Those of us that like to chase PBs and run faster are always looking for ways to improve our performance. We want to run faster, farther, and with less discomfort. One trend that’s been gaining popularity in recent years is compression gear, with compression arm sleeves becoming notably popular lately. I wore mine for the first time in the Bourton 10k yesterday.

You may have seen runners wearing compression socks, sleeves, or tights, and wondered if it could benefit you too. In this blog post, we’ll explore the question: does compression gear make your run faster?

What is compression gear?

Compression gear is tight-fitting clothing that applies pressure to specific areas of the body. It’s designed to improve blood flow, reduce muscle vibration, and provide support for muscles and joints.

How does compression gear work?

Compression gear works by increasing the pressure on the veins and muscles. This helps to improve blood flow, which can reduce fatigue and improve performance. Compression gear also reduces muscle vibration, which can help to prevent injury.

What are the benefits of compression gear?

Compression gear has several benefits for runners. It can help to improve blood flow, reduce muscle fatigue, and prevent injury. Compression gear can also provide support for muscles and joints, which can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Do compression socks make you run faster?

There is some evidence to suggest that compression socks can improve running performance. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that wearing compression socks during a 10k race improved running economy and delayed the onset of fatigue.

Do compression tights make you run faster?

There is also some evidence to suggest that compression tights can improve running performance. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that wearing compression tights during a 5k race improved running economy and reduced muscle damage.

How do you choose the right compression gear?

When choosing compression gear, it’s important to consider the level of compression and the fit. Compression gear should be tight, but not uncomfortable. It should also provide support for the muscles and joints that are most active during running.

How often should you wear compression gear?

Compression gear can be worn during and after exercise. Some runners prefer to wear compression gear during long runs or races, while others wear it for recovery after a tough workout. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your use of compression gear accordingly.

Are there any risks associated with compression gear?

While compression gear is generally safe for most runners, there are some risks to be aware of. Wearing compression gear that is too tight or for too long can cause discomfort, numbness, or tingling. It’s important to choose the right level of compression and to take breaks from wearing compression gear when necessary. As with anything new, don’t try it for the first time on race day. It’s also recommended that you don’t wear compression gear while sleeping.

Can compression gear improve recovery?

Compression gear can also be beneficial for recovery after a tough workout. It can help to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, and improve circulation to help the muscles recover faster.

Conclusion

In conclusion, compression gear can be a valuable tool for runners looking to improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury. While there is some evidence to suggest that compression gear can improve running performance, it’s important to choose the right level of compression and to listen to your body. Compression gear should be used in conjunction with other strategies for improving running performance, such as proper nutrition, hydration, rest, and training. If you’re considering trying compression gear, start with a low level of compression and gradually increase as needed. Experiment with different types of compression gear to find what works best for you. And remember, while compression gear can be beneficial, it’s not a magic solution. Consistent training, proper nutrition, and rest are still the most important factors for improving running performance.

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