Recovery is all the rage right now. And that’s not a bad thing. (Hey, it’s a better trend than running in Speedos.)
As triathletes, we’re finally learning to spend as much time babying our muscles as we do beating on them. With ice, compression, and all manner of affordable and not-so-affordable methods, recovery is one of the hottest things to hit triathlon since __________. (You can fill in the blank … I’ll go with Andreas Raelert).
Though my recovery of choice tends to air on the edible side, I do realize the importance of things like socks and ice baths; my CEP compression socks have helped me heal after many a long run. At the Oceanside 70.3 finish line, pain bombarded my glutes and quads with such fury that I swallowed my pride and paid a visit to the medical tent.
Double-Life Shin/Calf Sleeves target the calves and shins – $79
While plastic wrapping my legs with Ziploc bags of ice was incredibly sweet of the volunteers, I couldn’t help but grimmace. Usually reserved for leftovers, plastic wrap just doesn’t feel so good against sweaty, sun-soaked skin. As I sat there with cold water dripping into my shoes and pining for the compression socks far away in my transition bag, I wish I’d known that there was a better way.
A 110% better way, to be specific.
This isn’t like your high school PE teacher shouting the “give it 110 percent” cliché at you. 110% is the first compression company to fuse ice and compression into a single garment. Just launched last summer, 110% was founded by passionate athletes who have over 30 Ironman competitions, 100 marathons, and “too many triathlons to mention” behind them.
Transformer shorts target the quads, hams, hips, lumbar, and ITB – $110
Using something they call “pocket architecture,” 110% allows you to put ice right inside your clothing—no tape or plastic wrap required. The flexible ice sheets can be cut to whatever size works best for you; you simply soak them in water and freeze.
It’s been a little too warm here in San Diego to try running in the rather thick Transformer shorts (they do look kinda video-game character, don’t they?) but I did try them out on my bike commute to work the other day. They fit comfortably, and the stretch knit material kept the morning chill at bay. If I’d biked long enough to merit ice, I would’ve just slid a few ice sheets into the pockets, sat myself down at my desk, and voila—immediate recovery. That’s the beauty of these garments: they turn on a dime from performance to recovery.
After a tough 12-miler last weekend, I tried out the calf sleeves … letting them do their thing while I sipped on my post-run latte. One of my favorite things about these products is that they don’t sweat—everything stays nice and cold and dry. One thing to note, however, is that these garments don’t feel as cold as the standard plastic-and-ice combo. At times I wondered if the material was too thick for the ice to work its magic properly. In the end I just tried to trust the engineering, and the next day was glad I did: I was significantly less sore than usual.
Compression garments like these work in training by minimizing muscle vibration, promoting venus blood flow back to the heart, and opening up the lymphatic system. Compression is being studied for its ability to increase blood oxygen uptake and help the heart beat more efficiently. 110% uses the optimal 15-22 mmhg for a fair blend of effectiveness and comfort. On the recovery front, the ice packs help reduce swelling and pain, and the compression reduces lactic acid and prevents soreness.
Each garment comes with some ice sheets to get you started. The packs stay frozen for up to 2 hours, are durable, biodegradable, and reusable for up to six months. And for those of you who travel a lot, each garment comes with a reusable thermal carrying bag (see below) that stays cold for up to six hours. Visit www.110playharder.com to learn more.