I bought these CEP compression socks a few months ago as a recovery tool for running. They are probably the most expensive sock you will ever buy at $60 retail. There are a ton of options and brands out there but what is interesting about this German company is that they initally made these socks for medical reasons; for patients with varicose veins. i got this one because it encompasses the whole foot and calf area. Check out their link to learn more about what they claim the sock will do.
But basically, their “medi compression” applies pressures in such a way that increases blood flow to your blood vessels and ensures proper flow back to your heart - hence more oxygen faster recovery.
I typically wear them for a few hours following a long or intense run (though i admit i also throw them on after a 3 miler as well). I’ve heard some people sleep in them, too. I will say that i do feel a bit fresher and better the next day when going out for another run. However, it really only helps the area that the sock covers - hence the calf and foot area. But my quads are still tight and sore. So, i checked out their site and they have another product called Clone Compression tights which are customized. The full tight costs $289 and the thigh high costs $239. Ouch! but the tight encompasses the entire leg area which is what you would really need to feel “recovered.” They are marketing this particular product toward elite athletes but i think it definitely will move into the mass market at some point. Here is the link to the tights:
I am currently experimenting with nutrition products to train for the Portland Marathon. Some goals i have in mind are to utilize my body’s fat stores efficiently, minimize GI distress, and to get faster!
I recently tried Perpetuem Solids by Hammer Nutrition on an 11 mile run on a brutally hot day. (I had also taken two Hammer Endurance Amino Acids prior to heading out.) It tasted horrible - a cross between horse food and chalk. The solid is actually quite a large square so eating on the run might actually take some mastication skills especially since it doesn’t melt in your mouth like, say Gu products would (hence it keeps quite well in extreme temps and doesn’t have a time limit on stability or palatability). There are also no refined sugars in Perpetuem Solids so that would probably explain the taste of chalk. You absolutely need water to help break down this solid because it’s very chewy, grainy, and sticks to your teeth (and not in a good way).
But if you can get over some of the taste issues consuming Perpetuem may have some benefits. One of the ingredients in Perpetuem is Carnosine which acts as an acid buffer and a free radical scavenger. It also comes in three flavors; i tried the caffe latte one because it contained caffeine. It may also be easier on the gut without all the refined sugars to digest.
I will say that the combination of the endurance amino acids and perpeteum helped with acid buffering (my muscles didn’t feel as cramped toward the end) and I felt really focused mentally.
Bottom line: i think perpeteum solids are better for cycling
I’ve been reading about Generation UCAN and just ordered some products. I am very excited.
Training for an endurance event such as a marathon or Ironman requires long training runs and rides to increase aerobic capacity which typically causes us to fatigue at some point, say at mile 16 on a 20 mile run. The muscles start getting tight and don’t seem to fire and contract like they did at mile 10. You start slowing down, getting crankly, and your technique breaks down as well. The last few miles seem to feel like a death march. Which limitor is causing us to fatigue?
I watched a very interesting webinar given by Krista Austin from Performance and Nutrition Coaching on Understanding the Limiters in Performance. She discusses the concept of neural fatigue and its role in limiting performance within the muscle. Researchers from the Netherlands have demonstrated that fatigue occurs in the muscle when the ratio between the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain become unbalanced. Dopamine and serotonin are the primary neurotransmitters responsible for exercise performance. Serotonin can thought of as the sleepy neurotransmitter and dopamine as the excitatory neutransmitter.
These studies showed that in well trained athletes dopamine can increase exercise performance by increasing the muscle fibers recruited while increases in serotonin levels reduces exercise capacity. Therefore, when athletes are given dopamine agonists (enzymes helpful in producing dopamine) like the three branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine) and tyrosine (the precursor to dopamine) during exercise the dopamine to sertonin ratio becomes more optimal, more muscle fibers are recuited, and the the time to exhaustion is increased. This idea of the muscle being limited by the brain itself is really fascinating. It implies that without doing any extra training one can increase exercise performance by supplementing their nutrition with branched chain amino acids and tyrosine.
Hammer nutrition offers the supplement Endurance Amino Acids which contains the three branched chain amino acids. This supplementation taken during a workout of 2 or more hours may help delay central nervous system induced fatigue. It may also help with muscle recovery and immune system function following a workout. It also recommends taking the amino acids in conjunction with their anti-fatigue caps.
I am neither advocating nor promoting this product but I am currently integrating this supplementation into my nutrition regimen as part of my current marathon training. Thoughts and findings to follow.
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