Endurance running poses perhaps one of the most difficult mental challenges of any sport.
Bracing your body to tackle a long-distance run isn’t just challenging physically - although your physical body will face a performance unlike any other. Your endurance run doesn’t end when you finish the race. It only ends when your body has recovered - so you need to get there as safely and as fast as possible.
Recovery is therefore a huge aspect of endurance running. The mental and physical challenges of training means your body will need recovery protocols in place to carry on training - let alone competing. Compression is a huge part of tackling endurance runs - both in preparing for and winding down from intense competitions.
Why Compress After Endurance Runs?
At the end of endurance training or a race, muscles will feel instantly fatigued - potential sore spots in the feet, ankles and calves could be due to exertion or microtears in the muscles of the lower body. Swollen ankles are common for endurance runners, as are complaints like ‘runner’s knee’, Achilles tendonitis, and hamstring strains.
These injuries can represent time off training or even competing if left unchecked - so hit them fast.
How Compression Works For Endurance Runners
Compressing the site of these injuries immediately is a sure-fire way to flood the area with oxygen-rich blood and remove waste byproducts like lactic acid from your run, allowing swelling to minimise and pain to relieve. By reducing the swelling, your body’s pain receptors (nociceptors) are no longer being activated - letting your physical symptoms subside.
Increasing the blood flow to the area means that any injuries can begin to repair as soon as you put your compression wear on, tackling any microtears or microbleeds immediately before they increase in severity.
Competing After Compression
It’s not only recovery from endurance running where compression can shine. When it comes to competing professionally, all runners want to know how they can improve their times.
The good news is that compression works on both fronts: your recovery and your next-day performance. With a reduction in perceived muscle pain and fatigue - and a 43% reduction in next-day DOMS - legs are lighter, faster, and feel capable of travelling greater distances.
The combination of mental and physical stamina involved in endurance running means that when you know you’re doing the best thing for your body, you feel able to pack more power into your performance.
What Compression Garments Do You Need For Endurance Running?
Compression tights provide all-over compression for calves, glutes, and quads - ideal total lower-body compression for endurance training and competing.
Compression shorts offer benefits for the upper part of your legs and glutes - offering localised hamstring compression for recovery, while compression calf sleeves target the calves and ankles.