Showing posts with label compression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label compression. Show all posts

Monday, February 20, 2017

Embracing the Mindful and rejecting the Beast

I'm giving my Plantar my full support
Today's workout (upper body hand weights): 45 minutes

Happy President's Day.  This morning my daughter and I celebrated with a cup of coffee at Runsketeer Starbucks. She didn't have classes today because of the holiday. I'm off from work for the same reason. I always did like George and Abe.

After Starbucks, I coerced my daughter into swinging by CVS so I could purchase a couple of items that will supposedly help reduce the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. I bought a Plantar Flex Support Sleeve and Plantar Flex Orthotics. When I looked them up on the CVS site I saw that "related items" included Crest white strips, contact lens cleaner and razor blade refills. This Fasciitis thing is pretty complex. Now I understand why my heel pain hasn't gone away quickly.

White strips and support sleeves - a natural combination!
I'm not sure if any of the stuff I got at CVS will help. Another great president, Teddy Roosevelt, said, "The best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." Action is better than inaction. Otherwise the Plantar Fasciitis wins.

I dutifully placed the flex sleeve on my foot and put the supports in my shoes. I decided to forgo a run in favor of an upper body workout. Specifically, the Body Beast workout that TPP gave me last month. I put one of the DVDs into my laptop and as soon as I saw the Lou Ferrigno lookalike, I thought I might be out of my league. The warm-up was fine, but then they started doing push ups (push ups!) before the workout had even started. That did it for me.

Instead of giving up on a workout, I went online and found a video of a woman trainer with less muscles than Lou Ferrigno. Her routine, using hand weights, took 10 minutes and felt more like a warm up than a real workout. I decided to look at a few other websites and found a set of exercises on "The Mindful Body" that looked reasonable. Since every person I talk to uses the term "mindful" these days, I figured I'd try it out.

This routine was tougher than the ten minute warm up and took about 35 minutes to finish. I didn't work up a big sweat, but I know I hit every muscle group in my arms and shoulders. I'm curious to see how I feel tomorrow, as I haven't done a formal upper body workout since the London Olympics. While my arms will inevitably ache, I'm hoping my heel will feel a little better. If so, I'll take that trade-off.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Soreness is gone, so back to the road

Today's run (street): 3.3 miles

It's fall and today's weather acted appropriately, with sun, minimal humidity and cool air. I went out early and the temperature on my phone app said 50°. I wore my vividly orange long sleeve running shirt with shorts and was very comfortable throughout the run. Conditions make all the difference.

Today was my first run since Cow Harbor. The race and Sunday's lift-and-carry workout put my legs into tough shape and I carried that soreness all day on Monday. I'd worn my Zensah compression calf sleeves on the prior two days, in hopes of reducing the level of lactic acid that was making my leg muscles feel stiff and uncomfortable. Last night, as I headed upstairs, I noted that my legs were still very much in need of recovery time.

When I took my first few steps onto the road today, I was pleased to note that my stride felt good. Not perfect, but certainly better than I'd expected. I must have benefited from a good night's sleep. I didn't push hard but I made sure that I kept my pace within the acceptable range (and faster than my Cow Harbor pace). As I progressed, I noticed more muscle stiffness, but that didn't slow me down much.

I ended up happy with the run and appreciated returning home without feeling like I was drenched in sweat. If the temperature and humidity remain low, I hope to bring my intensity up a notch and take advantage of higher performance relative to heart rate. I know I need to increase my cadence if I'm going to make improvements in my pacing. I wish I knew the best approach for doing that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The dreaded Day 2

Aleve and compression are good for the sole(us)
I should have known that Sunday's hard running would eventually catch up with me. Usually I'm fine the day after a vigorous workout but then I pay for it on the second day. I'd fooled myself into thinking that running in the Hattori's had sufficiently built up my gastrocnemius and soleus muscles but by early evening my calves were screaming. Perhaps bleating would be a better word. Yesterday's semi-tough trail run probably contributed to that as well.

