Now that I am an experienced veteran of eight 5Ks (!), I have come to realize that there are certain things that put the absolute fear into me (I guess that’s a point I could make about life too; but this is a blog about running).
So, herewith the first in an occasional series.
I never thought I’d spend too much – OK, any – time thinking about compression socks. I mean, who would? But the mere sight of these at a race is almost enough to make me run in the other direction. Unusually fast.
I don’t know whether it’s because their presence screams “I’m so hard core, you may as well go home” or they give me flashbacks to my childhood and the disturbing tendency of Aussie men to team knee socks with shorts, but either way they instill in me unprecedented levels of The Fear.
But what do they do?
Allegedly designed to improve oxygen flow to the muscles, aid the removal of lactic acid and minimize muscle fatigue by providing support to the lower leg (thanks, Runner’s World), compression socks are much loved by endurance runners. However, a 2007 study showed that their best results (ie, speeding recovery) are actually delivered when they are worn after a strenuous workout or race, and not necessarily during.
But they don’t cause any harm. So it looks like there are going to be a lot more of these stretchy menaces in my future. I may have to come around to them as a means of keeping warm, and potentially conveying my new hard-core status. As long as they’re pink. (Eighties legwarmer flashback.)