too tight/imbalanced from running (there are many) - stretching them out and addressing the cause is obviously going to do a lot more in the long term than compression wear.
> I think the problem here is that they're just addressing the symptoms (tight calves) and not the cause.
Good point. I missed the OPs reference to tight calves, which is not the same as fatigued calves at the end of a long run.
only recommending what worked for me, have no technical breakdown for this method, so i massaged in 'deep heat' cream and did 10-15 min warm up/stretching and same after, mebbe it was just all that rubbing that did the trick....
I found stretching and recovery shakes to be of far greater benefit but I did notice I had more DOMS if I skipped wearing tights after a run.
I do IT for a lab which tests medical compression hosiery. Basically they improve blood circulation to your legs (or arms or whereever) which will have a small positive effect.
There's some detail about the testing here:
Caveats - I don't do the testing or know anything much about it all, just the IT guy. So take anything I say with a big pinch o salt.
It's worth pointing out that unless the garments that your wearing have been tested, then there's no guarantee that they're actually working properly. For this reason, it's worth getting your GP to measure you up for a set of the proper medical ones and then buying them (they're quite cheap as well, when compared to skins). I've heard quite a few folk on the FRA forums advise this and it seems sensible to me.
Personally I like running in them as my legs feel warmer in cold conditions. Just have the cheap redvenom ones. Can't be arsed to spend £70 on Skins, seems a bit steep.
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