>> Monday, February 01, 2010
We’ve all heard the back-and-forth arguments. Pro (the theory): “Compression technology helps support those tiny muscles enabling you to focus on going faster while not working on having to stabilize those smaller muscles.” Con: “Well, why aren’t all pro athletes wearing them?” Pro: “Well, [this pro athlete] always wears them, and [he/she] just placed [top 10] in [this big race].” Con: “They’re just too uncomfortable - I can’t get used to wearing them. And is the price tag worth it?”
It seems like people love them or hate them. Here I am back in October in my new Sugoi Piston 200 Compression Tights:
TC 10 Mile. Oct 5, 2009. NO COMPRESSION TIGHTS. 1:02:43
Monster Dash 10 Mile. Oct 31, 2009. WEARING TIGHTS. 1:02:19.
The Monster Dash 10 Mile was on a similar course as the TC 10 Mile (less long hills, but more short, rolling hills), but it was on a SLIGHTLY worse day. But I tried a different race strategy where I went out a lot faster at the Monster Dash, so I was nearly a minute faster than my TC 10 Mile time at mile 3, and 1:19 faster at the half-way point.
Compression Technology for Racing: Grade of C+. They were comfortable for me to race in, but I don’t see any improvement in my numbers. Those 24 seconds were mostly due to racing the first half of that race harder, not due to the tights. (BTW, I just wore those tights for my half marathon 10 days ago too.)
Compression Technology for Recovery: Grade of A-. This was the big surprise for me. On the same day that I did the Monster Dash 10 Mile, I also cheered and ran with Pharmie during part of her 50K Trail Race. Overall, I put 20 miles on my legs that day - the second highest mileage day I’ve ever had. And I kept my tights on from my pre-race until well after getting home from Pharmie’s race (from about 5 am until about 5 pm). Being in the tights that long DOES start to get uncomfortable (mostly because of leg hair and “the boys” needing to breath), but it really helped flush out my muscles. I actually wore the tights for about 8 hours on Saturday after a 9 miler because of some more intense leg workouts recently. I really feel they help for that!
What’s been your experience with compression technology? Give me your 2 cents. And check back at 2 am and 2 pm every day this week for more “Does It Work” posts.