Right & Wrong On Running Tights

29 01 2010

1. For those who are fond of using those expensive running tights, please don’t get offended with this post. I really don’t care if such tights looks good on you or they treat your injury or they help you in your recovery or they make you run faster, I just want to voice out my opinion and observation.

2. Don’t get me wrong. I have a CW-X running tights which I bought last year in the US but up to this time, I have not used it even if I was recovering from an injury. I used to have running tights which carried the name of the famous triathlete, Scott Tinley, during the 80’s and the 90’s but I only used them when I was visiting or staying in the United States during winter time.

3.  The following articles or posts were copied from CW-X, 2XU and Skins websites explaining the advantages of using their running compression tights:

From the CW-X website:

Running: Extensive studies show that wearing CW-X tights results in 26% less energy expenditure than running in regular tights and 36% less energy than running in shorts. CW-X’s patented Support Web brings the hips, knees and ankles into proper alignment, reducing impact and load to the legs. The Support Web™ also provides a suspension system for the hamstrings and quadriceps, reducing workload in both the pull and push phase of the running motion. With more efficient strides, your muscles don’t have to work as hard over time and your legs will feel fresher.

Snow Sports: CW-X’s patented Support Web™ bands muscles and ligaments together to support and stabilize the knees, quadriceps and core. The result: increased power output in turns and decreased vibrations for greater edge control. The Support Web also provides targeted compression to key circulation areas to improve blood flow, keeping muscles warm and speeding up recovery, so that your 4pm run feels more like a 2pm run.

Yoga/Pilates: The middle of the body is vital for balance and stability, two things that are very important in yoga and pilates. The CW-X Support Web™ offers optimum support to the core and lower back while also stabilizing the hip flexors and gluteal muscles, so you can perform more strenuous poses with greater ease.

Recovery: After strenuous activity, CW-X tights can hasten recovery thanks to the anatomically designed Support Web™. By providing extra compression in key circulation areas, the Support Web increases circulation for reduced muscle fatigue and quicker recovery.

From the 2XU Website:

 

Building on 2XU’s market leading compression tight, 2XU’s elite tights are for the athlete who wants even more. Combining a new generation 70 denier fabric with our existing high power 50 denier fabric, 2XU elite compression tights offer superior compression to enable greater muscle stability and injury prevention. The new generation 70 denier fabric, with 15% more support and 25% more power than the 50 denier fabric, has been designed to support the calves and hamstring muscles – areas which are particularly prone to fatigue, injury and muscle soreness. From SKINS Website:
 Skins™ BioAcceleration Technology™ has been developed over years of scientific research. Ongoing testing of elite athletes have proven that Skins™ BioAcceleration Technology™ creates marked improvements in reducing the build-up of lactic acid immediately after periods of sustained exercise (2hrs and 15 mins up to 37% ), and allows for more rapid return to normal levels (up to 38% at 20 minutes). You experience less fatigue, minimise soreness and recover faster.Skins™ is body-moulded compression performance equipment manufactured from the finest Lycra and Meryl Microfibre, scientifically engineered to provide support and muscle alignment to the smart-fabric covered area of your body. Skins™ will definitely change the way that you train and play as well as speed your recovery. You will feel fresher after heavy bouts of exercise and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will be minimised.

4. I have yet to experience wearing one of these running compression tights during my running workouts and races. Moreso, I have yet to find out or read from the runner-bloggers about their “honest-to-goodness” review on the running tights they are using. But from the conversation and first-hand experience from my brother, General Samuel and nephew, Lemuel, they gave me a positive review of the CW-X Compression Tights. This could be the reason why they comfortably finished the Subic International Marathon and their first BDM 50K Test Run, their first ultra run distance, without any issues or injuries.

5. Maybe, I am with the “old-school” in running as I prefer to run with the “old-fashioned” running shorts in full marathon and ultra running distances. In the lesser distance races, I usually use those compression shorts like CW-X, NIKE, and Adidas.

