Disclaimer: I received @LEGENDlegwear to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
Whether or not compression gear works is a hotly debated topic, and kept me from looking into compression gear for several years. After all, it's not cheap, and if you're not sure it's going to work, is it really worth the investment?
Although there is plenty of diversity of opinion on compression wear, the benefits are clear to me; both on in the themes emerging in the research, and in practice. As it relates to athletes, compression gear is often recommended in the following areas, which I'll address individually in this article:
While initial studies were mixed, there seems to be more consensus building around the use of compression for recovery as illustrated in these studies:
About Compression for Travel
Another well accepted use for compression wear is on travel days leading up to big events. Being couped up in a car or airplane for hours right before a race is not ideal prep, and fortunately, compression can help.
According to airhealth.org, "about 85% of air travel thrombosis victims are athletic, endurance athletes like marathoners." This topic alone is substantial enough for it's own article—in the meantime I encourage you to do some research before you get on a plane after an athletic event. While you may find contrary opinions on this subject (as with nearly anything health related!), when even Ironman admits that its athletes "are a perfect storm for a DVT", it seems prudent to take note. After all, if it simply takes putting on a different pair of socks to help reduce your risk, why not? (Learn more about other risk factors for DVT through Mayo Clinic or discuss with your doctor.)
About Compression for Performance
While there is not yet much research to support the benefits of wearing compression gear during performance (training or racing), I'm going to go out on a limb and say the lack of scientific proof doesn't matter so much in this case.
One thing that clearly stood out in talking to fellow athletes and researching this topic is that there is a well established positive effect of compression gear during performance. Even if it is a placebo effect, people "feel faster", or "feel sleeker" or "feel stronger" and sometimes "more able to push through" tough spots where they might have otherwise struggled.
Given that so much of being an athlete is about putting in the training and then being in the right mental space to compete at your best on the big day, if putting on some compression gear acts like a superman cape did when you were a kid, why not? There is no evidence to say that compression gear hurts, and plenty of anecdotal evidence about how much it helps.
Why LEGEND Compression
With more companies offering compression gear all the time, it can be hard to make heads or tails of what truly differentiates brands. I'm glad to have tested LEGEND, because I frankly wasn't that familiar with their brand before the test. Along the way, I learned a few things I really appreciate about their company, and maybe you will, too!
Go ahead. #Make2017LEGENDARY and use the BibRave discount code "rave20" for 20% off LEGEND compression!