Since long, the Marathon is considered as the key race of all cross-country runs. Many set out to achieve a personal life goal, either as finisher or to set record over and above their own benchmark time.
Have you ever thought about wearing compressive sportswear in order to increase your chances? Here are some scientific facts that will definitely set things right about how compression can be efficient and effective in achieving performance!
When shall you use compression and why should you?
Days before the Marathon
It is no secret that you will need to build up on the number of kilometres during your pre-race workouts if you want to finish a 42-Km marathon! That`s where you will encounter pains and injuries that might wipe away all your preparatory work.
With compression, muscular vibrations are limited by 33% and shocks are absorbed so risks of injury (such as shin splints, tendinitis or any other muscular injuries) be reduced by 29%. Recovery after effort will be quicker allowing you to get back to workout so that you are ready and fit on the big day!
Source: Reduction of the risk of injury when compression garments are worn during the effort, by Ménétrier A and al. (2014), British Journal of Sports Medicine Magazine.
Hours before the Marathon
Any prolonged sitting or standing postures causes leg swelling (+4 to 5 cm) and heavy and tired legs. This happens
→ When you travel to your race location (by car, train or plane)
→ While you queue up, stomping, to get your bib number
→ During traditional cultural tours.
Wearing compression hours before the race guarantee ultra-light legs in the starting blocks!
Pressing on the skin, muscles and veins, Compressport`s Full Socks v2.1 stimulate venous return by +20 % (imagine a toothpaste tube being pressed to push up the paste). As a result, the wearer will feel lightness and comfort as leg swelling is reduced up to 100%. In compression clothing, heavy-legs syndrome will just be distant memory.
During the Race
Specialists recommend a 180-pace rhythm per minute. This takes the form of short ground contact time and reduced impact force. The faster is ground contact the least time do shock waves accumulate and spread. Tendons and other joints are less stressed and risks of injury are limited.
Moreover, it appears that a faster pace helps save energy. This is to say that step rate is of utmost importance! However, it is not always easy to speed up one`s pace to the 180-pace/minute goal. Compressive sleeves can help you reach this objective. It has indeed been proved that they increase pace frequency and allow long and flat strides.
Furthermore, by limiting muscle oscillations by 33% compression and absorbing shocks throughout the marathon, compression will prevent micro-injuries more often caused by repeated shocks and vibrations. Compression prevents pains and cramps and will delay fatigue. What a better way to finish your run in the best conditions and go beyond the 30-Km barrier…
Source: Dose-effect response of elastic compression on muscular vibrations, by Lussiana al. (2014), Science & Sport Magazine.
After the race
Worn after effort compression is associated with better venous return. Stimulated blood circulation will :
→ Increase muscle oxygenation (+15 %) thus facilitating recovery
→ Rapidly evacuate toxins (such as lactates), that may stagnate in muscles (– 13 %)
→ Improve the whole recovery process.
Aches and contractures disappearing rapidly (up to 50 %), you can get back quickly to your day-to-day activities (walk down the stairs for example!).
Source: Effect of a French Class II (18-21 mmHg) compression stocking on how marathon runners’ muscles adapt to exertion and their ability to recover, by Allaert FA and al. (2011), Magazine Phlébologie.