When you apply compression to specific body parts in a balanced and accurate way, it accelerates blood flow. In essence, compression gets more oxygen to your working muscles and could give you that boost you're looking for.
Compression has been used in hospitals for post operation recovery and long haul flights to help blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clotting for many years. It's not just a new discovery or excuse to wear the latest and loudest tights (not that we need an excuse of course!)
Put it this way, what makes everyone feel good? A big cuddle right!Think of wearing compression garments as giving your muscles a nice big cuddle when they're feeling a little tired or fatigued.
Isn't it just elite runners who need compression?
Just like an elite runner, the social runner also needs to recover between runs. Compression shouldn't replace rest, sleep and nutrition as your main sources of recovery, it should complement them.
How many times have you arrived home after a run and headed for the lounge or jumped straight in the car after your workout, then find a few hours later your legs feel like lead? Putting on your compression tights or calf tights before you hit the couch or jump behind the wheel will help reduce heavy legs feeling post run.
Should I race in compression or just train in them?
It really is an individual choice. As runners, we are known for having lower limb niggles and injuries. If you've spent hours, and spent money on travel and entry fees, why not use compression as a bit of insurance?
Predominantly, your calves take a beating whether you're running 5k or a marathon, but you also have a favourite pair of lucky running socks you insist on wearing; how do you choose between your lucky socks and compression? You don't, get SKINS calf tights. You can still wear your favourite socks while giving those calves the cuddles they deserve.
The best recovery is sleep. Combining sleep and compression recovery will score you huge points on the recovery scale. As I move into large volume in training, I'll start to sleep in RY400 recovery specific designed tights by SKINS. You should give them a try. And not just because I recommend them, but buying a pair of compression tights or calf guards can save you many hours and money on the physio's table.
See you out there hitting the pavement!