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What to Wear Under a Triathlon Wetsuit

The question of, “What am I supposed to be wearing underneath my tri wetsuit?” is undoubtedly the most asked in the shop. The idea of wearing clothing underneath neoprene,  seems odd to many first-time triathletes. In reality, you can’t tell a difference underneath your wetsuit, and will save quite a bit of time by swimming in what you will be racing in. Essentially you wear whatever it is you’ll be competing in underneath. Often times, it’s the same clothing that you’ve been training ever so hard in over the course of the past months/weeks. With that said, triathletes have a couple of options as to what they choose to wear underneath their tri wetsuit. There’s two main types of race apparel: a trisuit, or a top with tri shorts.

Option 1:

Why a trisuit?

Racing in a one-piece can certainly be convenient. You’re simply wearing one article of clothing, not two, and thus don’t have to really worry about your shirt riding up and revealing anything not wanting to be revealed (muffins perhaps?) Most trisuits also have a zipper as well as  built-in-bra for additional support. Some trisuits, depending on the brand, have side or back pockets as well, which are perfect for storing those gu’s. Negatives? Certainly, if you have to use the restroom during your race. I recommend one-pieces to those participating in shorter distances such as sprints, or olympics. It is not particularly ideal to get out of this puppy when you’re in a rush to use the facilities during a longer race.

Option 2:

Why a two piece?

I find more athletes tend to gravitate towards wearing a triathlon top and triathlon short as separates. This could be that people are simply a bit weary of the one-piece, and in many cases have never seen one before. Wearing separates offers the ease of potentially more pockets for storing your goodies. Some tops are more of a singlet style with zip up in the front (like the one pictured), whereas some are a racerback style. When wearing two pieces, you have the option of changing up styles, coloring and brands. For example, if you like the feeling of a looser fitting top, and a short that’s a particular length, (most range from 4″ to 8″ for women) wearing two pieces offers a bit more variability. This option tends to be the better choice for the longer distances.

Other options:

Some athletes choose to wear no top under their wetsuit for the swim (or in a woman’s case, just her sport bra) and then put on their top once they reach transition. This can be a difficult task to do, as you will be wet and will be adding additional time to your race.  There have been those to wear a one-piece bathing suit underneath their wetsuit (Speedos or jammers in the case of men) underneath their wetsuit and do their race in just that. This is an option, although not the most comfortable.

For the triathlons where the swim portion takes place in a pool, the trisuit may be the better option, as a loose-fitting top could easily create drag. Most triathlon apparel is composed of a lycra blend, meaning it’s quick to dry, and barely noticeable while racing. If you’re wondering what to use for strictly training purposes, most simply wear their swim suits or, for men, jammers.

Any of these options will work,  it depends upon what you’re more comfortable wearing. The cardinal rule is to race in what you’ve been training in. Choosing to wear new race apparel can lead to the awful surprise of new-found seams and possible chaffing.

These are the variations of questions that I get.
What do I wear in a triathlon?
What do I wear under my wetsuit?
What do I wear under my tri wetsuit?

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Why Do Swimskins Work?

http://www.onetri.com/torque-swimskin-mens-short-john-2011-p-4841.html

Wearing a wetsuit for the added buoyancy gain and inherent thermal protection certainly isn’t cheating and for many athletes it can be an absolutely necessity, but at a certain level of racing the competitive advantage gained from wearing a wetsuit is banned. Triathlon’s pinnacle race distance, the Ironman, and its respective championship race, Kona, have witnessed the rise of a new form of swimming garment; the swimskin.

Bred out of the need for a hydrodynamic suit that adheres to the guidelines from the scrabble list of acronymic governing bodies: USAT, WTC, and FINA, the swimskin has evolved into a textile based solution for elite open water swimmers looking to always be faster than the rest of the pack and to gain a competitive edge against other racers. TYR would say that you’re only as fast as your suit will let you be.TYR Torque Pro

Enter the Torque Pro swimskin.

