Wednesday, April 4, 2012

a product review AND a runaway dog.

Last week, I was complaining about some calf pain and general tired-leg problems and wondered aloud on the blog about getting some compression calf sleeves that I hear everyone raving about.

I have noticed more and more people at races running with compression sleeves on their calves, and I've read a lot of blog posts about how comfortable they are.  My aching legs and I wanted to try them.  You guys gave me some good advice on which brands to try.

First thing I did was order a pair of Zensah compression leg sleeves.  So, they were on the way.

Shortly thereafter, my friend Jen of Running with the Girls, suggested I get in touch with Tommie Copper to do a review, which I did, and they sent me a pair of these calf sleeves right away to review.  (I did receive this product for free, but my opinions are my own).

I got the Tommie Copper sleeves first, and started wearing them right away, including during my 18 mile long run.  I can't say that they made my long run any easier, but they feel fantastic on my legs.  They are so comfortable, and I'll try to explain why.  They are tight but not too tight, light and cool because of the breathable material (they feel like very thin bathing suit material), and they feel like they are hugging your muscles.  Whose muscles don't need a hug? 

Here is what Jordan of Tommie Copper says about their products:

"We have designed the first line of Copper Compression products comfortable enough to be worn all day. Until now, compression wear was designed primarily for athletes to be worn for short periods of time to increase performance, enhance recovery and alleviate pain. 

Today everyone can tap into these benefits with Tommie Copper's Cu29 Copper Compression products. The product line is enhanced with copper infused yarn and engineered to be worn all day, everyday. It acts as a support to aching joints and muscles, and delivers the benefits of copper at the point of your discomfort. 

Tommie Copper compression garments are specifically designed to form- fit the user's physique. They are extremely comfortable and  lightweight, unlike ordinary compression wear. Because of the enormous surface area of copper in our exclusive fabric, circulation and oxygen flow of the blood are greatly enhanced."

Okay, so I don't totally understand the science behind the copper in the material, but I will tell you that these compression sleeves definitely helped me to recover from my 18 mile run and I basically had no aches or soreness after it;  I wore them around the clock for 2 days.  I even wore them to work under my work clothes just because they felt good and gave my leg muscles relief.  I don't get how, but they work.

Next I received the Zensah sleeves that I had ordered and paid for myself.  I went for the bright green color because, well, why not?  The material is totally different than the Tommie Coppers, much more like sock material.  These fit me a little more snugly (snuggier?) and also feel really good but in a different way.  I tried them out for a 5 mile run last night.  I know I have too many colors going on in my outfit here, but let's focus on the leg sleeves, okay?
I loved how these felt too, but I probably wouldn't wear them all the time like I will the Tommie Coppers.  I think maybe the Zensahs will be good for running and the TCs will be good for recovery, for pulling on after a race or a long run.

 I happened to have a pretty great run last night and that may or may not have anything to do with the Zensah sleeves.   I liked how they felt on a 50 degree evening, but can't imagine they would feel good if it were hot.  Again, they hug your muscles and make your legs feel fresh.  I don't totally understand why, but it's pretty undeniable that they do.  Who doesn't want fresh legs?

Thank you to folks at Tommie Copper for the compression sleeves.  I give them a very positive review.  If you have chronically achy or tired muscles or an injury, I would totally give them a try. 

Side story!   As if leg compression wear isn't exciting enough, this is what happened last night:

The above photos were taken just as I was heading out for my run. See Jackson?  While I was out running, Sam and the kids were hanging out in the back yard, and Jackson took off looking for me.  That was at about 5:30 or 6:00.  When Jackson wasn't back by 7, we started to get really nervous.  He sometimes goes exploring but always stays pretty close and is never gone for long.  When he wasn't home by 8:00, we started to panic.  Sam and I took turns looking for him, driving around, calling him, notifying neighbors and putting out calls for help on facebook.

At 9:00, my friend Lindsey suggested we call the police department.  After some back and forth, the dispatcher said that yes, they indeed had picked Jackson up at the gas station near our house.  I said I'd be right there to get him!  But then they told me an officer had taken him to the Humane Society for the night, and they would open in the morning.  Our poor boy spent the night in jail and we couldn't bail him out until today at 12:00 noon when they opened.

Maybe he was trying to live up to his namesake.

Sam and Skyler bailed him out today.  He's now home with us, and as smiley as ever.  And on a leash.

I kind of wish I could get 4 green leg sleeves for Jackson.  But that might just encourage him to run.  Jackson, STAY.  Good boy.


Jen said...

Very happy Jackson is home!!! Great review & thanks for the shout out! I have found that I can sleep in my Tommie Coppers because they are that comfortable. I don't have Zensah sleeves (yet) but I have Zensah socks (basically the same, right?) and I cannot wear them for long periods of time. However, I do love the color selection of the Zensahs!

Emily M. said...

The sleeves sound like something I would have loved when I was teaching and on my feet all day long. I wonder if nurses would love them too? Are they similar to the compression socks people wear on air planes?

Emilie said...

Yes, Emily... that's exactly right! Same idea as the beige compression garments people wear after surgery, too. I guess it increases blood flow in the muscles.

Carrie @ Maine Mom on the Run said...

I'm glad the sleeves are working for you. Personally, I find the Zensah sleeves more comfortable...just something about the elastic band that bugs my "man calves" in the TC's. There are silver fibers in them (Zensah) that keep you cool as well as anti-stink properties for wearing them often. I wore them last year in the heat and had no problems.

Monika said...

I realy do believe they help my legs recover faster.