I’m going to try something a little different this month. I read more than just research and I think the research just touches on a fraction of the valuable things I read in any given month. So I’m going to share more than just research this month.
Compression for recovery
This showed up in my feed just yesterday. Do compression garments (most runners would think of compression socks) aid in recovery?
The study was done with rugby players but the results are pretty clear. Both perceived muscle soreness and a biochemical measure of recovery improved with the compression garments. However, actual performance parameters did not improve.
Interesting results, suggesting that your muscles actually do recover better with compression garments but that may not lead to performance improvements.
Warming up and sleeping matter…a lot
We all place such importance on so many things. Doing the workout just right. Getting the latest gadget that can calculate some fitness parameter or measure some metric related to our running. Recovery aids of various types (even compression garments…).
But what if we’re overlooking basics that have even more effect on remaining healthy and performing at our highest level? Such as warming up and sleeping?
These things matter a lot. Don’t pass over the simple things that lead to big gains because you’re too focused on complex, expensive things that only provide incremental gains.
Eliud Kipchoge’s training
What can we learn from an elite runner’s training? Well, typically not much because the training is treated as top secret. Fortunately, Eliud Kipchoge is more open.
Two things stood out to me and another seemed to get the most attention from others I have seen discussing this article.
First, Kipchoge doesn’t do barn burner workouts. All his training was generally sustainable. He did some harder workouts but nothing I see in his training would lead a 2:03 marathoner to finish doubled over in fatigue.
Second, the balance. He’s training for a marathon so there is a lot of endurance based work. However, he’s also doing repeats as short as 300 meters and he’s doing 400s in 62 seconds. Not frequently but enough to keep sharp. It’s important to touch on all aspects of fitness.
As for what others noticed, it was his flexibility or lack thereof. He’s no gymnast. In fact, he can’t stand and touch his toes. This does matter. It’s pretty well established now that optimal flexibility is enough to allow you to comfortably pass through a full range of motion but not more. If you’re not flexible enough, you get hurt. If you’re too flexible (yes, there is such a thing if you’re a runner who cares about your times) you’re less efficient.