Getting your recovery off on the right foot
SLS3 Compression and Triathlon is a sports gear company with an awesome line of products, so we wanted to try them out, and decided to start small (they do have a LOT of cool looking products) with the FXC Active Compression Sleeves.
SLS3 offers compression sleeves in a variety of colors and designs to fit your preferences and even CosRunning costume ideas. I chose a simple, but cool looking blue color, I am not as fashion-forward as other members of the CR Team, so these definitely were in my running fashion wheelhouse.
Avoiding injury and having effective recovery periods should be a big part of any Casual Runner’s training plan. This is especially so given the proliferation of multi-race series that are all the rage right now. If you are going to run multiple races, especially over consecutive days, rest and recovery will be crucial to your success.
You don’t have to be a Casual Runner for very long to know that compression therapy is ever-present in the running community. Heck, if you go to any runDisney event, it seems that, walking around the park, you see as many compression sleeves on park guests as you do Mickey Mouse ears.
Now, we are certainly no experts on the health benefits of compression technology, and we at Casual Runner always stick to what we know best, which means staying firmly in our respective areas of expertise. So here is what SLS3 Compression and Triathlon has to say about the “why” of compression as a part of a training program:
“Compression garments like compression socks, compression sleeves and compression shorts help your body perform and recover better. Whether in training or racing, compression clothing helps delay and reduce the onset of muscle fatigue, prevents post-exercise soreness and evacuates metabolic waste products such as lactic acid by increasing the flow rate of the blood in the venous system. Improved blood circulation back to the heart results in faster new oxygen supply in your muscles.” (For more information on compression you can click here).
Compression sleeves are simple. You receive them in a packet, pull them out, and slide them onto your lower legs, being careful to not allow them to bunch up (folds in the material may lead to unintended pressure points). Then you wear them for a certain amount of time depending on your needs and intended purpose.
First things first. To the lay person (or lay Casual Runner), the word “compression” denotes that the product should be tight fitting, but it begs the question: just how tight fitting? This is a serious question. First, you do not want the sleeves to fit too tightly, as you will constrict circulation. Second, if they are too loose-fitting, you will not receive any of the intended benefits of compression technology. Fortunately the folks at SLS3 could not have been more helpful in identifying the right sizing for me. If you have any questions at all, just reach out to them as they will be glad to help.
We have seen Casual Runners wear compression sleeves when they run, whereas others use them as a part of their post-race recovery. I chose the latter course as I prefer to not have too much clothing on when I am running. Like in most things with Casual Running, you need to figure out what works best for you. For me, wearing the sleeves following a long run or race seemed to work the best. I really liked being able to slip them on after a race but before I began my long drive home, which seemed to make my legs less “crampy” during the drive.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (but not really).
I had a very positive experience with both this specific product and with SLS3’s customer service in general. They have a great selection to choose from and they were very helpful in identifying the right product and sizing, especially for the compression neophyte that I was.
I cannot proffer how much this product aided in or sped up my recovery, but I can say that the sleeves were super comfortable to wear, even in the heat of the dog days of late summer. I did not feel as though they made me sweat any more by wearing them, which is a testament to how well the material breathes. They stretch easily when taking them on and off, yet conformed to the contours of my lower legs comfortably.
Given my experience, I am definitely looking to try out more of SLS3’s products, including their compression socks (think of the sleeves, but with full foot socks attached to them) and their other compression gear (shorts, race suits, etc.). While the colors and designs first caught our attention, I look for comfort and promised performance first, and these sleeves receive high marks in both. I then look to how “cool” the apparel is, and SLS3 certainly makes some cool gear, so I guess they are winners there too!
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Neither Nick nor Casual Runner received any compensation for this review. The product reviewed herein was provided by the manufacturer for purposes of this review and the opinions are solely those of the author.