Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Empirical Investigation into Linebreak Compression Tights for Runners

Quite a number of runners I respect have started using Compression tights to aid recovery after running. Even Adam has now bought some compression socks.

Great claims are made in the literature about the performance of such tights during races (6 minutes faster marathon times!) and for recovery. It's hard to objectively assess whether they really work. Often in sport if you are given some technology which is supposed to make you perform better, it is hard to know whether the technology actually makes a difference or whether it is your belief in the technology that makes the difference.

I wonder if I can analyse my own use of the tights to see if I can detect a difference.

One of the early questions I had about the tights was whether I could wear them underneath my work trousers after a lunchtime run. I read somewhere that someone else found this ok. I also found the tights perfectly comfortable and not too warm to wear under my work trousers.

One question I have not been able to work out is whether there is a difference between Linebreak tights (£40 on wiggle) to Skins (usually around £60).

Perhaps I need a scale to express my level of cramp.
1 - barely discernable cramp
5 - pretty stiff on standing up after a run or during
10 - so stiff that legs cannot bend enough to sit down

On to my study...

Case 1. 19 mile run, Sunday 15th February - Tights not worn during run nor recovery

Pace: 8.30-9.30 min/mile pace with breaks
HR: 130 (very low)
During run: Stiff quads from about 13 miles, particularly near tops of legs adductors/hip flexors i think. Front of leg and inside leg.
After run: Quite stiff (score 5 out of 10) but loosened after stretching
Monday: no run
Tuesday: Heavy legged (quads) 6.5 mile run
After run: Very stiff legs an hour after running (score 7 out of 10) - perhaps insufficient water

Summary: Even though I often run 6 - 10 miles, stretching to 19 even at an easy pace has proved a stretch and recovery without tights not great.

Quite fun to run around Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common and to bump into Andrew Marr running too.


At 9:52 pm, Blogger litsl said...

Ran quite a fast 4 miles (7.15 pace) today with no residual stiffness in my legs after the weekend.


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