6. The following are my insights about running compression tights:

a) These compression (full) tights are better if used in temperate/cooler countries. There are tights made for warmer countries like “ventilators” that releases warm temperature of the legs and at the same time provides ventilation for the air to enter through the tights or fabric. Running in tights is like running with “arm warmers”. Is it possible that runners are using tights because they don’t want their legs to be “sunburned”? On the other hand, I am still wondering why runners in a tropical country like us are using those “arm warmers” popularized by Moeben. Are they being used as “arm warmers” or protection from being “sunburned”? Since I perspire a lot, the running tights would make me perspire some more!

b) I find male runners in tights as “gayish”. Sorry, guys! If you can have those long legs and ballet/dancing prowess of Rudolf Nureyev, maybe, it would be nice to see you on such tights. However, if your legs are short, I think wearing running shorts would be better to look at.

Nureyev & Fonteyn In A Ballet Performance (Source: Wikipedia)

c) I’ve never seen top elite athletes and any “record-breaker” in marathon races using running tights. In short, champions in road races are not seen in running tights during their competitive races. I have yet to see Haile, Tergat, Wanjiru, Paula Radcliffe, Kara Goucher, Ryan Hall or Grete Waitz using running tights while they are crossing the Finish Line.

d) A compression tights is heavier than a running shorts. Comparing these two after they get wet from your perspiration and sprinkle of cold water to your head, the compressions tights becomes heavier than a wet running shorts. In running, the lighter you are, the faster your finish time is.

7. In the end, if you have the money to splurge and have the “guts” to wear these running compression tights, go ahead, get all the colors available in the market and proudly wear them during your workouts and competitive races. Wearing one is a “head-turner” and a “fashion statement”!

8. I hope to use my CW-X running tights for my “adventure run” to Baguio City in the near future to prove their advertisement. We will see.


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21 responses

29 01 2010
rickgaston

Did you really use the word “gayish”? Hahaha c’mon now Sir Jovie, tights make you feel slick and fast.

However I too have wondered why Pinoy runners wears long, BLACK tights in the tropical weather of the Philippines. At first I thought that well you guys are used to that, you know the heat and humidity. Doesn’t make sense to me either, why wear that in the Philippines? Can it be attributed to our desire to be cool and wear the gear, and by “our” I mean as human beings and not just Pinoys, to look the look, to look like everyone else in the sport? On your last post I saw a guy in a torn up white t-shirt, soaked through with sweat but wearing arm warmers. Wouldn’t it have been cooler temperature wise to get rid of the arm warmers?If I ever run there I will wear shorts, a sweat visor to keep the sweat from my eyes and a tank top. It ain’t about old school versus new school for me, it’s what will make me run faster and more comfortably. Sweating and having the sweat cooled and evaporated by air is a good thing, something tights can mess with in warmer temperatures. Good training for Badwater though.

P.S. All that stuff the CWX said about their tights. Sounds like marketing gibberish to me. I’m a graphic designer by trade and it sounds like the copy I work with for marketing stuff. I’m not sure however since I’ve never actually used them so I will wait until I actually try a pair for final judgement. 36% less energy expenditure than running in shorts? Really?! Someone tell the Olympic committee.

30 01 2010
kingofpots

rick, running in shorts alone is more advisable here in the philippines. i think with my bald head and only shorts while running, it would make me look sexier, slick & fast! hehehe! we are hoping for your visit here!

29 01 2010
miraclecello

Ha ha, I agree on all points BR. But having said that, de gustibus non est disputandum. Taste is not a matter for argument. We can wear what we want in the same way that I believe we have a right to laugh at what others are wearing as well :)

Re arm sleeves. I don’t use sunblock myself ( I wear my skin tone proud), but in the mountains we use arm warmers as protection against blades of tall grass that can slash your arms, thorny palms, and stinging nettles of the sort named after the city of Lipa. We could use thin polyester long-sleeve shirts as well I suppose, but warmers are the cheapest alternative.

30 01 2010
kingofpots

thanks cecil for the comment. you are right. we are fond of wearing what we see in the RW Magazine and we don’t mind. hehehe!

