General Discussion Triathlon Talk » calf compressions Rss Feed  
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2013-03-15 11:48 AM

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Subject: calf compressions
I've seen runners/triathletes with what looks like socks except they don't extend to the foot. I'm guessing they are some sort of compression thing. My questions are what are they, what are they supposed to do, and do they work?


2013-03-15 11:50 AM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
i've seen calf warmers, but i don't think they were compression.
2013-03-15 11:54 AM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions

gatorcali21 - 2013-03-15 9:48 AM I've seen runners/triathletes with what looks like socks except they don't extend to the foot. I'm guessing they are some sort of compression thing. My questions are what are they, what are they supposed to do, and do they work?

you are probably seeing Calf Compression sleeves. What they do and if they work is something that is always up for debate. Some think the compression aides in blood flow, other that it reduces muscle movement (I call it the jiggle). Some believe it helps to prevent shin splints or other issues. There could be actual physiological benefits to wearing them when exercising or when recovering - or it could all be a placebo/Mental effect.

What I know is I wear my zensah calf compression sleeves for my longer runs and I believe that they have helped me avoid injury/shin splints. Is that true or is it all in my head? I don't know and honestly do not care right now as I am not going to stop using them even if someone comes out with a study or article saying they have no effect.

2013-03-15 11:58 AM
in reply to: #4661132

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Subject: RE: calf compressions
The people who use them swear by them and say they work. I've never used them before (though always wanted a pair :P) give em a go.
2013-03-15 12:01 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
I also use my calf compression sleeves for longer runs and swear by them, no more calf pain for me.
2013-03-15 12:48 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
I use them both during long runs and after harder workouts.  I have found them to help with shin splints and cramping.


2013-03-15 12:48 PM
in reply to: #4661132

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Subject: RE: calf compressions
Thanks, ya'll. I was wondering if they help on the calf strain from longer runs. I didn't notice them last year training for a sprint, but now that I'm working on a HIM and am running longer distances, i started noticing tight/sore calves while running.
2013-03-15 12:54 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions

birdog41 - 2013-03-15 12:01 PM I also use my calf compression sleeves for longer runs and swear by them, no more calf pain for me.

Same here.  I started developing lower calf pain after longer runs back in January, which coincided with increased cycling/swimming training (so I know it was exertion related).  Twice I had to take 6-7 days off from running.  I bought calf compression sleeves and a foam roller (to massage the hell out of my calves at home), and together those seem to have done the trick.  I can't say how much was due to the sleeves, but I'll definitely keep wearing them for longer runs, as well as longer distance triathlons.

2013-03-15 1:49 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions

Everyone has adequately explained what they do.

From my perspective, wearing ANY kind of compression on my lower legs actually HURTS me.  I end up somehow straining some muscles in my legs with those things.  I will never ever run with compression socks or sleeves on...does too much damage to me.

2013-03-15 2:06 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions

I have about 3 different sets of calf compression sleeves.

Zensah - are made out of cotton. They are warm and compress moderately

DeSoto - made of the special desoto fabric, very comfy a bit more compression

110% - out of cotton-spandex with a pcket/double layer to insert an icepack

 

In the winter I wear the 110% as it keeps my legs nice and warm, in wind the Desoto as they block the cold wind (especially on the bike). The Zensah are my recovery go-to compression sleeves. They are comfy, but I do not like working out in them too much. When I get shinsplints my 110% are my go to sleeves as I can cool the heck out of my legs with the ice pockets.

Long story short: There are many different materials and compression grades. The only way to find out if you like it is to experiment (and spend the $$$).

Speaking of this, I should have worn some today as I had cramping issues yesterday.

2013-03-15 3:08 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
jldicarlo - 2013-03-15 1:49 PM

Everyone has adequately explained what they do.

From my perspective, wearing ANY kind of compression on my lower legs actually HURTS me.  I end up somehow straining some muscles in my legs with those things.  I will never ever run with compression socks or sleeves on...does too much damage to me.

I have experienced similar problems with compressions socks, they hurt my feet.



2013-03-15 3:36 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions

I agree there is no conclusive evidence for or against them.  I have however been told to not wear the compression sleeves for an ultra or even an IM as clotting can become an issue due to the length in wearing them... I believe compression socks are a different story however it should be verified...

I began wearing them after a tip from my running store when we were talking about mid to fore foot striking and the impact that has on the calves and achilles..

I don't particularly like how I look in them but I can say for me personally they work very very well..



Edited by TriMike 2013-03-15 3:37 PM




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2013-03-15 3:41 PM
in reply to: #4661611

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Subject: RE: calf compressions
dmiller5 - 2013-03-15 3:08 PM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-15 1:49 PM

Everyone has adequately explained what they do.

From my perspective, wearing ANY kind of compression on my lower legs actually HURTS me.  I end up somehow straining some muscles in my legs with those things.  I will never ever run with compression socks or sleeves on...does too much damage to me.

I have experienced similar problems with compressions socks, they hurt my feet.

Yeah, I get a tendonitis like feeling in my feet and the muscles on the side of my lower legs...not the calf, the muscle right on the side.  It's SO weird.  I definitely can't run in them.

2013-03-15 3:50 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
jldicarlo - 2013-03-15 4:41 PM
dmiller5 - 2013-03-15 3:08 PM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-15 1:49 PM

Everyone has adequately explained what they do.

From my perspective, wearing ANY kind of compression on my lower legs actually HURTS me.  I end up somehow straining some muscles in my legs with those things.  I will never ever run with compression socks or sleeves on...does too much damage to me.

I have experienced similar problems with compressions socks, they hurt my feet.

Yeah, I get a tendonitis like feeling in my feet and the muscles on the side of my lower legs...not the calf, the muscle right on the side.  It's SO weird.  I definitely can't run in them.

 

Were you sized for the compression sleeves you've experienced discomfort with?  At my running store they measured my calf circumfrance and put me in a sleeve based on the manufacturers sizing chart...IOW they most definitely aren't one size fits all...Or one size fits most....

2013-03-15 6:04 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
I use them mostly for recovery or runs where its a bit cold out but not cold enough for pants.
2013-03-16 5:16 AM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
I don't like how they look on me, so I just wear them for recovery when no one can see me Cool


2013-03-16 7:13 PM
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Subject: RE: calf compressions
I wear them for long runs - anything over about 2 hours, and I wore them during the ironman run. I usually feel much less calf fatigue when wearing them vs not wearing them.

Post Ironman, I wore a a pair of complete compression pants, and I felt they helped recovery immensely. They keep the swelling down and in my opinion, they provided much needed support to my very, very sore muscles.

As you can see, there are a host of differing opinions on them, and what may work for one person may not work for you. If you experience sore calfs the day after a long run or race, it may be worth a try to see if you like them or not.

That being said, there is a pretty big dork factor. walking around the city the day after IM, you will not stand out at all, but when you leave you can expect some stares from people.
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General Discussion Triathlon Talk » calf compressions Rss Feed