Rocking A Pants Mullet

Dec 19, 2012

Long runs are cathartic. The rhythm of your breath, your feet hitting the pavement, listening to sweet tunes on your iPod. They can also suck - hard, but let's focus on the positives today Mmmkay?

Once my mileage started to increase, I began to notice my legs being super achy post run, lasting about 2 days. Taking stairs, or any uneven surface for that matter was - hell. Chalking it up to my continued welcome to age 30 I bitched incessantly about it and cursed anyone who had stairs sucked it up and took extra care the days post long run to recharge and recover.

Being an google/blog/ deranged information junkie informed consumer, I scoured the internet, talked to fellow runners, and even peppered the kind folks at my local running stores for ways to "make the aching STOP". Majority rules answer? Compression.

What are compression garments? Basically the TED hose (those gawd awful white socks) the doctor makes you wear after surgery (I loathed every moment after my knee surgery), vein issues, etc. In the sports/running world compression - "regulates pressure throughout all garments to deliver performance benefits during and post exercise. By enhancing circulation through increased venous function, more oxygenated blood is delivered to the muscles that need it most. At the same time, by-products created by exercise, such as lactic acid, are flushed from the muscles to reduce fatigue and decrease recovery time" (2XU). While there is still some controversy on the benefits above and beyond the above (some believe it enhances performance), I put my curiosity to the test, called the running store AGAIN to ask fifty additional questions, tried them on two separate occasions and made the plunge.  Side note: I wanted  the all black pair so I could short hair don't care wear them like leggings, however impatience is my middle name and both stores were out, so I bought these - and my mom asked me to cover my vagina. 

Best.(insert crap ton of money here).I.EVER.SPENT.  While it does not have magical powers, they have some pretty awesome perks. Rocking them after my first 13.1 in December I wore them for two days (note to self: rock an additional day). Post race I felt exhilarated, however as the day drew on the aches came on like a tidal wave of hurt, which I think would be normal if someone had just run 13 miles. Hold on, I haven't lost my deep rooted sense of vanity, I wore them underneath my jeans which was the best of both worlds - a pants mullet of sorts: business on the bottom, party on the out layer. Genius, I know.

Rocking compression- "I want my mullet back..."
Now that I'm a pro on all things running 30 something who calls herself a runner, this is what helps ME post long run (at the advice of the compilation of people I questioned above), thus far. If you have any tips, tricks, magic potion, lotions, or a hot cabana boy to massage my aches away, please share.
  • Hydrate. Get plenty of fluids to flush out lactic acid.
  • Move. Walking + stretching. Don't set up camp on your couch and lie like a vegetable. Moving around keeps the blood circulating and helps work out the soreness.  Trust me, I've tried the "couch method" and it takes twice as long to not walk like a Egyptian.
  • Compress yo'self. Depending on the body part that plagues you, dictates what you should invest in, they offer socks, sleeves (arm and leg), shorts, and tights.
For goodness sake, don't take my word as law and run out and get a pair, although I play a doctor in my imagination, I do not hold a medical degree. This post is based solely on MY body and experience with compression thus far. 

Do you wear compression garments, if so which ones? Thoughts?

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