30 01 2010
rickgaston

wow, that makes perfect sense – protection from tall grass. No tall grass here. If you are going through brush and tall grass you are lost:)

29 01 2010
therunningninja

This post made me check my performance from my previous races. NB balance, Philstar and Rizal day run, I did good in those races (made PRs!) using a running shorts. However, my SIM and BDM test run where I wore compression tights? I suck on those races*laughs*…

I dont know if its just me though. I will try to wear a running shorts in Condura Race next week to determine if my “theory” is true. heheheeheh

Sam

30 01 2010
kingofpots

sam, i was able to talk to a runner who uses running tights as his sleeping pajamas but never used them in his road races. according to him, his leg muscles feel relaxed when he sleeps wearing those tights for the whole night. maybe, you can try it, too!

30 01 2010
Right & Wrong On Running Tights « Bald Runner | Running Leisure Knowledge

[...] Originally posted here: Right & Wrong On Running Tights « Bald Runner [...]

30 01 2010
benwah

I’ve never worn compression tights. However, I do wear tights + shorts when it’s real cold. Everyone is different. Maybe it really helps or maybe just a fashion statement. I wear what’s comfortable with me e.g. clean shoes regardless of weather or running surface. On Moebens, I used them to protect against thorny bushes and suncreen. The proprietress, an ultrarunner herself is a good friend and gave me a few. No need to re-apply sunscreen. If it’s warm I soak them on cold water or just roll it down.

30 01 2010
kingofpots

thanks, ben. maybe, you are also with the “old school” like me! hehehe. the arm warmers here are great and cheap. they are fake but they serve the purpose as “sunblock”. hope to see you soon!

30 01 2010
bugobugo

in fairness sa compression tights, i find my recovery after doing 42s faster than when not using them. or was i just a sucker for sleek marketing and sweet talks therefore my mind was preconditioned to think the way the salesman did?

i have discarded my cwx after i noticed that the elites are not wearing any when they run 42s or break records.

but beyond breaking records(not at my age. perhaps i am more prone to bone-breaking), i realized that i wanted to go back to old school running.

ayna apo, pagaribungbungan datayo manen dagiti agus-usar ti kasta.

i want to feel not only the joys of “free” running but also the real pains that come with it.

30 01 2010
rickgaston

bugobugo I actually have friends who swear by compression socks, tights are probably even better, for recovery after long races – 42k and above. Sabi daw, helps keep the swelling down and improve circulation. Highly recommended if you also have to fly back after a race, something about flying that makes the swelling worse. They wear them around the house and under work clothes for days after the event.

30 01 2010
run2dmoon

on the defense, do i need to mention superman, batman, robinhood and rest of the gang. i wear tights primarily not to get sunburns. not for fashion as i don’t belong to the ‘can afford’. I’m using a nikepro cheaper and lighter (i guess than cw-x). i am not buying the idea that it improves your running. improving is all about training, legs and muscles (not what you wear) after the test run of 1st bdm, i had skin peeling off and some of them looked like boils when sweat can’t get out of the skin. not that i am not proud to wear my native skin but to be seen with skin peeling off your body is a bit awkward. i can’t get used to wearing sunblock so it’s an option i have to make. i almost quit the test run of 1st bdm when my calves were so burned..kanin at sarsa na lang ang kulang!
i wear arm compression for the same reason and not for any other reason at all. wearing tights and arm compressions has an advantage of retaining water when you pour them during the 70k+ of the race.
i wear black or dark colored garments in fairness to those who will wash my clothes. i don’t feel any warmer with dark clothing anyway.
finally, wearing something that covers my whole body makes me feel cleaner after the race, i just need to wash my face then i am all set to ride the public bus without the worry of looking like a ‘taong grasa’. this happened to me when i once ran from pque to tagaytay.
we all have our own opinion of something. the things is, we don’t need to worry with what anyone says, it all about whatever helps to finish the race right!?! if you can finish the race because you are wearing tights and it makes you feel good, then by all means…finishing the race is all that matters, not what you are wearing. if you are wearing tights and you can’t finish the race, then you’d rather just do the catwalk not an ultrarun.