I took an Aleve before heading up to bed and wore my Zensah compression sleeves overnight. I had previously verified that it was okay to do that. This morning my lower legs still felt like they were fused to my ankles and making my way down the stairs required a tight hold of the banister. After an hour my muscles had loosened up. They were feeling far better by the time I made my train.

I've got a couple of errands to run around lunch today so I'll have a chance to shake out the residual stiffness as I cover the streets of the city. I'm really hoping that things return to normal in time for my morning run.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spandex as an energy source

Zensah product shot
Yesterday's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

I've completed my training for Sunday's race and now my challenge is holding back on activity until that event. I considered running this morning because I'm not convinced that two day's rest provides any measurable advantage over just resting the day before. Still, I decided to stick with the taper plan. I've spent the last two weeks focusing on low intensity running and I don't think I've broken 9:10 on any run since mid-October. What I have done since September's Cow Harbor race is increase my base and I'm hoping that will make a difference this weekend.

Yesterday I returned to City Sports and bought a pair of Zensah calf/shin sleeves. This compression stuff isn't cheap but compared with other brands like Zoot and CEP, the Zensah gear was more affordable. But $40 for stretchy leg warmers isn't exactly what I'd call a bargain. These compression sleeves, made with spandex and nylon, are far more than that and I wore them for about five hours yesterday. I made my decision to buy the Zensah sleeves after talking to the sales person who was surprisingly knowledgeable about these products and their benefits, although she kept pronouncing lactic acid as "lasic acid." I was tempted to buy full compression socks because  the foot wrap apparently helps flush lactic (or lasic) acid from the tendons in the foot. The cost just seemed too high and I tend to like the socks that I already own.

Last night, after I'd taken off the calf sleeves, my legs felt restless, or energetic, depending on how you look at it. I plan to wear these sleeves under my Nike compression pants during the race. I know the unwritten rule is never to race with gear that you haven't previously used but I'm willing to take the chance. Restless or energetic legs are far better than the alternative.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Progression through compression

It was almost a year ago that my wife surprised me with a gift of a long sleeved Nike Fit jersey and Nike compression pants. I was due to race the MercyFirst 5K and she thought I'd appreciate having some new gear. I ran my fastest ever race pace wearing that outfit and it made me curious about the connection between compression and performance.

Last Saturday Dave and I did a long run on the Bethpage bike trail and he wore CW-X compression pants along with compression socks of the same brand. I looked online to see whether compression and performance are correlated and saw that there are studies that support that theory. The real benefit seems to be on the recovery side because compression aids blood flow and channels built up lactic acid. I know that when I run with my compression gear I feel more energetic. I went to City Sports to see what they had for socks and was surprised to see a range of socks and calf sleeves costing between $30-$60. I didn't buy anything but I'll admit that I'm curious to try them. Perhaps I'll head back today or check out Paragon's selection at lunchtime. Except for the price there seems to be more upside than downside to using this technology.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A good impression of compression

A few years ago I was walking with a colleague from work on a very cold winter's day. She was wearing a skirt and tights and seemed comfortable with the below ten degree temperatures while was freezing in my suit and long wool coat. I asked her how she seemed so comfortable and she told me that her tights kept her legs very warm. She said the tight fit seemed to insulate better than pants. I was skeptical at the time but after some experience with compression running pants I have to admit there's a big difference in the amount of heat you retain. I also feel much more energized when running in these pants (I have three pairs now) and I believe my 8:19 pace during Saturday's race was helped out, somewhat, by the compression technology and warmth.

This morning it was 34 degrees outside so I dressed in layers, a long sleeved compression top, long sleeved tech top and short sleeved tech top plus reflective vest and my Brooks hat. Below I wore my new Nike compression pants and a pair of crew length Timberland athletic socks and it was perfect for the morning conditions. I headed north from my house up a slightly inclined road and was hit head-on by what I'm guessing was a 5-10 MPH wind. I was happy with my choice of clothes and I stepped it up a bit to try to warm up faster. Overall I covered 2.5 miles at around 9:10 per mile. Not exactly PR numbers but at 4:00 AM on a chilly morning I'll call it a great run.

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