Hey folks! Hope everyone is loving the amazing weather we have been so lucky to enjoy for the past few weeks? I know I have!
The bike has seen the asphalt quite a bit already this "spring" and the beautiful weather has motivated me to get off the treadmill for a lot of my speed work. Although, I am not exactly ready for the dizziness of the track just yet, I have found some great, flat stretches of trail to mark out my distances so I can zone out and just concentrate on form and turnover. Results have been promising but I feel I still have a lot of work to do, especially, with the last few reps where my pace has been tailing off.
As I have registered for the Sporting Life 10k, I have been very focused on getting ready to push my time as low as possible. I know it is a downhill run but I do have a few previous experiences with the course so I have to crush those times to show that my running is improving. Other than that run, I hope to jump into a 5k or two before the SL10k. The FMCT Falcon's "Run 4 Hope" ( http://run4hope.com/ ) in Brampton is one option with Brad's Feet in Motion "Spring into Motion" ( http://feetinmotion.ca/blog.html/?page_id=26 ) in Georgetown as another possibility.
On the cycling side, I have had the opportunity to ride along side some new teammates already this year. Richard & Jon Westwood and I have teamed up with some really great guys on http://www.kurzawinskicoach.com/ . Richard and I will be starting off in M3 with a number of other strong riders in hopes of earning enough points to move up the ranks. Although, I cannot make it out to all of their training sessions, I have jumped in and proved that I could ride with my category. When the hockey season wraps up, I will have some more spare time to ride with the boys.
The chance to ride with many top riders from the area can only make me stronger on the bike so I can't wait to join more of their daily sessions. Our first test will be in a few weeks as the OCup season gets underway in Flamborough at the Good Friday Road Race on April 6th. I raced this event back a few years ago so at least I know much of the course. This time, I will have much more confidence and a team to work with so it will be a whole new ball game. I just hope we can get up near the front of the pack before anything silly happens, as it always seems to have a fair number of crashes.
Beyond attending many of the OCup Road Races, I have not put much else in stone to date. I will jump into a bunch of du's along the way and try to stay up with the fast guys that seem to be getting quicker every season. I am just lucky most of them are in different Age Groups so I can take some pride in AG podiums! HA HA
As a parting note, keep an eye out for my next product review. I have been testing the Compex Mi-Sport muscle stimulator device for the past month. This has been a very cool experience and I would love to pass along some of my thoughts regarding the amazing product!
March 5, 2012
CEP Compression Running Socks
Running and cycling are my passion. They are my stress busters and keep me energized to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. As the years tick by, these recreational outlets become a little tougher on the body and recovery does not come as easy as it did in my youthful days.
Over the past year, I have been a lot more intrigued by merchandise offered to improve this recovery and reduce fatigue during all my hours of training. In experimenting with a number of these items, I have found personal benefit during many of the tests and have grown fond of several products, specifically compression gear.
Through these trials (mostly compression tights and shorts so far) I have been able to increase my training load on the run and on the bike and increase my intensity during speed sessions. Lacking a scientific background, I cannot guarantee that all the positive results are technical in nature but my training and race performances during this period would suggest something in the gear is working.
At the start of 2012, I decided to participate in the annual FMCT 100 Run Challenge. As the days passed, and the miles accumulated, my legs finally started to wear and show signs of overuse. With the success of the compression usage on my upper legs, I figured it was time to try out some better technology below the knee.
For the first test in my new CEP Running Compression Socks, I headed to the gym for a date with the treadmill. I was prepared to write a review for this product so I took extra time to examine the gear before slapping on the runners.
I have the Black version (the white shows the padding much better)
For more information, please visit CEP Compression Canada!
Starting from the tip of the foot, I noticed the toe box was seamless and smooth but still supported to avoid early wear. Moving through the rest of the foot, I could see CEP had taken care to protect the usual breakdown areas with a little more material in these parts to reduce blistering and irritation. Although, there is extra padding in these sections, it does not create a lumpy feel on the foot so comfort is not compromised.
Getting my foot settled into the form fitting sock, I could tell I was going to love the way they would feel in my shoes. As I progress through the sport of running, I get more and more picky about the feel of my gear and footwear. I have tested several types of socks and have come to realize my feet enjoy a thinner sock that allows for greater feel inside of the sneaker.
Rolling the sock up past my calf, I could see the material was creating a lightweight layer of protection over my skin. Unlike a few other suffocating competitors I have tried, the CEP technology promoted a cooling sensation across the skin during the run. It was great to know I was not going to overheat in my lower extremities during this session, even in a warm gym.
As I put the compression socks through the grinds of my workout, they held their form perfectly without any restriction in my natural range of motion. The reduction in vibration through my shin and calf areas kept my lower legs energized during the entire long run, which was exactly what I required.
With all the additional running I was tackling of late, I was starting to develop mild pain in my mid tibialis anterior (muscle along the shin bone). The snug fitting CEP Compression helped to eliminate this feeling during the run so I was definitely impressed!
After sending the CEP’s through the wash cycle it was time to test the recovery function of the garment. Luckily, they disguised perfectly as a black dress sock so I was able to wear them to work after a crazy speed workout a few days later.
Once again, the thin material kept temperatures under control even beneath my slacks. The ideal tension was still holding form after the first wash and kept my muscles stable while on my feet during the course of the day. While wearing the CEP Compression Sock I felt a significant reduction in irritation around my shin so I kept them on for a recovery run that night and breezed through the workout feeling super strong.
Now my only issue was not having a few more sets for total coverage of the week. A few days later, the slight pain in my left shin returned and I started to worry that it was a stress fracture so I took a few days off while I was on a business trip. Before the end of the trip I hit the hotel gym for a test run (with the CEP’s) and everything felt great. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wash them after the workout and the slight nagging pain came back again as I sat in meetings.
A couple days after returning home, I finally had a chance to see my Physiotherapist. Thankfully, she diagnosed it as a minor sprain (from running so much in January) and she immediately started to work out the problem. With her treatment, and the CEP Compression Running Socks, I am back running pain free again. Needless to say, I had to grab another pair to keep a consistent rotation in my sports sock lineup.
In my opinion, CEP has made a superior quality Compression sock that I will continue to purchase over cheaper, less effective competition. Quality may come at a bit of a premium in this category but the results are well worth the extra spend.
CEP Compression is very confident in their product and offers a 6 Month Guarantee and Money Back Guarantee. If you have any reservations about trying their premium compression gear, test them out and you will not be disappointed.
For more information, please visit CEP Compression Canada!