This swimskin is not only going to give you a competitive hydrodynamic edge in the water during the elite races, but for shorter, mid-temperature and high surf-condition races, you’ll be less buoyant through the break, actually making you faster out to the first buoy since you’ll be able to leverage your bodyweight in a more efficient manner against the waves. I’d say for any sprint race or elite IM athlete, these new TYR swimskins are exactly the edge that you need to get the initial lead on the competition and keep them in your rear sights during the swim.

2XU Perform Compression

What is 2XU Perform Compression?
2XU has created the first weapon in the arsenal of compression wear to utilize a combination of 50/70 denier fabric in conjunction with the properties found in a circular knit garment, resulting in superior fit, breathability and race-day performance gains. The Perform from 2XU doesn’t simply compress to impress but rather applies an ideal amount of pressure at the body’s extremities so that the levels of graduated mmHg (millimeters of mercury) enhances a healthy body’s circulatory system while augmenting muscle position and response, all without sacrificing range of motion.
Why Perform?
2XU created these race ready and high intensity training garments to assist athletes in four specific ways.
  • The improvement in a healthy circulatory system results in faster warm-up times, working with your body to actually increase the venous return to the heart and lymph to the lymph nodes.
  • Anatomically correct compression holds muscles, minimizing vibration, reducing the level of fatigue resulting from impact and exertion.
  • Perform aids the body’s natural sense of proprioception by stimulating nerve receptors in the limbs, giving greater feedback and response as to where various body parts/limbs are at any given time.
  • The PWX fabric used in the construction of Perform garments utilize a graduated compressive design and a circular knit process which naturally regulates the body’s tempurature, providing better cooling and warmth regardless of region or climate.

PXR Fabric:
Within each line of PXR compression garments 2XU has made use of one of three, or a combination of, their proprietary PWX fabric. This fabric, constructed from superior medical grade circular knit Invista Sport Lycra, has 4 times the durability when compared to elastane found in other garments. In addition to the PWX fabric’s durability 2XU utilizes 50 and 70 Denier Lycra in the construction of it’s Perform garments, where competitors use 30/40 Denier, representing a thicker yarn that delivers a stronger compressive effect across all PWX garments. The Perform garments utilize the PWX FLEX fabric whose elastomeric yarns, when wet from sweat, separate from each other, resulting in increased flexibility and breathability (moisture/vapor transmission). Perform is designed to offer the ideal amount of compression and range of motion for competition and training.

New 2XU Compression Quad Sleeve (Perform)

New 2XU Compression Quad Sleeve (Perform)

As part of the new “PXR” 2XU Compression line, the 2XU Compression Quad Sleeve (Perform) is unisex, versatile, and great for active use to promote the plethora of compression benefits during activity.

Constructed with 2XU’s new fabric, PWX – POWER, WEIGHT, FLEX – this compression piece is arguably a favorite among triathletes because of the ability to isolate a single muscle group that’s prone to soreness during and post activity.   This isolation helps you increase overall blood flow to the area and reduce muscle oscillation.

2XU Compression is packaged and labeled to easily identify its function for athletic use.  Here, the P stands for Perform, or active use.

A sizing chart behind the package helps the shopper pick up the correct 2Xu Compression Quad Sleeve size.

For men, a vote for this product over the 2XU Perform Compression Short has merit when it comes to comfort, as it’s not always necessary to have everything up to your waist compressed.

What are the benefits compression for active use?  Off the bat, here’s two:

Reduced Damage

2XU Compression features muscle containment properties which reduce muscle damage during exercise. By reducing muscle damage, 2XU Compression garments can minimize swelling post exercise and can significantly reduce the severity and duration of exercise induced muscle injury and soreness such as Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Increased Performance
During exercise, your muscles are exposed to vibration. This major cause of muscle fatigue, known as muscle oscillation can be reduced when wearing 2XU Compression garments. This leads to improved muscle endurance, strength, power output and lower heart rate for greater performance.

Still curious about the benefits of compression?  See: What is 2XU Compression?

