To compress or not compress…

Before I ran my 4th marathon in San Diego back in June 2010 I bought my very first pair of compression socks, 2XU (two times you for some of you) to be specific.  I loved them.  I wore them for so many long runs.  They were fantastic.  I really felt like they helped me run long distances as well as helped me with recovery.  I am sure many of you feel the same way about compression socks/sleeves.  When I was struggling with my IT band issues back in May my physical therapist told me not to run in compression sleeves when doing my Ironman.  Part of my problem at that point was pointing to a muscle on my lower leg called the peroneus.pernoeusMy physical therapist thought that wearing compression socks wasn’t good for that muscle so instead we taped it with some KT tape and that was how I ran.  Amazingly during Ironman St. George I didn’t have the crippling IT band pain I had been suffering from while training.

Time has passed and I no longer have the same problems in my right leg but now I have some pain in the same location of that muscle on my left leg.  I still think it is all related to the IT band and the peroneus.  On Sunday I went for my second long run for my Boston Marathon training and I decided to wear some compression socks since I was running long.

photo

Tres sexy no?

Mind you I haven’t used compression socks to run since before Ironman St. George.  After 6 miles my knee/IT Band/peroneus started to hurt, much worse that it did the prior week  during my long run.  After chatting about it with my running partner I decided to roll down the socks so they weren’t pulled all the way up to my shins.  SO MUCH BETTER, and almost instantly!

I thought is was interesting that something that had worked so well for me for so long, was now a problem.  I know that compressions socks are pretty cool looking (I say that sarcastically and seriously both at the same time), but they might not be for everyone.

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15 comments

  1. Interesting perspective and very useful to those considering compression gear. OH NO! no Brittany Spears school girl look for you… tee hee.. See you tonight Tofu Dog

  2. Interesting I was thinking of trying a pair b/c I have been getting some cramping in my left calf on long runs lately. Maybe I will just suck it up 🙂

  3. Wow, so glad to read this post. I was just looking at pro compression website and considering getting a pair. You definitely have me thinking…thanks for the post.

  4. I don’t ever wear them running, but I’ll wear them for recovery and actually have got in the habit of wearing 2XU tights after big training days and even on long flights.

  5. Glad I found your post! I’ll also re-tweet it! Never really considered how injuries would affect runners who wear compression wear. I’m sure you’ve done your research but have you seen a sports related chiropractor or physiotherapist? I too started getting running pains when I built up to Marathons and IM distances and it all pointed to a poor running form expressing itself in pain over the longer distances. Took a few years to correct but now I can finally run those longer distances pain free (and with cool looking compression wear!!)

  6. I find that very interesting. I love my compression socks. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll wear them during the run, but most of the time I wear them as recovery after a long run. But, like you said, some things were for some people while they don’t for others.

  7. Hi Becca,

    I am reading your post and I just said what?????? I’ve been dealing with IT Band problem during the last 4 months after the half marathon I did in December, spent lot of money in doctors, therapist, straps, medicine and even more time strengthening and stretching, of course that I had some progress after all that therapy and workouts, but it took me 3 months go over 1 hr run and and last weekend when I had another half marathon I started with the sharp pain in mile 9 and just had to went through it, of course that always when I have done long runs I wear my calf compression sleeves.

    You are giving me a hope because in 4 week I have a HIM and just worry about how much of that last leg I will need to walk.

    Could you share with me the routine you used to recover from your it band? Definitely Next runs I will start doing it without the sleeves

    Thanks in advance

    Zareh

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