More and more runners are wearing eye-catching compression equipment, such as calf sleeves, thigh high socks and compression clothing compression pants, are they useful for running or not?
Compression equipment is based on a basic medical concept: compressing fabric with an elastic gradient can exert physical pressure to promote blood and lymph flow in the body. In sports, compression equipment is designed to use gradient elasticity to improve athletic performance and speed recovery. Although there is still controversy about compression equipment, but there is also a considerable part of the research shows that compression equipment does play a certain effect.
Today, we take the most commonly used compression socks as an example, with the help of scientific research, to analyze whether its claimed function is true.
First, can compression socks improve running performance?
1. The principle of compression socks to improve performance
By squeezing the blood vessels, compression socks aim to allow more blood and oxygen to be transported to the muscles, so that oxygen and energy substances can enter the muscles faster, and also help metabolic waste and carbon dioxide to be discharged from the muscles faster. Theoretically, this helps to increase the efficiency of energy production and allows runners to run faster.
2. whether compression socks have a positive effect on sports performance
Research at Newcastle University in the UK found that lower limb compression garments increased blood flow and reduced heart rate during high-intensity endurance running, meaning this study supports the selling point that compression gear can improve athletic performance.
However, a similar study found that compression clothing did not allow runners to run faster, for example, wearing compression socks did not improve 10k performance. What produced the inconsistent research results? The reasons could be threefold.
It could be that some of the studies themselves are not very accurate and the measurement methods are not standard, resulting in false experimental results;
There was an improvement in performance after wearing compression equipment, but the improvement was too small to be statistically significant when compared to not wearing compression equipment;
With compression socks on, the increase in sock weight offset the positive effect of compression socks on performance. This may sound incredible, but compression socks weigh about 85 grams, which is not really light, and the weight of the socks does add to the athletic burden, thus offsetting the benefits of compression socks.
For example, Asics’ two classic running shoes, Kayano support stability running shoes and Speedstar road race shoes, the weight difference of about 85 grams, there has been experimental confirmation of wearing two different pairs of shoes, such a weight difference is enough to affect the performance, replaced by compression socks is also the same.
Second, can compression socks reduce muscle pain from running?
1. The working principle of compression socks to reduce pain
In the process of running, the impact of landing on the ground with the feet in the air can cause muscle tremor, which is considered to be an important cause of muscle damage and delayed muscle pain. From the principle analysis, compression socks can reduce muscle tremors to a certain extent by giving muscle support, thus reducing pain. 2.
2. The effect of compression socks on muscle pain
A study conducted by Oakland Massey University found that running 10 km at a fast pace with compression socks reduced delayed muscle soreness up to 24 hours after running. Interestingly, the study found that the reduction in calf pain was most pronounced, suggesting that compression socks work in the specific area they cover.
This study found that 93% of those who did not wear compression socks experienced calf soreness the day after running, but only 14% of runners who wore compression socks experienced similar calf soreness.
Third, can compression socks speed up the recovery from fatigue after running?
1. The working principle of compression socks to accelerate recovery
By accelerating blood flow after exercise, compression socks help to remove metabolic waste and introduce substances needed for muscle repair and reconstruction in time.
2. The effect of compression socks on fatigue recovery
Some studies have shown that athletes and people who spend a lot of time in airplanes feel less sore after wearing compression socks. Scientists at the University of Exeter measured recovery and muscle soreness on days 1-4 after a heavy load of centrifugal strength exercises (centrifugal strength training is more likely to cause muscle soreness).
They found that subjects who wore compression socks for 24 hours after exercise not only had better strength test results, but also reduced subjective muscle soreness, indicating that compression socks have the effect of accelerating recovery and eliminating fatigue more quickly.
Fourth, compression socks function summary
Compression equipment has a limited role in improving sports performance, and it is not useful to expect compression socks to improve the speed, but also from the psychological effect.
The role of compression equipment in eliminating muscle pain and promoting fatigue recovery is more obvious. Therefore, runners can not only wear compression socks when running, after running, especially after running a marathon can also change a pair of clean compression socks, which can accelerate the elimination of fatigue.
Five, compression socks use basic advice
Whether to choose compression socks mainly depends on personal preference, marathon runners, especially black athletes are also less likely to use compression socks.
Shorter distance, such as 10 km or less, the use of compression socks does not seem to be very useful, because the short distance running fatigue is lighter. However, for long distance training or marathon races, wearing compression socks has a certain effect of reducing fatigue and delaying the onset of fatigue.
Runners also miss an important use of compression socks, which is to continue to wear them for 24 hours after the marathon, so as to speed up recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
Of course, compression socks have a major role to play in women’s favor, and that is to wear the legs are thin.
Sixth, the equipment is only the icing on the cake, it is not possible to replace solid training