I’ve recently taken to wearing compression pants when I run. They were a gift from Annie of MovementX Umhlanga a little while ago, and I used them intermittently. But with the colder weather and me gearing up for my first ever half marathon, I’ve taken the effort (and it really is effort given just how tight these things are) to wear them more often — and it’s led to a lot of (the same) questions.
Why do you wear them? Because it’s cold so it helps me stay warm. Also, they apparently help with running form.
What do they actually do? The theory is that they enable better blood flow to the legs. And while it might not make a difference to your ability to run faster or further, I do notice that my recovery seems better the day after I’ve run wearing the pants compared to the day after I haven’t worn them. This dude, writing for Deadspin, found the same thing.
Have you noticed a difference? Psychologically, yes. I feel better wearing them. Has this affected my running times? Yes, actually — I’ve done my longest run, and by PBs for 5km and 10km in them. Placebo effect? Perhaps. But it’s working for me, so I’ll stick with it.
Do those things actually work? I don’t know. But my legs look great in them, and that’s got to count for something.