Let’s talk recovery

I received products from Addaday, Arcanum, CEP Compression, NUUN, and Incrediwear 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.

Let’s talk about recovery. Running recovery. Do you do anything to aid in your post run recovery? Eat a snack high is protein right after? Stretch? Foam roll? Nothing?

The older I get I find that I need to concentrate on my recovery just as much as my runs. At The Running Event last month I received several products that I have come to enjoy and now added to my recovery routine.

Addaday Massage

The Deep Tissue Roller for Runners from Addaday Massage is an amazing recovery tool. I have issues with tight calves and a cranky IT band. This thing can really get in there and help work the kinks out. The balls really help you pinpoint the Massage and pressure too. Paired with my foam roller, they’ve been fantastic in getting me back on the road quicker and with less pain.

Addaday also makes a cool Runner’s Tea. It’s a high mountain oolong tea that’s a clean energy source before your run. I used it for my mid afternoon slump instead of my usual coffee a few times. I loved that you could steep each package multiple times. It had a nice flavor with a good boost of energy without all the coffee jitters.

CEP Compression

I love, love Compression socks. I love wearing them during a run and after a run.

I really enjoyed visiting the CEP Compression booth at The Running Event. These guys are passionate about Compression and know their stuff. I love, love, love the Women’s Run Sock 2.0. They have graduated Compression along the calf of 20-30mMHg. They felt so good after I put them in and while I was running. I think my favorite thing about these socks though is the padded cushioning and seamless toe closure on the foot of the sock. This is the first compression sock I’ve tried with padding under foot!! Wow. Felt so amazing.

I wore them after a couple of long runs for recovery and I really like that they offered good compression without overly squeezing my legs into oblivion. They are honestly comfortable enough that I could wear the to bed.

Arcanum Edge

Activated Hemp is the new thing in sports performance. I’m seeing it pop up everywhere. I’ve tried it out before I liked the benefits. What caught my eye for Arcanum is that is applied directly to your skin instead of ingested. They work with trusted industry leader Mary’s Nutritionals to create their performance and recovery products. We were given a Sarco Freeze (pinpointed recovery and topical cooling), The Quill (everyday use), and Sarco Breeze (Massage oil).

The Sarco Freeze felt so good on my sore knee these last several weeks. I would use it both preemptively right after a run and anytime my knee started to get cranky. The immediate cooling action was very soothing. The Quill is a patented activated hemp delivery pen for daily use. This was perfect for the daily stresses and unease of the Christmas holidays. It helped bring more restful sleep and took the anxiety edge off on stressful days. I only used the Sarco Breeze activated hemp massage oil a couple of times on a sore IT band. It seemed to help break up the soreness.

Incrediwear

Incrediwear was a great discovery at The Running Event. They make anti-inflammatory recovery wear. Their products can be worn 24/7 and they even encourage you wearing it to bed to optimize recovery while your body is resting. Their products have been shown to accelerate recovery up to 46%. Per their website:

Our technology incorporates semiconductor elements within our fabric, which when stimulated by body heat, release negative ions. The negative ions activate molecular vibrations that increase blood flow and speed. Increasing circulation helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which optimizes the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery.

I tried out the Women’s Performance Capri and socks. I really liked both. The capris were a good thickness and comfortable. I wore them for a couple of runs during short runs and then a couple of times after runs. The tights felt good both during and after. I could see wearing these on longer runs. I really liked the socks too. They are nice and thin and we’re very comfortable.

NUUN

I’ve been a big fan of NUUN for a long time. I like to drink NUUN during my runs and during the day for extra hydration. I just started drinking the NUUN Immunity and Energy tabs for recovery too. I love the immunity and energy boosts they give me.

I recently started drinking it hot in the afternoon too! Who knew it was so good hot! I little stretching, rolling, and warm NUUN is just what the recovery ordered.

I’m most excited about this new release from NUUN: their new performance endurance drink for use during the run. It will be another good add to my post run recovery. Hydration, hydration, hydration is a huge key to quicker recovery.

A Review of SKINS™ A400 Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the SKINS™ A400 3/4 Skyscraper Compression Tights  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!

I love running in all things compression. I have a plethora of compression running sleeves and socks and have come to love running in compression tights just this last year.   SKINS™ manufactures all kinds of compression gear from bras to shirts to shorts to tights. What started in 1996 as an idea by an Aussie skier for better, longer performance has not grown into a multi-national company with over 160 products.

I had the opportunity to test out the A400 Skyscraper 3/4 Compression Tights. I personally like the 3/4 length because it’s perfect for our warm climate in Louisiana. I rarely have the need to wear full tights unless I’m traveling or racing further up north. We just don’t get that cold. I was a little leery about testing these out in September and October since we are always still in the upper 80s and 90s then. But one of the first things I noticed was how thin and lightweight the tights are. They didn’t feel overly hot when I got them on but they still offered a good amount of compression. This is due to their “ADAPTIVE Technology” which is supposed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. I did not ever feel like I was overheating wearing these.

