I first discussed compression socks a while back (when I bought my first pair in October), but a number of people have asked about whether or not they should wear compression socks/sleeves for long runs.
During the recent Olympic marathon trials, you may have noticed a number of men and women wearing compression socks during the race. Although I am by no means an elite runner, I too, wear them for my long runs. Here’s why:
- Wearing compression socks allows the arterial walls in the lower legs to relax. This means more oxygen-rich blood flow to your legs. This increased blood flow can result in better race/training performance and recovery.
- Studies have shown that wearing these socks can improve your race time by up to 5%- that’s pretty significant (especially when you are looking at a half-marathon/marathon)!
- By applying more pressure to the lower legs and shins, vibration is reduced. This translates into fewer microtears in muscle– which can result in shin splints or lower leg soreness.
- Because compression socks increase blood flow and circulation in the lower legs, they can help reduce the build-up of lactic acid.
From my own personal experience, I can definitely say that I have reduced lower leg and foot soreness when I wear compression socks on a long run. I have yet to wear them in a long distance race, but I will surely be sporting them at the Anthem Half Marathon in March! Here is a picture of a pair of hot pink CEP socks that I just bought!
While compression socks can help you on your long run, it’s just as important to focus on how you fuel during your long runs. Fueling properly will make a HUGE difference in how you feel on your long run and how you recover.