Friday, September 23, 2011

You Down With CEP? Yeah, You Know Me!

For the first time in my running life I ran in compression sleeves. It was the Steamboat Run Rabbit Run 50 and I thought the extra support couldn't hurt. I'm no stranger to compression for recovery but for running I've been resistant. I don't have a solid reason-just the look I guess. So off I went for a 50 miler and let me tell you: If these were pink with polkadots and feathers I would wear them for a long run again in a second! They were just that good.

I have three pairs of compression socks and also the 2XU compressions sleeves that I mainly use for after runs and for air travel. I'm not a big fan of full socks since I am really picky about my socks. The sleeves allow for compression and personal sock choice. A win-win for finicky feet. CEP claims arterial blood flow to be improved by 30%-40% and performance enhanced by 5% while stabilizing tendons and ligaments. All this means fewer muscle pains and fresher legs the next day (I agree).

Right out of the box I noticed the CEP seemed to hug me consistently all over my calves. My other sleeves (2XU) fit loose at the ankle and cut into my leg just beneath my knee. The CEP sleeves seem to hug all over and not strangle. At the time of this writing I have worn them in two races and for recovery. I give them an A+ for each race. Made in Germany you can sense the quality right away. They are made of 79% polyamide and 21% spandex.

I give the CEP Compression Sleeves five Nails out of five.

Pros: Very comfortable. They hug equally throughout the sleeve. They look good (without graphic overkill). At $34 for the pair I don't feel like my wallet is the only thing getting the squeeze. Great performance, value and style. I could tell a difference the next morning after the Ultra (the dreaded morning after).

Cons: During races people want to know how they feel. I gave two quick tutorials during a half-marathon last week. I figure if they have enough air to ask questions I need to answer quick and then up the pace. I also heard some whispers after the race from other racers behind my back. They should be talking-these rock!

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