2XU Refresh Compression for Recovery

What is Refresh?
Swelling, muscle degradation, soreness. Every athlete has experienced each of these symptoms and to vary degrees based on each individuals unique level of exertion and natural recovery cycle. The Refresh compression garments from 2XU separate themselves from the already impressive Perform and Xform garments who use 50/70 Denier Lycra in their construction by utilizing a 150 Denier circular knit fabric to provide the highest form of compressive power and stability found in the sports industry. This rigidity augments your natural circulatory flow, enhancing the body’s natural recovery abilities all the while providing the correct level of compression so that the garment may be worn comfortably over prolonged periods of time.

Why Refresh?

Have you every asked your self: What is the best recovery tights? or What is the best recovery socks? From my experience and based on what I’ve read I think 2XU Refresh products should rank well because they seem to put thought and effort into creating their products.
According to 2XU and studies by the Australian Institute of Sport, in approximately 1 hour of wearing a Refresh garment:
  • A significant decrease in and clearing of blood lactate
  • Decrease in exercise-related swelling/blood pooling
  • Decreased perception of muscle soreness.

Simply stated, Refresh gets you back training in better shape with less muscle fatigue. Research has shown that the average femoral vein blood flow may be increased to as much as 138.4% base line when a compression garment has graduated pressure ratings of 18mmHg at the ankles and 8mmHg at the thigh. The Refresh line of recovery garments delivers this level of pressure, meant for a healthy circulatory system, instead of the highest level of pressure found in medical garments, which may inhibit blood flow in a normally healthy athlete, removing any perceived or substantial recovery benefit. The Refresh by 2XU is a purposeful engineered garment and is designed to apply consistent, graduated pressure with the highest quality and longest lasting construction. After wearing Refresh recovery garments it is clear that not every compression garment has been created equal.

PXR Fabric:
Within each line of PXR compression garments 2XU has made use of one of three, or a combination of, their proprietary PWX fabric. This fabric, constructed from superior medical grade circular knit Invista Sport Lycra, has 4 times the durability when compared to elastane found in other garments. Competitor’s fabrics, built from Nylon or elastane yarn may feel “tight” after a first use, however over time these garments struggle to maintain previous adequate levels of pressure, making them a poor investment for the savvy athlete. Refresh’s 150 Denier PWX Power construction results in a compressive garment that will continue to provide recovery benefits long after similar competitor garments have lost their elasticity, lending to 2XU’s trademark, “It’s In Our Fabric”.
If you want to find out a lot more about 2XU compression click here: New 2XU Compression PXR
To buy 2XU PXR compression go here: 2XU PXR Compression
To buy 2XU Refresh specific compression visit here: 2XU Refresh Compression
To learn more about the research done on 2XU products visit here: 2XU Compression Research

New 2XU Compression – Perform, Xform, and Recover

Introduction to 2XU


Based in Melbourne, Australia, the philosophy of 2XU has been to promote human performance through competition and training.  Making a name for itself by crafting wetsuits, compression, and athletic apparel, their functional quality and cool factor is uncompromisingly delivered as an end product.

Through the years, they’ve partnered with heavyweights such as the Australian Institute of Sports and other research scientists, leading 2XU to industry recognition, and most recently becoming the official compression partner of the Ironman brand.

Introduction to Compression

With roots in medicine, compression apparel has found application in sports and competition, aiding athletes to perform better and recover faster.

2XU has redefined the compression category by sourcing and working with the right fabric for varying stages of athletic performance.  2XU’s latest fabric – PWX – which stands for Power, Weight, and Flex, offers different denier gauged fabric, providing different levels of mmHg to narrowly tailor toward the specific needs of an athlete.  This has been the design philosophy of the new 2XU compression, making it one of the unique product  in the industry.

How 2XU Compression Works:

The design of 2XU’s compression is graduated – it’s more compressive at the extremities to encourage and enhance venous return, pushing de-oxygenated blood back to the heart while also allowing the arteries to relax to deliver oxygenated blood to improve overall circulation.

