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Monday, 28 September 2009

Compression Socks

Personally I'm a big fan of compression for recovery. I think that for me it makes a difference to my recovery. A couple of months before JWOC my coach suggested that I try out some compression socks to help my lower legs with recovery since I was having trouble with my shins at the time. I cannot speak highly enough of them, I don't know if its placebo or what but I feel like my legs feel fresher after a run with the socks on. I don't race without them now, sure I look like a gimp in knee high white socks, but that's a small price to pay. . I had a wee look to see if there was much research to back this up. I found one paper that found running performance at anaerobic and aerobic thresholds was improved using compression socks. Another paper I found showed a reduction in markers of muscle damage following a series of athletic tests while wearing compression tights. . A remarkably small amount of research about it. I have read some on the AIS website in the past but it hasn't let me in today. I think, be it placebo or not, compression has a place in maximising the performance of runners. I think at orienteering in New Zealand we don't acknowledge the toll that running at speed on uneven ground takes on our legs. For me this is one of my efforts to reduce that damage and hasten recovery.
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