Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Compression Equipment

As many of you can tell I read a lot about equipment and tips or tricks that will help me be a better cyclist, runner, student, son and brother. Recently I have read some interesting material regarding compression sox, organic training products, metronome training (cadence setting), Garmin Forerunner 110 (heart rate training), and meditation. I mention them sporadically but I figured today would be a good day to chat specifically about what I am reading and or using. (this will be split into a few posts)

Compression sox and compression generally I love. I have read the research of how hospitals use compression sox to aid blood flow after surgery, or how this ultra runner or that one swears by them. I have a problem with dropping $ 40 on a pair of sox. I am a guy who loved trails, and running through puddles, fact. But I am not dropping a couple hundred bucks for set of sox for every night I run, that’s crazy talk. I did read a post by Steve Magness (Science of Running) and another by Pete Larson (Runblogger) with regards to compression. Both of these bloggers are great because the way they write is so honest and you can just tell they care about what they are talking about. Both experienced positive results but both, although they liked the idea, did not swear by it. So, I used to being injured 90% of the time I did any physical activity. I did what I knew to do…went out and purchase calf sleeves (McDavid Brand from Sports Authority but cheaper online 12 bucks for one). I figured two things; the purpose of the compression is to avoid injury (stress of running) and to heal once the running has stopped. My calves and I are going through a semi divorce/separation. They do not like my new stride (mid foot landing) and I do not like that they warm up during a run then kill me the next morning. It makes getting out of bed martyrdom. So the sleeves are neoprene. I decided for neoprene sleeves rather than the compression sox or sleeves because
  • I run with Vibram Shoes and compression sox would be an issue, therfore going with sleeves that can be used with any shoe sox or no sox. 
  • $40 or $50 ?!! or 30 and the neoprene material seems more resilient and I know can take a beating.
  • I use them for after running, during the run I experienced no difference, except I was warmer, but besides that not much. After running I can tell my calves feel stronger and ache less when I wear them for a few hours after running as opposed to nothing at all.
  • Compression is compression regardless of if it comes from well made sox or sleeves.
I know that the sox technology is amazing. All he companies ZENSAH, ZOOT, CEP, Balega, etc. have really worked on having the most compression at the bottom and easing it towards the top which is not the case with the McDavid Sleeve which has even compression throughout. But, that being said the compression thing works. I feel better after I wear them than the days I do not wear them after a run. If I hit the lottery maybe I will throw down for a pair of compression sleeve from one of these companies, but for now I am good thanks.

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