To compress or not to compress…

Yes, I am about to blog about socks….saddle up!

During my first half marathon, I noticed a few people running with knee-high socks on. I totally thought it was just part of their running outfits and didn’t really understand why you would want the extra heat. But, I soon found out that these were no ordinary socks……

They are compression socks, which have been used in the past to prevent and reduce the occurrence of venous disorders such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. I did some research on the use of compression in running and found that many runners believe they help blood floor and actually cause them to run a tiny bit faster. They can also aide in muscle recovery after a run. I didn’t really have any major issues and I wasn’t exactly pegged to win any sprints in London this year, so I pretty much shrugged them off.  Besides, I thought they could just be a fad and in a year or two everyone would be on to the next “new thing”

Then, after the NYC half in April, I had a really hard time with muscle recovery in my calves. So, I gave it a second thought. I still didn’t think I needed them while I ran, but maybe they would help ease and speed recovery after long runs and races.

I went back to reading articles and blogs to get more information.

There are some major benefits to compression:

  1. decreased post-exercise muscle soreness
  2. reduced lower leg swelling swelling
  3. more convenient than an ice bath 🙂
  4. faster recovery = quicker return to training

I actually really wanted to give these a try and I guess I started talking about them enough because Joe’s parents got me a pair for my birthday last week!

There are many varieties out there and not all socks are created equal, so make sure you know what you need/want when you go to buy. These are Sigvaris Athletic Recovery 15-20mmHg Knee High Socks and can be found here.

I have only worn them twice now; once after a run and once after an exceptional hard leg work out an evil personal trainer put me through (more on that in a later post). I LOVE THEM. Maybe they really are reducing the lactic acid build-up and easing soreness or maybe it’s a complete placebo effect and I’m just convinced they are helping. Or, maybe it’s just the comfort of sitting around the house with my legs wrapped in their own personal sleeping bags. I don’t know, but I think they are helping and I am definitely going to continue wearing them 🙂

The verdict: Compress!!

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