The Benefits of 2XU Compression:

  • Increased blood circulation – sustained muscle performance, less fatigue, and faster recovery.
  • Muscle containment – reduced muscle vibration, improved muscle alignment for increased power.
  • Reduced effects of delayed onset muscle soreness.
  • Improved thermal regulation – better cooling and warming in varied climates

The Primary uses of 2XU Compression:

  • Active wear – warming up, training and racing
  • Recovery – post workout
  • Destination races – Prevention of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and pooling of blood in feet on air travel.
  • Sleeping – Increases circulation for improved muscle repair and faster recovery
  • At high altitude – to help combat less oxygen
  • Rehabilitation from injury or surgery

Introduction to P,X, and R


Perform (Active)

Designed for active use, this category focuses on dampening muscle oscillation during performance.  This unique fabric offers great breath-ability, moisture management, and flexibility to keep the wearer comfortable and focused on performance.

2XU Calf Guard – Perform

Xform (Active and Refresh)

Combining the fabrics from both Active and Refresh, XFORM is powerful and breathable, providing support to dampen muscles oscillation, and more efficient delivery of oxygenated blood to fatigued muscles.

2XU Long Sleeve Compression Top

2XU Long Sleeve Compressoin Top – Xform

Refresh (Pure Recovery)

Constructed with high denier fabric, the Refresh category is the gold standard for compression apparel, as the recovery phase is where its athletic use began.  The application is vast, as it can be used post workout, during long travel (to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis), during sleep to maximize muscle repair and recovery, and rehabilitation from injury or surgery.

2XU Compression Recovery Tight – Refresh

2XU currently offers a full range of compression apparel with its new revolutionary fabric to include arm sleeves, cycling bibs, compression shorts, and knickers as well.  You can find these and more on OneTri.com’s 2XU Compression homepage.

2XU Elite Compression Tight

Say hello to the 2XU Elite Compression Tights. This tight is not simply your average compression, but part of a newly designed line by 2XU called PXR (Perform, XFORM, Refresh). In particular, the XFORM garments give you the benefit of two-in-one compression. It is designed as an Active + Recovery tight. This means that the grade of compression and construction of the tight is designed to be used while training, as well as post-workout recovery. How is this possible? This is done through varying levels of fabric denier (thickness of a fabric) as well as level of graduated compression. Essentially, a strictly recovery garment would have the highest level of deniers as well as compression. The strictly active line would have the lowest. The XFORM, falling in between, has just the right amount of compression for recovery, while having the flexibility to train in them.

Specs on the tight:

  • For athletes demanding more power + support while offering breathability
  • Combination PWX FLEX front panel + extra powerful PWX WEIGHT in rear panel for added calf + hamstring support
  • Delivers additional support to quads, abductors + gluts
  • Works to reduce muscle fatigue + damage
  • Graduated fit promotes increased circulation

Wearing compression during activity comes with a plethora of benefits. The first being what I would consider the greatest benefit, increased  performance. Our muscles are exposed to vibration during training which in turn causes what is known as muscle oscillation. By reducing this, 2XU Compression has scientifically proven improved muscle endurance, strength, power output and lower heart rate for greater performance. Other added bonuses from compression include: heightened agility, as well as increased comfort and protection. The fabrics are designed to wick moisture as well as come with antibacterial which is embedded in the material to keep any kind of bacterial growth at bay.

The largest benefit to wearing compression post exercise is the faster rate of recovery. This is done through aiding the pumping action of the cardiovascular system; removing blood lactate from exercising muscles leading to reduced swelling, allowing for faster muscle repair and reduction in muscle soreness.

Why spend money on two sets of compression when you can get the benefits of both in one?

Orca Core Tri Pant Review

Looking for a pair of tri shorts with a bit more coverage, with a comfortable pad, and has pockets?  You should consider the Orca Core Tri Pant.

