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  1. #1
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    Wearing compression tights after riding to help recovery

    I'm curious if any of you have any experience wearing compression tights/or socks after longer hard rides/or races. And if so, do you feel it really aids in recovery or is it hype? Also, if worn in colder climate will they be as warm as say wearing regular tights? I'm curious because I'm headed to Breckenridge in 2 weeks from now and will be doing 35-40mi rides for 3days in a row and camping at night with temps possibly in the mid 40's at night. So I'm thinking of picking up a pair to help with recovery from the riding and also to keep me warm at night.

  2. #2
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    I wore Zensah compression sleeves after hard races. Last fall in our collegiate season we were racing anywhere from 3 to 5 races a weekend (usually 2 or 3 xc type races and some downhill/dual slalom races) and was getting pretty beat up every weekend. Once I started wearing the sleeves I felt like I noticed a difference. I think the biggest thing it helped me with was if I was on my feet a lot during the day at work and for long car rides.

    I never wore them during races, as I don't think they would do much, but I definitely felt like they helped me prepare for the next day of hard racing after already going hard the first day!

    I never tried the tights, as they are quite expensive, but the sleeves are $40, and I got a nice discount being a running store employee. I prefer the sleeves as they don't get nearly as gross as socks, as they aren't on your feet. You can also slip them on and off easily with any other type of clothing.

  3. #3
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    I have the skins ry400 recovery tights. I think they work, might be placebo, but whatever.

    It's not fun to wear them outside in the humid midwest summer, but in the mountains they are great. (i never wear em during a workout-- not made for that).

    My training stretches to 18 hrs/wk at most and often includes 2 hard rides in a row during the week and then racing 1 or 2 days on the weekends. I do think it helps the legs "feel more fresh" for the multiple hard days in a row. Whether its a real performance benefit is yet to be discovered by people smarter than I.

    The time when i notice their effect the most is when travelling before or especially after a race. I frequently have drives of 3-10hours to get home. Wearing them in the car seems to make a big difference. Ever step out of the car at a gas stop and nearly fall over, where your legs feel like concrete from being in the same seated position for hours? Yeah, it sucks. And my compression tights seem to allow me to jump right out the car without that "concrete leg" feeling.

    Mentally, it helps me feel prepared for the next stage of a race, or that second hard day of intervals.

    I find sleeping in them to be quite comfortable. They are designed to be rather cool, I would not rely on them for warmth.

  4. #4
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    Are you a triathlete? LOL, it seems like triathletes always buy this ****. Anyway, not sure if it works or not, so this post is useless.

  5. #5
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    I have yet (but they may be out there) to see any research that shows a real benefit to them, talking to a few young researchers who have spent a fair bit of time on the subject all seem rather disappointed in the "hype" around the products. BUT that being said, many many many people say they feel better using them (also reported in the research) so maybe they work via a mechanism that we are unable to measure correctly (possible) or they don't do anything on a real physiological level (also very possible), but maybe a psychological level there is something? (placebo or not, if you feel better then why the hell not hey?).

    I always struggle with the claims, a lot of the claims require such accurate fitting that I don't see how a mass produced product like this can fit such a crazy range of leg shapes, maybe custom could do it? maybe...

    On a side note, years ago, I witnessed a research project that was funded by one of the compression tight brands show no effect of the tights... funding for the project was cut short (there was a few more projects in the funding - different sports/tests etc). Then the funding popped up at another research group... then another... So I find it hard to buy into product research like this unless it is shown solid results from a range of places.

  6. #6
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    heck no i am not a triathlete. But I often do two races in a weekend, two days of intervals in a row, etc. Even if its just placebo effect.... these compression tights are a drop in the bucket of $$$ spent on this sport.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punch View Post
    Are you a triathlete? LOL, it seems like triathletes always buy this ****.
    I resemble that comment. LOL Actually was a triathlete for many years and now just race XC. I decided to go ahead and buy a set of these compression tights for the long riding I'll be doing in a few weeks from now in CO and camping out at night in mid 40deg temps. I'm curious to see if I can tell any difference in recovery from all the climbing we'll be doing.

  8. #8
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    I just put in my biggest training week of the year. 28 hours this week with nearly 40,000 feet of climbing, and I've been wearing 2XU compression tights for a few hours around the house after each ride.

    I think they've helped...I've never done this amount of volume in one week (biggest week aside from this one was only like 18 hours), and my legs have felt pretty dang fresh for every ride despite the volume. I'm attributing some of that to the wearing of the compression tights.

    It might be placebo effect..or they might have some real benefit, I'm not sure. One thing for sure though is that they definitely just feel good when wearing them after a ride...which is enough for me.

  9. #9
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    Here is a great summary of the state of the science behind compression clothing with links to papers, etc:

    http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2011/02...-clothing.html

    I think the main takeaway is a somewhat measurable benefit for recovery but no benefit when used during competition.

  10. #10
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    I'm a triathlete and mountain bike racer. You pigeon holding all triathletes to some certain category?

    Compression is great for recovery. If it weren't my doctor wouldn't have put me in them when I messed up my leg and calf. I use Zoot CompressionRx tights for legs after a race.

    As for helping with performance, I don't see any benefit. I used calf sleeves during a run after I pulled a calf muscle really bad in training. I couldn't run without it. It held the muscle very stable during the run. It didn't help my performance, it just got me to a point where I could actually run. I don't wear them running now because my calf as since healed and I see no need for it.

  11. #11
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    I find that they do help but what I did was go to Walgreens and drop $20 for medical grade compression socks which work better and are much cheaper.

  12. #12
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    I started with the medical ones at a local pharmacy. I do "feel" like the significantly more expensive tights work better. I enjoy the compression/support around my thighs/quads. Again, operative word: "feel".

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyinatlanta View Post
    I'm curious if any of you have any experience wearing compression tights/or socks after longer hard rides/or races. And if so, do you feel it really aids in recovery or is it hype? Also, if worn in colder climate will they be as warm as say wearing regular tights? I'm curious because I'm headed to Breckenridge in 2 weeks from now and will be doing 35-40mi rides for 3days in a row and camping at night with temps possibly in the mid 40's at night. So I'm thinking of picking up a pair to help with recovery from the riding and also to keep me warm at night.
    Step into a creek or a river every so often works just as well...

    End of the day do a cool down period, so that when you arrive you are cool, not sweaty, and the clothes have had a chance to dry....

    Change to the night clothes as soon as you arrive, stretch. drink and eat...then relax and sleep...

    Up with the sun and go hard.

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