When I got my first pair of compression socks I knew nothing about compression, why it was beneficial or why it was often recommended for runners. I didn't know if I should wear them while running or after running (so I asked people on Instagram). I didn't know how tight they should be. So I suspect that many other beginner runners have these same questions.
Compression socks and sleeves are often recommended for runners to help with blood flow, absorbing some of the shock from repeated impact with the ground, reducing soreness and decreasing recovery time. Some of those benefits only occur when you wear compression gear while running (as opposed to post-run). Through trial and error, I have determined I like to wear my less compressive socks while running and the more compressive sleeves post-run.
My first pair of socks weren't TOO tight. They were easy to get on and off and left some imprints on my legs, so I figured they were tight enough to be effective. (Really scientific, I know!) Soon after trying my first pair of compression socks, Jake at BioSkin reached out to me about trying their calf sleeves. He told me ahead of time that their sleeves are extremely compressive and asked for measurements of my calves --> something I had never been asked for before!
When I received the BioSkin calf sleeves, I immediately tried to put them on. And failed. Jake wasn't kidding, these ARE extremely compressive. It took me a minute or two, but I figured out a way to pull them on pretty easily. (Pull them up as far as you can up your calf, then pull the bottom part all the way up over your heel, then pull them the rest of the way up from the top.) Once on, they didn't feel too tight. They were compressive, but not restrictive.
I tried a few runs wearing the sleeves, but I got hamstring cramps both times. It could have been a coincidence, but I have not tried them again during a run lately to say. After a few runs with hamstring cramps and removing the sleeves right after my run, I started doing the opposite and wearing them only post-run and for a few hours. I loved the sleeves for this purpose! They definitely helped to reduce my usual post-run soreness in my legs and specifically my usual Achilles pain in my left leg.
For the sole purpose my decreasing my soreness I would wear these sleeves after every run. I will probably try running with them on again soon, but for now I usually run without compression during my runs. I occasionally will wear the less compressive socks, but that is mostly when it is cool out and I don't want to wear full pants yet :D
Do you usually wear compression gear during your runs or post run? What is your go-to brand?
Want to try BioSkin calf sleeves? They have a sale going on Sept 23-25 for 15% off
Use code FALL2 for 15% off through Sept 25, 2014
Hi, I'm Jessie!
I live in NH with my husband and our pups. My favorite things are coaching Girls on the Run, eating good food that I didn't have to cook, helping other people work on their health, volunteering for and running races, watching tv, doing yoga, and spending too much time on social media. #Balance