It features a 6mm thick pad that provides ample coverage and support while on the bike, but not so big that it’d interfere with you on the run.  On the back is center pocket for storing personal items, such as additional nutrition, keys or an ID.  As for the inseam length, it’s 8.26 inches.

Other features of the short is that it has  reflective trim for lower light conditions, hydroseal leg hems, and a rubber waistband/internal draw cord.

Links of note:

Zoot Compression Sock

First compression sock I’ve ever tried.

It felt like a sock. It looked like a sock. It did NOT act like a sock. I mean how complicated can these shoe liners get?

Apparently quite a bit.

So yes. I haven’t worn it in a race setting (it’s only been a week), but that’s what the Zoot compression sock is meant for; long-term performance / recovery benefits coupled with improved strike padding which results in a sock that will outlast whatever race you’re running in, no matter your level.

Frankly I like how I stand out from other runners on the trail while I’m wearing this advanced gear and I’m pretty arrogant in the fact that I’m ALWAYS wanting someone to come and race me during a workout. So far no takers when I’ve been wearing this coupled with my Ultra Tempo 4.0’s and ridiculously short electric lime green running shorts. (Sorry no link there. Those shorts are mine!)

But then again, I’m willing to wager it’s just the shorts that’s keeping people away, which only makes me wonder, “if only Zoot would make some lime green socks…”

The long sock: no longer a modern day Shark vs. Jet accessory but rather comes with added athletic/recovery specific benefits.

Zoot Endurance Tri Tank

Here we have the feminine Endurance Tri Tank by Zoot. It is a tri -specific top which is perfect for racing as well as training. It is composed of a nylon/spandex fabric featuring Endura technology. This technology is custom to specific Zoot items, allowing for optimum compression and muscle support, as well as reduces muscle fatigue and extends endurance. The stretch in the fabric allows for superior range of motion. The top also features a built-in bra, as well as a 10″ zipper. Zippers can be great on race apparel because it allows for venting should you get over-heated, and opens the top to feel less restricting. There are two pockets that are placed on the sides to avoid catching any water are perfect to hold your nutrition goodies. The top comes in an array of colors: Virtual Pink/Fuel, Tropic/Green Lantern, Indigo/Ice, Black. The collar around the neckline gives the top an added touch of style. Pair with the Zoot Endurance Tri Short to complete the look. Both on sale now at One Tri.

Orca Core Sport Pant Review

My cousin came to me about a week before his first tri, “what do I need to get?”

There’s certainly joy in helping someone new with triathlon, but these are daunting because there’s so much to talk them through, if they absolutely have no triathlon gear.

The first thing I tell anyone is that they need a tri short.  I told him to get the Orca Core Sport Pant.

This short is excellent for newbies because it has exceptional value and features all the essential triathlon specific short properties – quick drying, has a lighter pad (compared with a bike short), and is made to be worn underneath a wetsuit.  The added bonus about this short is that because it’s relatively inexpensive, it’s great for use in brick workouts.

This is good, because I’m tired of hearing a triathlete friend telling me that he still uses board shorts to swim in the pool.

Click here to see more Orca tri shorts.

De Soto Forza Tri Short

De Soto Forza Tri Short – longer, compressive race fabric for muscle support, and comfort.

I got these shorts for a race last weekend, and like a few of the key features:

  • It’s “compressive”.   With the “Compressor” fabric, think of the short as having active compression like qualities, which dampens muscle vibration, giving you the muscle support during race day, and in training.  Excellent feature for the price point.
  • The pad.  The pad construction is good, as it doesn’t make it apparent that you’re wearing a short with a pad in it!
  • The Fabric.  It’s comfortable against the skin, and it’s extremely quick drying.

De Soto also makes a 4 pocket Forza Tri Short.  See more De Soto Tri Shorts.

