Last week I wrote a post about what I was packing in preparation for my marathon in Vermont with #CabotFit. I received a ton of feedback about what I was missing and should include, as well as several questions about my compression gear.
Compression gear is a bit of a flashpoint in the running community. Some people swear by it; others proclaim it's voodoo magic. Whether it aids athletic performance, I have no idea. I don't actually wear compression sleeves, socks, shorts, tights or tops for races. I do use compression gear after particularly trying runs and races, as well as for traveling.
Here's my reasoning: after long runs, everything feels a little out of whack. I don't know if it's just me, but my hips and legs particularly feel like they're slack. Sleeping/working in compression sucks everything in and gives my a bit of support as my muscles struggle to repair.
|Fresh to death baby|
As far as traveling, endurance athletes are predisposed to blood clots because of the dehydration caused by the event, coupled with sitting for a long time on a pressurized plane. Because I'm sore to being with, I feel like compression gear allows me to double dip: it aids my recovery and potentially staves off blood clots on a plane or long car ride.
|Compression: The Mom Jeans|
of running gear
That said, I make it a point to get up and moving while traveling after a race. I'm typically hydrating like it's my job after races and taking full advantage of my preferred aisle seat while traveling. Even so, on long flights or trips, I set a timer and make it a priority to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and walk. On a plane, I'll do heel raises and do circles with my feet to stretch out my ankles. On long car rides, I'll stop to go to the bathroom, fill up the car or get a drink regularly.
Also, I have no shame in admitting my post-race apparel is determined by what accommodates my compression gear. I usually wear compression shorts and socks because they're easier to get into than compression tights (and I'm cheap and compression tights are like $60). During the winter, it's easy to hide this gear with a dress, leggings and boots. Summertime, I just don't car, I'll be the fashion faux paux sport compression socks and Toms. There's no room for shame in a marathon PR.