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"Compressions" of an Ultra Runner


CW-X compression tights work for ultra-runner Isobel Bespalov.


Izzy, as she is known, is a regular podium finisher in some of the toughest ultra-running events in Australia, including second placed female at La Sportiva Alpine Challenge 100-miler in Victoria in November 2014.


Over the last two years, CW-X StabilyX compression tights have remained at the heart of her recovery strategy; using both full length and ¾ tights.


And since the last three years alone has seen Izzy celebrate top 10 finishes in no less than 19 gruelling ultra-running events in Australia, it seems that strategy is working.


“Recovery is incredibly important with the long races I do,” she says.


“I can feel relief as soon as I put them on, as if the tights are taking the heaviness of my legs away.”


For Izzy it’s not just the compression benefits provided by CW-X Conditioning Wear tights that sets them, and her, apart from the competition.


“CW-X tights are better because the Support Web supports my muscles and joints where they actually need to be supported … I wear them every day and it just makes such a huge difference!”


Deciding what works best as a runner is trial and error; Izzy has tried and rejected the other big brands  such as  SKINS and 2XU in favour of CW-X Conditioning Wear every time.


“I prefer CW-X because they support my legs and help me recover, without my legs feeling like they are being strangled,” she says.


“When I wore those other tights, the relief I felt was when I took them off!”


Recovery isn’t just for racing and with another big year underway in 2015 CW-X Conditioning Wear will continue to be a core part of Izzy’s recovery routine for training as well as racing.


I wear them after work-outs, after races, doing yoga, when I’m self-massaging and using the roller, and for travelling to and from races, she says.


If it sounds like Izzy lives in CW-X compression tights that’s probably not too far from the truth. It’s when she doesn’t wear them, she says, that she suffers.


“When the weather has been particularly hot, I haven’t worn my tights after a hard run, and I have paid the price”, she says.


The benefits of compression tights, compression socks and compression shorts for recovery have long been debated since they became popular with recreational runners in Australia.


Good nutrition, hydration and quality sleep of course are central to effective recovery but recent studies have tipped the balance in favour of the role compression garments also play.


In 2013 The British Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed 12 studies investigating the effectiveness of compression garments.


It found the results showed that “compression garments are effective in enhancing recovery from muscle damage.”¹


More recently findings from a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found “a significant beneficial effect of compression socks on recovery compared with placebo.”²


Like most runners Izzy is interested in the technology behind the claims and it’s good to know the science is backed up by legitimate studies.  


But like most runners she is also an experiment one and all the science in the world will not triumph over the results of that experiment for any runner.


”At the end of the day I make my choices based upon what works for me,” she says.


“CW-X works for me!”



Article by Rachael McKinney, 2015.



¹ Hill, J., et al., Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013.

² Armstrong, S.A., et al., Compression Socks and Functional Recovery Following Marathon Running: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2015