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I logged a couple of long runs and several short tempo runs in these and they really felt great. I really liked the wide waistband and higher rise to help tame my muffin top and support my abdominal muscles. The bonded hems and flat seams did not rub or chafe anywhere. The compression technology is supposed to minimize muscle vibration and drive more oxygen to your muscle which results in improved performance. I definitely felt the support from the calves all the way to my lower back and abs.

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I’ll break down the Pros and Cons for these tights.

Pros:

  • Thin material and lightweight so they’re great for warmer climates.
  • High rise really helped support my abs and lower back and tamed some of my middle area squishy bits.
  • I felt they offered a really good amount of compression. I definitely felt more supported and had less muscle vibration (or jiggling).
  • The flat seams and bonded hems were great. No chafing and no rubbing at all.
  • Reflective print on the side. This was an added bonus. I like running clothing that ads on reflective print. This is especially important with black tights.
  • The gusset design in the waistband is genius. It really improved the comfort and stretch and support all around the waist. No binding or pinching or rolling.

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Cons:

  • No key pocket. This bugs me. Most of their other models have a key pocket built in. For some reason the Skyscraper does not. I almost always run outside a few miles from home. I need a place to put my car key. I had to have my friend carry it for me a couple of times.
  • They can be a little see-through. These are not for the modest or for wearing wild undies underneath. Because they are thinner material they are a little transparent, especially in the booty as they stretch out. Just know this. I wore a long shirt and didn’t really care.

Overall I really liked these tights. I think they are a great addition to my training gear and will be usable year-round for me. I think the design was well thought out and executed.

If you would like to try out a pair of SKINS™ Compression tights you can save 20% off your order with code BIBRAVE20 through October.

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Running faster & farther with 2XU

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik Mid-rise Thermal Compression Tights 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!”

I’m a big fan of running in tights. I have thick thighs and most shorts tend to ride up on me. I prefer to run in tights in the cold or warmer weather. I’ve seen other runners touting how much they love their compression tights but I hadn’t tried out a pair. Were they any better than normal running tights? When I got the opportunity to try out a pair of the 2XU compression tights I didn’t hesitate to say “Sign me up!”

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I was so excited to receive my pair in the mail!

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Ahhhh…they fit like a glove.

I opted for the 3/4 tight because we just don’t get that cold here in South Louisiana. I figured I would have much more opportunity to wear these than the full length tight. 2XU tights.png

Here are a few things from the 2XU website about these tights:

GARMENT FEATURES

  • HYOPTIK reflective logos for visibility
  • Compression support for greater protection to abductor, glute, quad, hamstring and calf muscles
  • Graduated compression for improved blood circulation
  • Comfort power wide waistband with powermesh for smooth streamlined fit
  • Flatlock seams to reduce chafe
  • High filament yarns for dryness – moisture wicking
  • Antibacterial and UPF50+ sun protection

From the first moment I tried these on I LOVED them. They are quite a bit tighter than my  normal running tights and take a little, ehrm, maneuvering to get them on. They almost remind me of shimmying into a wetsuit. But once on, Oh Em Gee. They feel amazing. They just nicely compress and hold everything in.

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I’m currently training for my fifth marathon and I was anxious to try these out to see how they performed on long runs and during a couple of races I had this month. I’ve logged about 100+ miles in these tights so far and here are some of the things I immediately noticed and fell in love with:

  • The mid-rise is so comfortable. I love that the rise is a little higher than a lot of my other running tights. This means no dreaded muffin top in the back and the power wide waistband really holds in my little tummy pooch (that I’m STILL trying to lose from baby #2). They are not only comfy, but they’re really flattering on all different body types.
  • They never rode down. I never once had to hike them up. Never.
  • The compression is wonderful, especially on longer distance runs. I used them on a half marathon and several long runs 16+ miles. I really think they helped stave off some muscle fatigue by holding everything together = less jiggle = more efficient muscle/energy usage.
  • I never once chaffed in these.
  • The large hyoptik, reflective logo is nice if you’re caught out running at dawn or dusk. It really reflects back car lights to help keep you safe on the road.

These have quickly become my favorite running tights and I feel like I’m washing them several times a week just so I can re-use them on my next run. This tells me I really should invest in another pair.

To be fair, here are a few of the cons I noticed:

  • There is a bit of pilling on the material between the legs right where my thighs rub. It’s not too bad yet but I wonder how they will hold up with continued mileage.
  • While they are a bit thicker than my other tights, I’m not sure how much more thermal capability they add. Again, we don’t get too cold down here so it’s not a huge concern, but I think I might go to my fleece lined tights instead if the weather really dipped.
  • The price point is pretty high. They are definitely an investment.
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Bringing home a PR at the Louisiana Marathon in my 2XU Hyoptik tights!

I truly credit my 2XU compression tights for keeping me going during this marathon training. I’ve had little soreness and joint pain since using these tights on every long run. They are my go-to training pants now. I don’t want to run without them! While wearing these tights yesterday I busted out one of the best 20 milers I’ve ever had. I think they’re a great pair of tights and a good investment into your running equipment.