|Even horses are getting in on the act! Source: Mirror Online|
Go to any running race, most triathlons as well as some other sporting events, and you'll be guaranteed to see competitors clad in an assortment of compression clothing, from tops and tights to calf sleeves, quad sleeves and arm sleeves. Makes me wonder if they're all just jumping on the bandwagon (as we do), especially when you see compression being worn at 5km and 10km races.
I for one resolutely stayed away from compression garments until after my first 100km race in 2010. I'd been given the stuff, calf sleeves, top and tights, but I don't like tight-fitting clothing, and never bothered trying them as I also thought I'd get too hot. In a bid to cover all my bases preparing for my first 100 miler, I decided to try the calf sleeves on a long run. Anything that claimed to reduce fatigue and speed up recovery is worth a try when you're planning to run an ultra!
Long story short, I thought they made a difference. One significant enough to convince me to start training and racing in my calf sleeves. These were the 2XU ones, and they still left a lot to be desired. The compression factor faded with each wash and the silicon band at the top left me with itchy welts if I stayed too long in them. Still, I didn't think much of it. I had 4 sets (race booty) so I thought I'd just use and abuse them. Compression clothing can be expensive, and I wasn't prepared to pay for it just yet.
|Compression tights give you wiiiings! Photo: UTMB|
|Compressport rainbow! Photo: The Runner's Gait|
Compressport ForQuad, and R2 Sleeves
- Detox - significant reduction in lactic acid buildup
- Anti-fatigue - shock and vibration absorption
- Recovery - increased venous feedback
- Ultralight - lightweight (wet or dry)
- Ultra-resistant - tear-proof
- UV protection (minmum UPF30)
- Antibacterial (they stay stink-free!)
|I turned the sleeves round so that the runners behind would have something to read! ;D Photo: Pamela Sidhu|
|Almost full body compression! Photo: Dev Sidhu|
The benefits of reduced muscle fatigue and improved recovery were apparent to me after the first use. I first tried them during a two day race and the next day my leg muscles were definitely less fatigued. Good thing they dry fast, I liked them so much that I washed them straight after the race and put them back on again for recovery. And slept in them. And wore the R2s for racing the next day. I decided to save the ForQuad and Arm Sleeves for post-race recovery. I didn't think I'd notice much of a difference with the Arm Sleeves, but I actually missed having them on the next day whilst running. I can see how they'd be great in races with a lot of climbing and poles are used.
|X-Physique Adventure Race, May 2012. Photo: NTU X-Physique|
|Ford and I in R2s for post-race recovery. Photo: Fabian Williams|
The Runner's Gait, 99 Soo Chow Walk. Singapore 575348. Tel: +65 6456 7868