Why Compression Socks Rule

Type: Just a Chill Run
Distance: 5.0 miles
TSS: 69.8
Pace: 8:26 min/mile
Total Work: 398 kJ

Another day dawned chilly and I logged another outdoors run. The temps when I started this morning were in the upper 30’s. I didn’t check the temps before I left and had assumed that they were at about the same point that they were yesterday. I layered up and paid the price — I was super hot throughout the run. I am not confident enough to ditch my gear during my run. With the number of kids walking to school I am thinking my gear may not be there when I go back to retrieve it, so I just kept it on.

The distance this morning was a little tough. I muscled through it but a little slower than what I had planned on. I know speed will come. I just have to be patient and run these miles to build my base back up. I think I will wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to start with my speedwork. I think the extra week of just running will help the legs. A lot.

On the iPod this morning of note: “She’s Country” by Jason Aldean (love to the cowgirls), “Faster” by Third Eye Blind, and “Save It for Later” by The English Beat.

My Love Affair with Compression Socks

As runners and triathletes, I am sure we have all read the press releases on the benefits of using compression for performance and recovery. While I tend to view new trends with somewhat of a skeptical eye until the research comes out, I have to admit to being an early adopter of compression technology. I bought them at a time that I would have needed them most and wasn’t disappointed. I have used them consistently for the last six months after a hard run and love how much more quickly they help me recover.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t sleep in full compression suits. But after a hard run I will wear my compression socks that go basically from my knee to my ankle. I am guessing that mine are actually called shin sleeves because they are not truly “socks”, but I will call them that anyways. I am not quite sure how they work — some of the information I have read claims it improves circulation, does not allow for fluid to accumulate, etc — but I know they do. I have one pair that I will throw on about once a week and they really do help. How? Let me explain…

When I wear my compression socks, my calves (where I tend to get the most wear and tear) do not get sore. They feel solid and ready to run. I haven’t used compression socks during a race or run. I am not to that level of nerdiness yet. But using them for recovery is fantastic and something that all runners and triathletes should consider.

There are a ton of brands out there that you can choose from. I only have one pair because I only use them for recovery. I bought the All Sport Compression Socks from CEP the day after Ironman St. George and man was I glad I did. I wore them for about a week straight. The funny thing was that from my knee down the soreness passed within two days. My quads were sore for about a week. Remember in this case, n=1, so while my experience was fantastic, yours should be also.

Compression socks are all the rage right now and I think with good reason. In my experience they do speed up recovery. When you can recovery more quickly you can get out on the street and run even more. You will love running that much more when you minimize the soreness that can come after a tough workout.

If you need to strongly suggest something as a stocking stuffer for people who love you and will buy you stuff for Christmas, you can find the CEP socks for purchase here. Send the link and tell your loved ones that if a pair of these does not find themselves under your tree, you will gladly go for a run when it is time for wrapping paper clean-up.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...