Does Compression Wear Really Make A Big Difference On Longer Runs?

HighCarb writes: I usually wear compression pants for longer runs (more than 30k). Last week I ran 35k (including +- 1200m of elevation gain/loss) without them. What a difference!

After the second last uphill at km 30 my legs started getting really tired and stiff. I have not experienced anything like that for quite a long time.

Obviously, compression works for me.

However, this experience makes me wonder if I should do my training runs without compression and rather wear compression pants afterwards for regeneration.

I wonder if your legs can get used to the assistance provided by compression so that over time you lose the benefit and develop a dependency.

My answer: Thanks for the very informative article and sharing your experience.

I understand the effect you are describing. I was once at the same point feeling dependent on compression wear for running, specially running tights and socks.

The effect is definitely noticeable. However, one layer of clothing cannot have the expected effect for kilometres and hours on end.

It is more so the mind that sends the trigger that compression wear is going to prolong fatigue, hence your muscle have a greater capacity to handle the training load. And that without them you are lost and start feeling stiff.

Bottom line: No clothing material can ever replace adequate training.

A really purposeful way to use compression tights is AFTER long runs or very intense speed workouts. It is the supportive effect more than anything else that can aid recovery to a small degree.

If you spend money on innovative running gear than it´s probably better to invest into high quality socks, a decent running jacket or/and another pair of your favorite running shoes.


Now it´s your turn. What´s your personal opinion on compression socks and tights? Do you think it´s something more than just clever marketing?

Leave your comment below and share what you have to say. I look forward to join the conversation.

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