Compression…a regular pronunciation in a triathlete’s vocabulary when it comes to kit. Dee from Team Ribble puts 4 of 2XU’s Compression range products to the test to see what impact it actually had on her performance and recovery…
Compression…a regular pronunciation in a triathlete’s vocabulary, in fact mention the word ‘compression’ and a triathlete often springs to mind.
The science behind compression
Without boring you too much with the technological science behind compression, the basic science behind it is that it helps improve venous return to the heart and in return increases blood circulation. This helps with the removal of blood lactate from the working muscles and return oxygenated blood to the body, thus in effect helping you to maintain optimum performance for longer.
Regarding recovery, this acts to reduce swelling acting to speed up muscle repair, so you are ready to hit your next session without feeling too sore or fatigued, leaving you with no excuses!
2XU – Time to put it to the test…
I put 4 of the products in the 2XU Woman’s specific range to the test. What was noticeable with each was that the athlete’s performance needs were at the absolute forefront of each products’ design. The main feature that stuck out for me was how comfortable each garment was, in fact I will even admit to being excited to do a session, just so I could have an excuse to wear it! we were off to a pretty good start!
My thoughts and a quick summary of each item are below-
2XU MCS Run Compression Tights
Back to the science, these tights are designed with a muscle mapping technology which acts to improve muscle alignment and support the muscles. After suffering a little run injury over the Christmas period with my ITB band, these tights have been a secret gem in my training locker and I’m convinced they’ve helped aid with my recovery to get me back to peak run fitness. They really supported my upper muscles and in turn, prevented muscle soreness to keep me running for longer.
2XU MCS Run Compression Shorts
Like the run tights, these shorts are also designed with the 2XU muscle mapping technology, as we are still yet to hit warmer temperatures I tested these shorts in the sanctuary of the gym – particularly on the spin bike. Although they are classed as a ‘RUN’ short and do not have a protective chamois, I have to say I was very impressed by the performance of the shorts as saddle soreness was not an issue for an hour’s spin class. The moisture wicking properties were a 10/10 for someone who, in all seriousness, looks like they have taken a shower in their clothes after a workout! The shorts remained light, flexible and most importantly chafing wasn’t issue.
2XU Compression Shorts
2XU Power Recovery Tights
Where Sports Massages can be expensive, foam rolling and stretching can be painful and time-consuming, often feeling like a chore, so it’s rather ideal that the 2XU Recovery tights have the same effect with minimal time and effort especially if like me all you want to do is collapse on the couch after a session!
I loved the freedom these tights provided and that feeling of being restricted which you can often find with other compression wear wasn’t an issue at all, in fact, I could have easily spent my whole working day comfortably wearing them.
Socks for Recovery
I tested these socks after a 10mile road running race as running is such a high impact sport – putting greater pressure on the muscle and joints and these socks provided instant relief from post-race pain and fatigue, putting my tender calves and feet at ease. Although being sensible with my training taking it easy on the Monday, I was back fresh ready to hit another hard run session on Tuesday without Mr. DOM’S paying a visit. As this was my first race since September I was pleasantly surprised as I thought I would wake up Monday morning feeling stiff and sore.
2XU Womens Recovery Compression Socks G2
The Final Verdict-
Key features that stood out for all the 2XU items tested where:
Comfort Comfort Comfort– Honestly some of the most comfortable training kit I have ever worn!! (And I’ve got through some kit in my years of training!!)
Freedom, Breathability and Flexibility– each piece of kit works with the body and working muscles without feeling restricted, allowing the skin to breath… trust me you will not want to take it off.
Durability– it’s a 10/10 for me, washed numerous times and tested in some harsh Northern Winter conditions with absolutely no signs of wear or fading. The quality is definitely at the heart of the design and you can see 2XU have not cut any corners in the manufacturing process. A piece of kit that will stand the test of time.
Anti-Chafing– Not an issue especially when wet or like me have a sweat-fest when working out, the seamless technology really protects the skin, so you can keep performing for longer without any irritating problems.
The Science- I would have to spend time in a lab to gain actual scientific evidence that the kit tested improved both my performance and recovery, but I was impressed with how it made my muscles and body feel both during and after use. Placebo effect or not, I have to say I was very impressed with each 2XU item tested and will continue to use this kit as part of my training and racing process.
If you are a bit of a tech geek like myself you can read more about the science behind compression on the 2XU website- http://www.2xu.com/uk/compression-education.html
A must-have training tool
Although us triathlete’s do love our kit, gadgets and anything that claims to help with performance, after testing the latest 2XU compression wear I can vouch that these garments are more than just a gimmick with a high price tag. I generally feel that compression wear should be an important tool to add to your training and racing ritual, especially as a triathlete training for 3 sports where it is important to get the body back into peak level in the fastest possible time ahead of the next training session or event.
All the kit is available at ribblecycles.co.uk