To compress or not

No, i’m not trying to channel my inner cheerleader. Not sure i actually have an inner cheerleader but, either way, still not trying to channel her. Just trying to give my calves some lovin’.

Last year i started running in compression tights and fell in love. I must admit, i’m not crazy about the way they flatten my butt and they’re super hard to get on and off but they still felt great. I loved the compression on my hips and low back. It really seemed to help with the fatigue during and after runs.

So, i broke down and got some compression socks to help with all my calf issues. I’ve been wearing them after runs since i started back after my injury and it really seems to help with my recovery. Now that we’ve gotten into longer runs, i’ve felt like maybe i need the compression during the runs too. I’m too picky about my socks though so i went with the compression calf sleeves for this. I’m pretty much loving these too. It’s amazing that some days i will wake up and walk down the stairs and my calves are like a ball of knots but when i put the sleeves on, they seem to ease up.

What is the deal with compression? The socks or sleeves are made of a compression material that compresses the surface veins, arteries, and muscles. The circulating blood is forced through narrower channels and the arterial pressure is increased, causing more blood to return to the heart and less blood to pool in the feet.

What are the benefits?
1. improved oxygen delivery to muscles
2. stabilization of the lower leg for greater muscle efficiency
3. cramp prevention
4. minimized muscle fatigue as a result of more compact muscles
5. speeding recovery

Calves or sleeves? I really like the sock for a post-run “massage” but i like the sleeves during the run. Like i said, i’m just a little too picky about my socks. I don’t know that everyone needs to wear these but if you’re having any issues with shin splints, calf tightness…really anything lower leg, i think it would be worth a shot.

You do have to get used to the “what are those” stares but i figure if i can wear Vibrams in public and neon green straight-from-the-80‘s leg warmers on the runs, i can get used to the “channel my inner cheerleader” socks.

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