The good news is that despite some lingering tightness in my hips lately, my legs felt pretty much okay on this run! That's always a pleasant surprise for injury-prone me. The bad news is that I was dragging the ENTIRE TIME. I don't know what it was, but I was just exhausted on this run! Oh well, I made it through! I owe a big thanks to Running the Sahara, an amazing movie I re-watched during the run. It's not quite as inspirational as Hood to Coast or Spirit of the Marathon, but it's still pretty darn awesome.
When I got back up to my apartment I was so exhausted that I promptly collapsed on the floor in a pile of my running gear:
Besides Running the Sahara, another thing that helped me on my run today was a brand new pair of Tommie Copper compression sleeves! I am so excited that I have the opportunity to try out and review this cool product. Y'all know my affinity for compression wear--I mean, recovery socks are featured in my blog header for goodness sake. Anyways, when I heard about Tommie Copper I knew it was definitely something I needed to try out. The folks at Tommie Copper were kind enough to send me a pair of calf compression sleeves and a pair of knee compression sleeves. While I fell in love with calf compression wear last year, knee sleeves are something I'd never tried before. (Tommie Copper makes a whole bunch of different compression products in addition to the ones I tried, including sleeves for ebows and ankles, gloves, and even compression shirts.)
Here's what Tommie Copper has to say about their products:
This unique compression uses multi-directional support and proprietary copper-infused yarn to provide relief from arthritis and other joint pains, promote muscle recovery and reduce inflammation all while being comfortable enough to be worn throughout the entire day.
The most important thing to remember is that compression products are only beneficial when they are being worn. If they are uncomfortable, bulky and can only be worn for short periods of time, they will not be very effective. That is why all Tommie Copper products are manufactured using a proprietary compression fabric combined with copper infused yarn that by design is so comfortable you may forget you are wearing it.
When I first opened the package and took out my new sleeves, I was so surprised--they weren't at all what I'd expected! I know the website said they were comfortable, but the word "copper" kept making me envision something thick and...I don't know, metallic-y maybe. That couldn't be further from the truth! The sleeves are super thin and have a silky feel--way different from my CEP sleeves and Recovery Socks. I loved the smooth feel of the fabric, and the sleeves were so thin that they were easy to fit under a pair of skinny jeans. (Not that skinny jeans have ever stood between me and my compression sleeves before, but I didn't have to YANK my jeans over them with the Tommie Copper sleeves the way I do with my thicker sleeves!) I will definitely rock these sleeves under my jeans or even under my dress pants at school. They are for sure comfortable enough for everyday wear!
I wore the calf sleeves on my run this morning, and I loved the feel. My calves felt great the whole time, and I could barely tell I was wearing the sleeves! Double win. I think they would be especially fantastic for a hot summer run. One thing that surprised me was that the sleeves don't have the same *super tight* feeling as some of my other sleeves. At first I worried that they wouldn't be as effective because of this, but since I didn't feel any calf tightness after my run, I'm thinking they did their job! After the run, I pulled on the knee sleeves--and if that's not classy enough already, I layered my recovery socks over them...beautiful, no?
I don't have any joint issues when it comes to my knees (knock on wood!), but have been dealing with IT band issues on and off for the past year. I know that knee pain is just a symptom of ITBS, but I figured that a little knee compression couldn't hurt! I hung out in these all day, and my knees feel great too (although I don't know if the sleeves worked any miracle there, or my knees were just in a good place today).
My only complaint is that after wearing the knee sleeves all day, the elastic at the top of the sleeves was a little uncomfortable. To keep both the calf and knee sleeves in place, there is a band of "grippy" elastic (<--technical term...). While my sleeves fit fine, that part felt a little tight and uncomfortable on my thighs after several hours of wear. I didn't notice this with the calf sleeves as all, and I'm wondering if my skin was already a little sensitive there after wearing my IT band straps on my run. Either way, it's not enough to make me ditch the sleeves. I will probably wear the calf sleeves for both running and recovery, and the knee sleeves just for recovery. In my opinion, these are great products all-around, and I look forward to wearing them plenty more in the future (and hopefully reaping some of these magical copper benefits)!
Thanks again to Tommie Copper for giving me the opportunity to check out their products!