How Compression Helps You Be A Better Runner

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary pair of compression socks from Tiux in exchange for a review. All opinions, as always, are my own.

When I first started running and training for my first race my body didn’t know what to do with itself. My leg muscles were being used more than they had ever been used. While training I became familiar with some common running injuries. Specifically shinsplints and tight calf muscles. As a new runner I turned to my good friend, Google, to see how I could alleviate these injuries and make my runs more comfortable. That’s when I learned about compression socks. 

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Compression socks were my BEST running accessory while training, especially for long distances. I’m just now getting back into running and once again I’m relying on compression socks as my muscles get used to the motions of running again. That’s why I was thrilled to receive a pair of new compression socks from Tiux. Tiux is a small startup that sells performance compression socks exclusively online. Since they cut out the middleman, retail stores, etc. their socks get shipped directly to you for only $35 AND free shipping. Not bad, right? Plus, they come in some pretty awesome colors.

If you’ve never tried compression socks before here are some reasons why I LOVE them:

1. They help your muscles recover faster.

Some people wear their compression socks during a run and after their, or just during their run. I do both. I wear them about 1-2 hours after my run and I definitely notice a difference in my muscles not being as sore than if I hadn’t worn them. The compression helps to reduce lactic acid build up in your muscles and improves circulation. Plus, they’re really comfy!

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2. They help you run better.

If you’re legs are sore from yesterday’s run and you still need to fit a few miles in the next day just slip on compression socks to help alleviate the soreness and enjoy your run. 

3. They protect your feet and legs.

Compression socks are great coverage for your legs if you’re prone to scrapes, bumps, getting dirty, getting bit by bugs, etc. They also help with chafing, which sometimes happens when wearing ankle socks.

4. They keep you warm on cool days.

We are a LONG way away from cool days here in FL, but when they do come around compression socks are a great way to help keep your legs warm. I wear them over running leggings, as well as with shorts.

5. They just plain look cool!

Stand out during your next race or be the talk of your running club when you show up with awesome, colorful compression socks!

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These Tiux compression socks gave great compression and are really comfortable. It may be silly, but my favorite part about them is their color! I am a big fan of the purple/pink combo. If you want to get your hands on a pair of these awesome compression socks check out Tiux at tiux.co.

Do you wear compression socks?

 

Women’s Half Marathon

I did it!

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I ran my FIRST half marathon. The Women’s Half Marathon in downtown St. Pete, this past Sunday.

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I am still a bit amazed as this is something I NEVER thought I would do. But I am so glad to have accomplished this goal and am pretty proud of how it went.

I know I have missed a few race training week recaps, but let’s just say there was nothing really eventful. I had a great long run, but then the next weekend I had a really bad one. I was so glad when taper week came. My body needed a break and I think it really helped me come race day!

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On the night before race day I laid out my running clothes and gear. (I never trust my brain to work correctly at 5 a.m.) I also put together a gear bag for the first time. Since this was my first half and I knew I’d be getting brunch with friends after I wanted some things to help me freshen up. I packed a washcloth and deodorant. Also, some Nuun in case I needed extra electrolytes after the race.

I had a terrible nights sleep. I tried to go to bed early, but didn’t actually hit the sack until 11 p.m. I kept waking up and tossed and turned. When 5 a.m. came, it was hard, but I got up and got moving. I rinsed off, got dressed, chugged water and ate a pumpkin spice bagel with cream cheese as my pre-race fuel.

I was out the door by 5:30 a.m. I was determined to park in the lot closest to the starting line. It was $5, but totally worth it to me as there’s no close parking to where the race was that isn’t 2 hour parking. Luckily there were still plenty of spots when I got there.

I checked my bag at gear check and used the dreaded porta potty. Both of which took no time at all. Shortly before the race my friends showed up. We took a few pre race pics and then headed to our corrals.

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Like my shoe wings?? 😀

Before the race I was considering doing a walk run method to help me get through. In all of my training runs I had been taking walk breaks and wasn’t sure I could run the whole race. Once I started the race though I decided to just go by how I felt.

I took the race mile by mile and I was feeling great. I walked through the water stations. I chose Gatorade every time it was offered and had a Gu when it was offered at mile 8. The aid stations were spaced apart well and I never felt dehydrated.