Bellweather Forma Bike Short Review

Recently while on my stationary trainer, I got the chance to wear the Bellweather Forma Bike Short.  Boy was I excited. This short comes with some noteworthy features worth taking a look at. As previously noted in another blog, I discussed the differences between tri shorts and bike shorts. The Forma falls into the bike short category, bringing with it a thicker chamois, longer inseam, and different material. The chamois and material are what drew me in. The material used in the short is called LYCRA POWER™ which just so happens to come along with compressive qualities to it. We’re all aware of the supportive dynamic compression offered to our muscles; of which I certainly could feel. The material is not only compressive, but comes with a ribbed surface, allowing more airflow into the short (we all know how sweaty we tend to get under all that lycra). Bellwether innovated this fabric by means of trying to achieve the correct balance of breathability and moisture transfer.

Onto the chamois…I’ve certainly made a point to make the padding a topic of interest in my posts when discussing shorts. Let’s face it, what our unmentionables get squished against better be comfortable. Here’s why it’s different:  The overall design was made with elite-long distance riding in mind. The foaming in the chamois was placed strategically to be more dense along the contact points that hit the saddle in order to alleviate pressure and reduce road shock. We’ve all felt that surprise pothole 40 miles into the ride and could use the additional suspension in our shorts. I also found that while I was in aero position, I continued to feel padding in the pelvic bone region. Most cycling shorts are a giant boat pad in the back and that’s it, not taking into consideration that one might be pronating their hips forward. This was great.  I felt added relief in the front, important to a triathlete who might spend most of their time down on their aero bars.

Another feature to note is the soft elastic band that didn’t create imprints on my hips. Always a plus.  Although not a tri-specific short, the Forma’s are perfect for the long distance rides and well worth the buy. Available for purchase at One Tri.

Zoot Women’s CompressRx Sock

Behold the Zoot Compression Sock. Along the lines of items necessary to your arsenal of tri gear, I would claim it fair to say these should certainly be included. With all the hooplah out there on the market about compression, let’s clear some things up on the science behind it all and why these socks in particular are going to help your performance.

Let’s start with the science. Zoot utilizes graduated compression, and more importantly, utilize it correctly. The amount of compression ranges from 26mmHg (mmHg is the unit of measurement used in compression garments) at the ankle and decreases to 18 mmHg just below the knee. The strongest amount of compression is found in the lower part of the leg. This method allows for deoxygenated blood to flow back to the heart. Within the ranges of compression, the 26mmHg falls under medical grade compression. This factor is important when choosing compression. Anything less than 20mmHg isn’t considered medical grade, and will not offer the same benefit. So what is all this doing? The socks help to flush out lactic acid in the veins as well as assist in proper venous flow and return. While running with Zoot CompressRx socks, one is able to get up to 40% more arterial flow in their calf by supporting consistent pressure on the muscle. The compression increases the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin allowing for reduced excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries and increasing absorption of tissue fluid by the capillaries. The goal is to assist the body in doing what it naturally does in flushing damaged muscle tissues.

So what the heck is the benefit? Well, here’s a couple noteworthy stats:

  • 29% decrease in lactic acid build-up.
  • 25% reduction of perceived effort.
  • 40% improvement in recovery time.
  • 5% increase in performance.

These socks in particular can be used as active compression (use them while training or racing) or recovery. Also, keep in mind that they’re perfect for travel use while flying, driving, or even if you plan to be on your feet for a prolonged period of time. The sock is also foot specific with padded foot soles to prevent irritation.

Measurements: It’s important that you measure your calf (circumference of the largest part of the muscle belly on your calf) prior to choosing your size. Proper fit will ensure optimal performance.

Train on!

The Truth About Compression Clothing (for endurance athletes)

This is my first run with compression, pun intended.

