It's been a little over 2 years ago when I bought my first pair of running tightsa 2XU compression tights. Before that I've always been running races in ordinary running shorts. But I had some issues running in shorts. Firstly, whenever I run any distance longer than a half marathon (21km), I'd become increasingly vulnerable to developing blisters between my inner thighs. Secondly, I'd also fall victim to severe cramps which would typically start around 30km into the race.
It wasn't until much later, after discussing my problem with some experienced runners, when I was introduced to the running tights. Although there were several brands in the market, I was somehow drawn to the 2XU. And so in September 2010 I finally became a proud first-time owner of a 2XU Compression tights. The circumstances surrounding the discovery of the running tights were fairly exciting and amusing as reported here.
To be very honest, I wasn't really convinced that the compression tights could do the things it claimed it could, but I reckoned that I had nothing much to lose anyway; there was no harm trying it out. Well, 2 years have since elapsed since that day, and I have since bought another 2 pairs of 2XU compression tights. Whenever I run anything more than 20kmeven during trainingI'd put on my compression tights.
You may be wondering if the 2XU compression tights can really do what it says it can. Well, the truth is that after 2 years wearing it, I still can't be sure if it helps in preventing or delaying the onset of fatigue and cramps during a race. Neither am I sure that it helps in speeding up muscle recovery after a race. It's true that I rarely suffer severe cramps these days, but that could be because I'm better able to pace my run, or my legs are more conditioned for long-distance running now. However, one benefit that I can't deny is that I no longer get blisters between my inner thighs. I will only get the blister problem again when I run far beyond the 42km, such as the 100km ultra marathon. Nevertheless, I try to refrain from wearing the tights whenever I run shorter distances, not because I'm trying to make it last longer, but mainly because I'm not a big fan of men in tights!
I wore the 2XU compression tights in all 3 of the 100km ultra trail marathons I've done so far. And I'm planning to wear it again when I return to Hong Kong for the Vibram ultra trail marathon 100km in January next year. Last February, I've done the Vibram as reported here.
I'm not one who'd easily be intimidated by the challenge of the distance or terrains of a race course. I may be worried about the torture, of course, but as I have said to some friends many times before, whenever I join these races, I enter with the mindset that "failure is just not an option". Come rain or shine, I will see to it that I cross the finish line in the end!
But Hong Kong is a bit differentthere is the cold temperature I have to reckon with; and cold temperature is my major weakness. I can train for the rolling hills; I can train for the ridiculous distance; I can come up with proper hydration and nutrition plan. But my body just can't deal with the cold temperature.
I'm expecting an even colder Vibram next year when compared to the one I had done last February, so I'm making early preparations to survive the cold. I'm trying to search for a running tights that is a compression type, but also a thermal typea kind of hybrid tights, if you like. So far my search hasn't been fruitful. I'm wondering if any of my readers know of such tights in the market and could perhaps guide me to an online source where I can find out more, and maybe eventually buy a pair or two.