As you may or may not know from my CCC preview post, I’ve been using a pair of tights and a top from Skins’ A400 compression range for the more serious quests. I bought them in anticipation for CCC, but they’ve proven to be of value during the Ardennes Mega Trail and, more recently, during the Tromsø skyrun as well. It’s hard to prove whether stuff like this actually works or not, especially if you don’t have the medical tools to measure all kinds of parameters and their evolution. I don’t. So all I can go by is how I feel wearing these.
For the A400 series, I can be brief: they make me feel strong and I feel like they improve my overall posture. I loved the tights instantly. The top took some time to get used to, probably because I’d never worn a tight shirt before and I thought it was making it harder to breathe. But that seems to be gone now so the most obvious explanation is that it was all in my head. On top of that, I really like the way they control your heat. I wouldn’t advise running in them at 35°C, but they’re definitely suitable for a really wide range. I’ve worn them in temperatures between -4°C and something around 25°C and never felt exceptionally warm nor cold (Although I did wear a windbreaker on top of the shirt in the first case 😉 ).
In a way, to me, they have proven to work: during the 18.5 hours of CCC nor during any other race with them, I didn’t have the slightest cramp. However, when I took them off afterwards, I could feel them, lingering beneath the surface, right away. This made me think I’d have had them long before if it weren’t for the A400 tights.
If I’d had the pair of RY400 tights back then I’d have put them on immediately after the race. Alas, I only got them right after the Tromsø race. According to SKINS, they should speed up recovery of the muscles.
I could only think of one way to test this. I’m sure anyone who has done at least some exercise in his life has experienced how the stiffness doesn’t reach it’s peak until the second day after? Basically, what I did was not wear the tights until i started feeling stiff on the day after the Tromsø skyrace. Once I did get the feeling, I put them on for the rest of the day and night.
Even though this is hardly a scientific approach, I think it might be more meaningful to real life than a bunch of graphs & numbers. Be as it may be, on the second day: no stiffness. Nada. I won’t go as far as to call the tights miraculous, but they sure are pretty amazing. On top of that, they do feel pretty comfortable. They’re so light you hardly notice them. Tight, but not so much that they would bother you. I did get a bit warm after a while. But that might be because I’m not really used to wearing anything else but boxers in bed. People who love their PJ’s might find this less of an issue.