I understand that I’m late to the game as a serious triathlete, or athlete in general, who may wear these garments, but I’ve always viewed nouveau products with added skepticism. Believe me, I sell these for a living and people ask me what qualities they provide and I always repeat the same thing (the basic facts which the manufacturer provide in their literature):

  • Increases blood pooling to critical muscles
  • Decreases amount of lactic acid buildup
  • Assists in muscle recovery post workout
But to be honest I had never tried it and I always told my customers that. Call it a macho-man reflex to the latest and greatest; that I trust my training more than I do the ever revolving door of 20(xx) latest and greatest gear.
2XU Compression Tights
Come to find out these garments were pioneered in the 1930’s as a means of assisting medical patients undergoing rehabilitation from vein conditions such as varicose veins, Sclerotherapy, chronic venous insufficiency, Lymphedema, pregnancy and thrombotic syndrome or post venous stasis ulcers (yes I have some sources).
Basically these garments act as a giant, strategically placed, “Ace Bandage” which in turn acts as a means to reduce swelling in critical areas in the body which allows for improved blood flow in addition to a decrease in swelling, to targeted areas. Think of it as a wearable ice-pack for your muscles with deep-vein benefits.
Well color me interested. It only took 20 minutes of investigation to find this out.
None of the products on the market will give you this easy explanation, nor do they give you guidelines for wearing the garment. All I can tell you is that, yes, it is backed by 80 years of therapeutic science, it does work and the simple idea is to wear it as much as possible during or post workout, however, there are a few graduated lines of compression clothing for athletes, namely:
  • Race ready, high performance (high flexibility, low amount of compression)
  • Post-workout / recovery (low flexibility, high amount of compression)
  • Hybrid (50/50 mix of flexibility and compression. A one stop purchase which gives the benefits of both garments)
These compressive clothes don’t come close to the medical grade garments in terms of the mg of mercury (pressure rating) that they’re classified by, but for good reason. The medical garments are meant for one staying stationary and for a patient that requires SERIOUS compressive needs in order to achieve a beneficial medical effect. You, our loyal readers, are able-bodied and require a garment that is both flexible and compressive as to reap its therapeutic benefits while smashing age-group records or recovering faster than the other ill-informed athlete (last-week me).
Since trying out the new recovery line of 2XU recovery compression and following up with a hefty bit of research I’ve come to the conclusion that, yes, this ‘ish does work. You will feel an added benefit. You will be able to return to training faster and with more intensity than you previously thought and you should have a new-found joy for sports-science.
Why?
Because you’re a trihead and you don’t take trends for face value. Compression is here to stay but for good reason. If you’re serious about endurance training or for any sort of sport that requires a lifting/training period coupled with a competitive showing / race period at least pick up a pair of recovery garments if not the hybrids. You’ll be back training harder in a faster amount of time and you’ll get more out of your season’s length by wearing these products.
Also, you’ll look like you’re wearing Batman’s pajama’s. Which is worth anything in my book…

De Soto Carrera Tri Short Low Rise

Comfort and looks. Quite frankly the two things I myself as well as most women are concerned with in apparel. I myself have worn these shorts through countless races and training rides and recommend firstly to those looking for a durable tri short. Why the Carrea Low Rise? Here are some specs

  • Carrera™ Skin– a nylon/spandex blend that is lightweight, breathable, quick-drying and keeps its support and fit, even when wet. (I could barely even tell my shorts were damp after the swim).
  • Low-rise – Not going to dig into your hips.
  • One-piece seamless tri pad- No surprise seam that you’re going to find.
  • Contrast Microlock Stitching
  • Drawstring Elastic Waist with Wide Band –This is a great feature that keeps a possible muffin top at bay.

All around fantastic short. Below is a shot of me in a recent race sporting the De Soto Carrera Low Rise’s and bringing home the medal. Coincidence?

Zoot CompressRx Recovery Tight

Ironman on the horizon?  Planning on beating you lower body up and sitting on the plane across country?  You’re going to need compression, and compression that covers all of your lower body.  The Zoot CompressRx Recovery Tight is one of the mac daddies when it comes to compression recovery for athletes that put their legs, quads and butt through the ringer.

There’s been much talk about compression in the past months in magazines.  The well settled fact is that compression as a form of recovery helps relieve a lot of the delayed soreness.  You’re able to recovery faster, and get back to normal activities a little more fresh than without it.   I’m not a scientist, and I won’t pretend to be one here (you can google the virtues of recovery compression), but these tights, from the standpoint of a consumer looking to maximize coverage, are great.

