Thursday, September 17, 2015

Compression—The Review

It's been about 5 years since I bought my first pair of 2XU compression running tights. I shared my experience here in this blog in an article entitled Compression. I meant to follow that up with a review a few weeks later. But somehow the "few weeks" became a "few months", and then the "few months" became a "few years". Since then, I have gone on the buy several more pairs of compression tights—both long and short ones—and been wearing them in my races. But because I never did post a review on that original article, I thought I might as well do so now.

Before writing this article, however, I have also sought the views of fellow runners, and although this is nothing like a formal scientific research on "compression apparels", I feel that it's still worth reading for those who're new to running or sports in general, and are now considering buying compression apparels.

Having been running numerous long distance races ranging from half marathons to full marathons to ultra marathons up to 100km long, I can say that as far as I'm concerned—and apparently quite a fair number of other runners agree with me—that there is hardly any benefits from compression apparels as far as improving the performance of the athlete in races. I have gone into races when I'm fit and when I'm not fully prepared, and especially in the latter cases, no amount of compression could prevent or delay of the onset of cramps and fatigue. If one is not up for the challenge, he is just not up to it!

This seems to support my contention that the majority of world elite long distance runners do not run in compression apparels because there is nothing in the compression technology that can help to boost performance.

In my original article, I did mention something about the tightness of the tights. That is no longer my concern now. I can very quickly get into my running tights without any fear of tearing it. I have long forgotten my concern about getting my testicles crushed, until I read the earlier article again recently.

Apart from experimenting with running, I have also tried sleeping in my running tights on several occasions. It's been widely publicized that that can help speed up the recovery process. If that is true, then I must say that I'm one of those unlucky athletes whom are not born to enjoy such benefits. Besides, I feel a little uncomfortable sleeping in something that tight. I read an article that says sleeping in tight clothings can result in infertility, but since I'm done with baby-making, I'm not too overly concerned about this particular problem.

In that case, you may wonder why did I continue to buy more running tights after that first pair 5 years ago. Well, my reason—which I won't be surprised if it's not a popular reason—is that I feel comfortable running in them. I can still remember the old days when I ran marathons in the common running shorts. I would get blisters in my inner thighs due to the rubbing with the fabric, especially when drenched in sweat. But no such issues with the 2XU running tights. 

So I guess I will continue running in tights for long races, not because of wanting to improve my performance; rather to prevent blisters. The only thing that I still can't get over with up to now is that Judy once said that my legs looked small in tights. Perhaps I should seriously consider doing squats in the gym to solve that problem.

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