I was at my wits end in January. Besides the normal aches and pains that come with being 108 years old and trying to keep fit I had developed a lower leg over use injury. I know the acronym...RICE. For anyone that's ever tried that. It takes a lot of time and in the end, you have to either train through and hope it gets better or stay off it and wait. Then slowly build your fitness again.
I for whatever reason decided to keep going. I tried Rock Tape and it was surprisingly effective except you end up having oddly coloured tape down the length of your leg. It stays on for days but I felt like it might be just offering some sort of placebo effect.
I kept training. I looked at compression leggings. The ones that are full leg and look like hold up stockings. They look silly. They cost a lot...I found the 2XU ones at around £30 and decided to try them.
They absolutely work for me!
I was amazed. I am no physiologist so I asked one how they could be so effective.
In a nutshell this is what they do...
When you train the heart is pumping blood to the muscles in use. When you stop, stretch...sit at a desk, plane, couch; that blood flow has been reduced. So while you were training, you were clearing lactate and stimulating blood flow. That slows way down.
Have you ever sat down after a long ride feeling fine only to get up to move and everything hurts? That is why. The additional pressure from the leg sleeves stimulates blood flow. Flushing lactate, replenishing the muscles with oxygen. This is no mean feat. The lower limb circulation during periods of low activity isn't that great. Small over use injuries don't get the supply they need. These really helped me.
Apart from cycling I cross train with runs. It was the case that if I wanted to run at upper threshold, I would be able to do it once a week. The muscles would need that long to recover. Not anymore. If I get home and put the silly sleeves on and wear them until bed time, in the morning there is no aches what so ever. If I wear them at work after a hard session (under a pair of trousers) I notice it right away after getting up to walk after a long time sitting. There is no initial "ooh, that hurts..." It feels like normal. No stiffness.
I know these won't be everyones cup of tea. I thought they were a gimmick. Some of you are probably wearing them right now. But if you are ramping up your training, these have helped me ramp up my recovery.
I am amazed how well they work.
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