I first discussed compression socks a while back (when I bought my first pair in October), but a number of people have asked about whether or not they should wear compression socks/sleeves for long runs.

During the recent Olympic marathon trials, you may have noticed a number of men and women wearing compression socks during the race. Although I am by no means an elite runner, I too, wear them for my long runs. Here’s why:

    • Wearing compression socks allows the arterial walls in the lower legs to relax. This means more oxygen-rich blood flow to your legs. This increased blood flow can result in better race/training performance and recovery.
    • Studies have shown that wearing these socks can improve your race time by up to 5%- that’s pretty significant (especially when you are looking at a half-marathon/marathon)!
    • By applying more pressure to the lower legs and shins, vibration is reduced. This translates into fewer microtears in muscle– which can result in shin splints or lower leg soreness.
    • Because compression socks increase blood flow and circulation in the lower legs, they can help reduce the build-up of lactic acid.

 PRO Compression: Marathon Compression Socks, Purple, Small/Medium CEP Women’s Progressive+ 2.0 Compression Run Socks, Black/Pink, Size III (Calf 12.5-15-Inch)

From my own personal experience, I can definitely say that I have reduced lower leg and foot soreness when I wear compression socks on a long run. I have yet to wear them in a long distance race, but I will surely be sporting them at the Anthem Half Marathon in March! Here is a picture of a pair of hot pink CEP socks that I just bought!

While compression socks can help you on your long run, it’s just as important to focus on how you fuel during your long runs. Fueling properly will make a HUGE difference in how you feel on your long run and how you recover.

 

 

Jessica Morrison

21 comments on “Compression Socks – Why You Should Wear Them on a Long Run”

  1. I have used compression socks for several month. I oftern start out my race with discomfort in feet, ankle etc. With compression socks the pain goes away after a couple minutes. However, A unique problem I have experienced is that on my long races, I always end up with a blister under my right foot:( Never had blisters before. Any advice?

  2. I love your blog! I have been thinking about switching to WP too. Your blog is so well-designed and professional looking and easy to read.

    Thank you for this info and for explaining how the compression socks work! Those are the exact same CEP socks I have and I love them. I have yet to try them out on a longer run too, though. I am wondering if they would help my feet (more than my legs) when they get painful on longer runs (sometimes, and I have to find out why that is!).

    • Thanks so much Sara! Switching to WP is pretty easy, I can definitely help you if you need it. I think you should try the socks on your next long run. I have found that they help me a lot. I know some people even wear them at night after a long run! 🙂

  3. Just bought my first pair of socks a few weeks ago – actually got the exact pair in your picture! I love them on my long runs!

  4. I just got a pair for 50% off with an Active Schwaggle deal – they came in the mail yesterday, and I’m going to try them out on my 20-miler this weekend. My calves are always, always, always sore and tight, no matter how much stretching I do, so I’m thinking these will really help!

    • Nope, you can still reap the benefits with shorter distances. In fact, elite athletes sometimes use them for speed sessions too! 🙂

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