Friday, November 11, 2011

Compression Socks For The Distance Runner

Ever wondered if those 'funny-looking-long-socks-to-some' work for endurance and distance runners? If you have been noticing more marathoners and ultra-distance runners having them on during training and races, you would have seen the myriad of colours and brands that they come in.

Compression garments, and lately compression sleeves and socks have been largely worn to speed recovery after long and hard workouts as they aid in better bood circulation and veinous return, which go towards flushing out the lactate wastes accumulated during exercise. With the waste products causing muscle soreness and sometimes even cramps, it is no wonder these compression tights and socks play an important role in helping us recover from the soreness much faster, enabling us to get onto the roads and trails sooner rather than needing more time to rest and recover.

I have used compression tights such as 2XU in post-race and training recovery, and have used them in races to good effect, often delaying the onset of cramps (which used to inflict me before). Although the long compression tights are useful, they are restrictive when I need more localized compression like just for the calf region. That is when compression calf guards and socks come into play.

I have used a number of compression socks and guards in the past six months like CEP Compression, BV Booster calf sleeves, 2XU Compression Socks (new) and calf guards, all with positive effect to a greater degree. The CEP compression socks are very comfortable and more importantly, perform well - good that they come in some nice colours as well. The BV Boosters are high performance and good value for the slightly higher price they command. The 2XU compression socks are new to the market (coming on after their popular range of calf guards), and on initial testing show promise of a performing product at attractive price points for the marathoner seeking his/her first pair of compression socks/sleeves. They come in race and recovery models to cater to the different compression requirements.

Without having tried enough brands and haven't had sufficient exposure to them, I found a good review article about compression socks from Runners' World which gives 'a good guide to compression socks for any scenario'. If you are looking to have faster recovery from those hard and long runs, half, full and ultra marathon races, avoiding or delaying onset of calf cramps, you may wish to try out some of these effective compression socks and calf sleeves. You never know if they can help you recover faster and alleviate your cramping issues. As they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating...try to know if they work for you.

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