I am about to post something that a number of triathletes might find quite blasphemous. Compression (tights, socks, funny looking full body suits) has become quite the hot thing in triathlon. The rationale is that it helps to promote muscle recovery by stimulating circulation. I started trying compression products in January and I have no doubt that they work – I definitely think my legs are less sore the day after hard efforts.
What I will say that is controversial is that I don’t think you necessarily need fancy, triathlon-specific compression products to achieve the same effect.
I tried a relatively expensive pair of compression tights. Now, yes, I am a moderately petite person but their XS size was still too large. There was no compression of anything above my calves. The tights were too long. AND the seam that ran the length of the tights rubbed me behind the knees leaving welts. So. That didn’t work out so well.
I tried a pair of compression socks from a different company that I also bought at Trisports.com. While I felt these were effective from a compression perspective, the price tag was not negligible. They were also very thick socks, which was not especially comfortable in warm weather.
Finally, I began and ended my “test period” with plain old cheap compression socks from the drugstore. I tried several brands and had similar positive results. At $5 a pop, I don’t feel bad wearing these into oblivion and then buying a new pair.
So there you have it. $$$$ bike? Check. $$ running shoes? Check. Cheap-ass compression socks? Check. Apparently, that’s how I roll.
On a different note, I had my annual performance review today. All went well, no worries there. I am spoiled with my work flexibility and having such a wonderful boss. I just had to laugh at one line in her summary on the last page, where she made a reference to triathlon and agility: “I must point out that Molly accomplished all these goals, delivered top notch results while balancing her work with family/personal interests and hobbies…”[and then goes on to discuss my uber-efficient use of time] I never think of myself as especially efficient with my time – I just do my usual multi-tasking thing – but I hope that this is what will get me through the intense year of training ahead!