Showing posts with label compression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label compression. Show all posts

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Swiftwick Compression Arm Warmers... They're Arm Coolers Too!

Last winter the folks at Swiftwick were kind enough to give me a pair of their Ole Arm Warmers ($22.50) . I have extensively used and previously reviewed their light compression wool blend Merino 12 (12") socks in all seasons with great results.

At first I didn't see the purpose of arm warmers beyond the flexibility of rolling them down as temps and pace warmed during a run. Since then I have worn the Ole on warm and cool days and find them highly effective over a wide range of temperatures. I almost never roll them down.

Tightly knit and constructed in part of Olefin a highly hydrophobic fiber I find they manage temperatures well over a wide range.  They never seem to get soaked with sweat and thus stay warm.  When its warm the moisture seems to have a slight cooling effect and the long sleeves protect from the sun.  I find that the gap between the top of the sleeves and a t-shirt contributes to helping regulate temperatures. They are quite windproof. Most will find sizing up a bit more comfortable. I got the large.

What to wear on a breezy day in the 40's? Combine Ole Arm Warmers with a merino wool t-shirt.

Friday, December 24, 2010

110% Play Harder Compression Knee Braces, Calf Sleeves, Shorts-Ice it!

 110% Play Harder shorts, calf sleeves, and knee braces combine compression with pockets to insert included ice/heat packs. While I have not tried these, I think there is some merit for those with chronic problems or during heavy mileage periods. I see 110% Play Harder is available at Running Warehouse. Illustrated here are the knee brace and shorts :

I have used a number of different compression calf sleeves, shorts and socks in racing, training and recovery and have concluded that for me the recovery benefits outweigh any race performance benefits. I do get  a sense that my stride feels more aligned directly down the road or trail, less sloppyin later stages of a race or long run when using compression calf sleeves or socks . My favorite compression socks are the merino blend Swiftwick 12 which I  posted about earlier this year. They provide a "light" compression and are great for fall and winter running, nordic, telemark and alpine skiing.  I used them just about every day on our 100 plus mile trek around the Mont Blanc.

When its warmer out I often use Salomon EXO III Calf that I picked up from the iRunFar Store. Again light compression. The Salomons got me through the 13 miles of downhill in the St. George Marathon this year without the calf cramps I got in 2009.

I use compression shorts in training when my problem hamstring is acting up and they clearly let me run in less pain. Since I have gotten used to more minimal shoes in  the last 4 months the hamstring issues have gone away... I have tried my Zoot and adidas TechFit  compression shorts in racing and find them a bit too restrictive, especially later in races when my stride gets weaker and knee lift starts to escape me.

 I highly recommend compression shorts for telemark and alpine  skiing and find that they clearly keep my legs fresher day in, day out.