I also loved the cheer stations and people rooting us on. Their cheers and funny/inspirational signs really helped! The hardest miles were 9 through 12. We ran up a long stretch of Central Avenue and back. There wasn’t much to look at and the cheerers were scarce…that’s when we really needed them!

When I saw the mile 12 marker I tried not to get too excited. 1 mile to go! I can do this! I’m doing it! When I figured I had about a half mile to go I started to push, and when the finish line was in site I ran my heart out.

Final time: 2:23:53

My goal was 2:30 and I wasn’t even sure I’d do that so 2:23 was great news to me! AND I took no walk breaks. I ran the whole time! I was so proud of what my body had just accomplished. However, as soon as I stopped running my knees and hips started screaming at me. I had trouble walking for the rest of the day, but that’s pretty normal after a half.

After I was handed my medal I grabbed a water, a banana and a bag of mini muffins. I scarfed down the banana as I tried to find my friends. They had some fun stuff at the end of the race. A Bubbly Lounge with champagne, massages, a freshen up station…I decided to skip it all though. I have a full massage booked for Tuesday and the most important thing on my mind was getting a meal in my stomach!

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Post race mimosas!

Overall, I really enjoyed the race. Besides the long stretch on Central Avenue, the course was great and there were plenty of aid stations. And even though I didn’t take advantage of the after race festivities, I thought they were all great ideas! And of course, the volunteers were awesome as well.

I kept telling everybody that this was going to be my first and only half marathon. I am just not a fan of training. Getting up early for long runs and having to skip CrossFit workouts for runs was just not working for me. And my body is just not built for running. I’m not fast. But most importantly, I don’t enjoy it. I’m one of those people who likes to go for a run if I feel like it, not because I have to. And training is something that you have to do and therefore becomes unappealing to me. But that is just me! I’m still going to do 5ks and 10ks…those are more manageable distances to me and ones that I can excel more at. But is another half marathon in my future? Who knows. Crossing that finish line was pretty amazing, so I’m not going to completely write off the possibility, but I’m also not rushing to sign up for more.

Did you run the Women’s Half? What’s your favorite distance to run?

Half Marathon Training – Week 9

This was a GREAT run week! I’m thrilled since the past few weeks have not been so great.

I had a 5 mile, 4 mile and 10 mile on the agenda for this week. My 4 mile run ended up getting nixed because of my schedule. But I also thought my body needed a break before I made it go 10 miles (!)

My 5 miler felt amazing. I actually felt like I could have kept going! It has really helped that the weather has cooled down in FL lately. It makes for MUCH more comfortable runs.

1
11:11 11’11″/mi
2
21:51 – 0:30 (4%) 10’40″/mi
3
32:43 + 0:11 (-2%) 10’51″/mi
4
43:19 – 0:16 (2%) 10’35″/mi
5
*Fastest
53:44 – 0:10 (1%) 10’25″/mi

And then there was the 10 miler…so like I mentioned I totally missed my past 2 long runs. My last run had been 8 miles so I decided to do 10 miles since my last long run before race day will be 12 miles. I was pretty nervous since I have never run farther than 8 miles. I was fully prepared to take multiple walking breaks.

But I felt great and just took one mile at a time. I had my Gatorade with me and stopped every 2 miles to take a few swigs. But I started right back up. Towards the end I started to stop briefly at every mile. But once I would start up again I felt like I was flying!

And the numbers don’t lie! I had an average pace of 10:55, which I am so proud of. My usual average pace is around 12:00 so this feels like a huge accomplishment!

1
11:19 11’19″/mi
2
22:05 – 0:33 (4%) 10’46″/mi
3
33:27 + 0:35 (-6%) 11’21″/mi
4
44:33 – 0:14 (2%) 11’06″/mi
5
55:43 + 0:03 (-1%) 11’10″/mi
6
1:06:50 – 0:03 (0%) 11’06″/mi
7
*Fastest
1:16:42 – 1:14 (11%) 9’52″/mi
8
1:28:14 + 1:39 (-17%) 11’32″/mi
9
1:38:59 – 0:47 (6%) 10’44″/mi
10
1:49:09 – 0:34 (5%) 10’10″/mi

I feel that I’m learning more about myself and my relationship with running while training for this half marathon. I’ve learned that my body responds very well to rest and that I should continue to listen to it when it feels like it needs to slow down.

Here’s to one more training week, then taper!

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