I like the fact that these tights cover up every area that needs to be covered, and that they’re also well constructed.  Putting them on is difficult, especially if you’re not used to putting on tights of this nature, so you’re going to have to be careful – using too much haste and force in putting these things on will risk damaging them.

Interested in looking at more compression?

CEP Compression Sock

CEP Compression Socks are worth your consideration.  Especially after beating yourself up during a race, these are probably one of the most cost-effective things you can do to your legs and calves to recover.

These are green, but they come in all sorts of colors if you’re not so inclined to be decked out in alien.  I’m just saying.

In all seriousness, there’s sound science in compression wear for recovery.  One of the best things about CEP is that they’re part of Medi-USA, which has its roots in medical compression for treatment of conditions that require the most technical knit fabric, as such, the brand has been around for a while, and is very reputable in the compression industry.

CEP compression is also novel in the fact that it deliveries graduated compression that differs from the toe to the top of the calf.  With levels being measured in mmHg, not every single area of your leg requires the same amount of compression, so CEP addresses this problem by making a knit that serves different parts of the calf with different levels of mmHg.

Brilliant huh?

TYR Competitor Triathlon Apparel Line

TYR has debuted a new line this year called the TYR Competitor Line. The line of tri shorts as well as triathlon singlets were designed particularly for comfort so that athletes could reap the benefits of their hours spent on the road training. What’s so great and different about this line? Let me explain….

Beginning with the TYR singlet, I’d like to note the fact that it’s white. No other company makes a top for women in this color. Why white? I get asked by countless people in the shop for white tops in general. After 4, 5, 6, hours on the road you’ll understand why a black top (in pretty hot weather mind you) will feel most certainly warmer. Beyond the fact that it’s white, it still offers 50 SPF and UV Protection. It conveniently has a zipper pocket on the back to store your necessary nutrition (my favorite part about the top, other than it being white). A front zip can be found on the front of the top, which is again perfect for adjustability in warmer weather.

On to the short..I realize that I have raved about the De Soto Carrera in a previous post. The only thing the De Soto Carrera tri short is missing is a decent tri pad. The Competitor Tri Short features the newly designed and advanced TYR Tri-Pad to help with even weight distribution and chafing, as well as irritation prevention. It’s hard to find a decent tri pad that’s perfectly in the middle of not-too-bulky-like-a-diaper, but still offers some padding. Fleece liners don’t quite cut it for me after miles 30 or 40. Another note-worthy addition of this short is the gripper. It is lined with a silicone beading, which keeps the short from sliding up and down, while leaving you WITHOUT irritation and sausage legs! A zipper pocket is also featured on the back of the short to store even more of your goodies. The shorts come in both a 6″ or modest 8″ inseams.

110% Compression Knickers

One of the most versatile compression/recovery product on the market today is 110% Compression’s Knickers.  These are special because they provide two functions.  Namely, compression and cold ice pack therapy.

With roots and experience in exercise science, the people behind 110% constructed a garment that’s ultra technical and comfortable.

The features:

  • It’s seamless, meaning you’re able to put it on as a second skin without much compromise to comfort.
  • It’s more “Powerful” in that 110%’s garment technology uses a 360 degree Stretch Knit with 50% more spandex, meaning higher levels of delivered mmHg (compression) on the treatment area.
  • Odor resistant.  These garments are made of 70% polypropylene, retaining 300% less nylon garments, helping you keep cool and dry.  Individually treated with silver, the EC3D fibers helps destroy almost all odor causing bacteria.
  • Ice packs.  The fact that you can easily slip on ice packs on the knickers or other 110% Compression products is pretty awesome.  You can essentially go about your business running errands wearing this under your bottoms without people giving you odd looks.  Bonus points in my book.

Interested in 110% Compression?  Check out the 110% compression page to see the knickers and other 110% Products.