Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2XU Compression Calf Guards

I love technology when it works. There are bold claims that compression apparel provide benefits to recovery through a more efficient distribution of blood flow. These are tall claims and I have been researching the subject and excited that pro cycling teams like Garmin and Cervelo have incorporated this science into their recovery regime.
As many of you know I love cycling and it is my game. But Canadian winters are long and I have been running to help maintain some fitness; triathletes understand the cross training concept.
I have been running for about 6 weeks and feel stronger week over week. I have trying to stretch and get used to run training. I have been trying to run quicker run times week over week. I think the volume of km's, intensity and colder weather I have been feeling tightness in my right lower calf muscle. On Sunday I went for an hour run and after the run I stretch and try to recover but the pain did not subside. The next day while in the store, Via Ciclante, a friend and I were talking about compression and decided that I should try the 2XU calf guard. After some deliberation I slipped off my shoes and slowly put on the compression garments. They were incredibly tight and difficult to get over my heels but within 30minutes I had started to feel some relief. I carried on with the rest of my day not feeling the dull pain in my calf.
Later that evening I decided that I need to spin my legs on the trainer and rode for an hour pedaling quickly at a low heartrate. The strategy of combining compression garment with low intensity effort produced a positive effect. I was no longer feeling the ultra tight calf muscles. I stretched for the final time and left the compression calf guards on and after 10mins of stretching I decided to take off the guards. As soon as I removed them I could feel my feet getting warmer. The tightness in around the calf restricted blood flow to my feet.
Wearing the compression guards made a positive difference. I had felt this kind of calf fatigue from running over the last few weeks and with the guards the recovery time has been reduced dramatically. I may not run faster with guards but recovery is much faster, so I can get back at it day after day.

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