31 01 2010
runnerforchrist

I wear tights because I’m afraid of ‘skin cancer’ :D

1 02 2010
theroadmarker

hi sir jovie! couldn’t help but remember my post on almost the same topic last aug 18 in my blog :) http://theroadmarker.blogspot.com/2009/08/runningcomplicated.html

@albert: well said, finishing and enjoying the race is the only thing that matters!

2 02 2010
Ballet Tights

[...] [...]

2 02 2010
ericssoc

i have also wondered how it feels wearing those full-length tights. especially when the sun is at its worst. the cw-x and other compression gear were designed and tested in Japan, France and other nations where temperatures are normal at near zero degrees. will the companies producing those give us tropicalised models? they do have ventilator tights for warm weather training. the thing is, they describe warm weather differently. to them, temperature exceeding 10°C is exceptionally hot.

it looks like those tights will do more harm than good. i hope the benefits one gets from those tights, like muscle support etc, outweigh the disadvantages and inconveniences such as wet skin friction, abrasion and others. well, mind over matter sabi nga, but that’s stretching the imagination way too far.

i do wear short tights, but only when i run my Timberland morning routine. anyone who’s been to the San Mateo mountain community knows how cold it could be up there. cross winds can give you chills. but once the 8 o’clock sun is up, the energy-storing weave in my tights seem to take back the gains it gave me earlier. its piping (my legs) hot in there! yes, pun intended. what more if use those shorts on urban concrete roads. makes me think our running friends in Baguio are the ones who can get the best out of those. will a tropicalised version come out soon? then it would be worth trying.

4 02 2010
backpacker7

no offense… nothing like compression tights to advertise a newbie runner (they dont wear them against skin cancer during fun runs that start on or before sunrise, right?) =)

8 02 2010
Running Tights

[...] [...]

17 08 2010
baldrunneralso2

LOL! Iv’e been jogging/running since I can’t even remember. Since I graduated high-school back in the U.S. Also went to College there and worked in California until 2006. Now I’m back in the Philippines. And all of a sudden there’s this weird “running boom” going on. Everybody and there mother is running. It’s so funny. It’s like it’s the new trend- I guess I heard that’s what happen w/ badminton. So everybody is running and everyone is wearing all this ridiculous stuff. I even joke w/ some of my friends. I said- what would you guys do if I showed up wearing a full on “Lycra Track Suit”- like those guys in Track and field competition. Hahaha! I thought Id mention that. The reason for this comment is to answer- bald runner. I’n all those years of running I have finally been brave enough to buy my first “CW-X” 3/4 running tights. About 3 weeks ago. I was skeptical at first. But when I read about these tights- I thought it would really help w/ my lower right back problem and help me w/ my alignment when I run. And guess what it has. But I was really skeptical in wearing out on the road at first. I am short. Thank god I’m skinny though. LOL! and I wear shorts over my tights. And Yes there are people out there – that have no business wearing these tights- Oh well. To each its own right. So if were going to wear this- we better really OWN IT- when were out there. Hahaha! Oh and gayish? I’m not even gonna comment on that one and why was that even mention in the first place. You sure know your ballet. LOL!

4 08 2012
Dfinisher Go

Hi, I’ve just read all the comments here…1st thing first po, I’m currently here in Dubai which humidity here sometimes really gets very high even at night. Anyway I’ve started using CW-X ventilator and for me it really helps a lot, O.k! let me remind everybody here that technically speaking this compression is design not to make you look faster or even look you sexy. LOL! this are design to prevent your muscle from vibrating which causes fatigue, soreness, and promotes faster recovery after the run. And you can’t really see this compression during the proper race worn by top marathon athlete because they wear it during training. They wear it to lessen or prevent the injuries that might occur due to continues running for long distance which prevent them for performing to their peak. There are different compression out there that are design for cold and warm weathers and for me CW-X ventilator is the good one for Dubai wicked weather! By the way the average temp here during night time is 42 degrees…with humidity! but I still keep on running, morning or evening. God bless to all of us!

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