Before the race I was just telling myself to take it easy, and just treat it like a normal run out. It was my first parkrun since I started wearing barefoot/minimalist running shoes, so I knew I couldn’t run it at 100% effort. However at the back of my mind, I thought even at 80% effort I could still beat my PB of 00:29:06.
Anyway I imagine with a lot of runners best laid plans, my great plan went out of the window immediately. I got swept away with the runners around me, and set off quicker than I had planned. I was feeling good though, and about a mile in I could see the 25 minute pacer in front of me. That’s when I felt my left calf twinge a bit. So I slowed right down to protect the calf, and basically just jogged around the last two miles.
I felt really disappointed, but it is what it is. It’s all a learning curve. In fact I am going to incorporate more of these Parkrun’s into my training diary, to build up my race experience. So I can learn to stick to my own race, and not get carried away.
Regarding my calf, it was a little sore all Saturday. Then I walked two fells in the Lake District on Sunday, and my calves were ok. I could feel them a bit, but nothing major. So I don’t think I have done any major damage. I am going to miss my Tuesday run, just to be careful. Then hopefully they should be fine for my Thursday run.
Cost – £29.75 on 29th September 2016 from the Direct Sports, yes it is Direct Sports and not the Mr Ashley’s Sports Direct (for the UK readers). http://www.directsportseshop.co.uk/dssport/running/mens-compression/mens-compression-socks/2xu-compression-calf-guard-(white)-unisex?ProductID=9335
Fit – Great fit, they were tight all over but not uncomfortably tight. When you are running, you don’t really notice you have them on. I used the sizing guide from the 2XU official site, and it was really easy to follow and I ended up with the perfect size. It’s a good job I did this, as I would have probably ordered Med but I was a Small…. I do have pretty skinny calves!!!
Function – They are meant to aid recovery and prevent inflammation whilst running. I bought them mainly to prevent injury whilst running, as I have previously had 3 separate calf injuries occur whilst out on runs. Touch wood, I have had no calf injuries since I bought them, but I have also amended my training plan in an attempt to avoid further calf injuries.
Fashion – I think they look smart and professional, they might make me look like an actually runner too haha!!! I have worn them under tights, on top of tights, and in the summer I would be fine wearing them with shorts.
Disclaimer – I bought these myself with cold hard cash.
Conclusion – Look I don’t know if these aid recovery, and I don’t know if they prevent injury. I suspect they do help, but by what percentage I just don’t know. However with how frustrated I have been with calf injuries recently, even if they make me only 1% less likely to get a calf injury. Then they are worth it to me. If everyone had perfect training and recovery plans, then I am guessing they probably would not be needed. However I would be very surprised if I have stumbled across the perfect training plan, and I definitely do not want to break down with a calf injury in a Race. So I will continue wearing them.
The 2XU Compression Calf Guards are strategically designed to be exceptionally effective for the containment of the calf muscle when training and competing. Repeated muscle vibration is directly related to causing fatigue, muscle damage and shin splints. A versatile item that allows athletes to use their preferred sock and can also be worn under a wetsuit making transition times faster during triathlon.
Graduated compression to promote increased circulation for recovery
Highest power denier targeted support to calf + shins
Reduced fatigue in lower legs through less muscle oscillation
Reduced muscle soreness
Greater power output
High power PWX FLEX compression fabric with optimal breathability and flexibility supports the shin and calf muscles.
Flatlock seams to reduce chafe for greater comfort.
High filament yarns for dryness – wicks sweat from the skin to the fabric exterior.