Canadian Compression

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“Resting is as important as running and running with the right gear helps.”

A review of a pair of 3/4 -length EC3D‘s (A Canadian company) compression knickers.

I was a slight skeptic (always) am about the benefits of compression wear when it first hit the market for runners. I am not sure why because for a short period while working in the pedorthic field (orthotics) I also fitted people up for medical compression socks. The compression socks then were for medical purposes and low on fashion appeal but really helped folks with blood flow issues.

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I found the compression gear at my local running shop in Ottawa (Sports4) and soon got in contact with the Canadian (Quebec) based company. The close-knit and family based group started more on the medical side of compression gear but saw the use for athletes and things took off.

Carine (a cute, energetic runner and key member of the EC3D team) met with me, ate me under the table at breakfast and sent me some gear to try.

The Knickers

The website states that there are enhanced compression zones at the groin and surrounding the knee put this knicker head and shoulder above the crowd. Graduated compression for better circulation and increased muscle stabilization.

Like with other products the aim of the compression gear is to enhance blood circulation, shape and support muscles, help prevent injuries and speed up recovery.

Details:

Calibrated compression : 15-20 mmHg

Content : 70% Polyester, 30% Elastane (Invista Lycra)

Features:

EC3D ENGINEERED COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY EC3D ENGINEERED COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY

BCOOL FABRIC BCOOL FABRIC

SEAMLESS ZONED COMPRESSION SEAMLESS ZONED COMPRESSION

ANTIMICROBIAL FIBRES ANTIMICROBIAL FIBRES

Review and Recommendation:

The knickers are 3/4 length and leave a bit of my calves and ankles bare. Compression wear is snug but the knickers were exceptionally snug to get on (or maybe I am getting chubby legs) but felt good when on. The design is a bit different but still looks good and not too flashy. Would be kind of cool to maybe have a bigger logo running down the side of one leg though (thats cosmetics not function though!).

I did a solid 12k run in the knickers on a milder late fall day and they felt great. No chafing and no issues and felt supported throughout run.

I would recommend the knickers for spring and fall running or cool summer days or for use under warmer tights on cold running/xc-ski days.

*Careful when pulling on or off the compression gear in general not to stress out the area you are pulling on. The gear is well-stitched but because you need to tug it can be rough on shorts, tights etc.

**Note that not everything marked compression gear has been made to benefit you, or has been sized or has right pressure – choose companies like EC3D that have medical expertise and take time with research and products for various sized athletes.

***I run in the shorts, tights and knickers and use the socks and recovery tights for recovering after long runs, workouts or when feeling beat up.

I am unsure if it would improve my performance on race day but have felt they help me recover after runs and feel supportive on training runs.

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Research

To do some of your own research reading on compression gear and running:

Australian Sports Commission article

2010 Canadian Running magazine article

2013 article about benefit of compression socks

2013 article about benefit for runners

**Here is a recent running story I recently wrote featuring on of EC3D team members. Very inspiring!**

Life is short so get out for a run my friends!

 

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The view from my socks

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“Running has been my companion through the valleys and mountains of my life.”

Through the eyes of my socks. Okay so my running socks don’t have eyes, no mouth or ears either, but if they did they’d have a story to tell!

So the socks can’t talk but I can. Been battling back from low mileage and cranky hips but at least now have knowledge that i am only afflicted by something most runners have – weak hip flexors and glutes!

The mileage has not dropped to zero but not a lot of miles for me and it has been tough – down to one run a day and some gym workouts.

I had a mild wake-up call Sunday when I headed out for a run with a potential new running partner. A younger, slightly quicker runner. I have been running and fit but it has been a while since I have run with someone quicker than I am. Great wake-up call for me to get back to work and start working harder. The runner was a guy by the name of Nick who ran a 2:30 marathon at the fall Toronto marathon (he was aiming for faster).

So back to work.

Coming reviews

View all my running reviews here.

Always running and trying to promote running. Let me know if you have a running story to share or want to add a video to my Youtube channel.

My socks have seen enough and I hope they will see more – putting on some EC3D compression socks after today’s noon run.

I am out there on the roads with you my friends – keep running!

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Champion?

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“Runners are not all that picky but like clothing and gear that is common sense and makes the act of running easier and comfortable.”

There are lots of gadgets, gear, apps and information for runners now. It is no longer a sport of just shorts, t-shirt and shoes, it can be, but there are so many things that can add or subtract from your running – that you can now buy.

Champion

Champion is the athletic clothing company you have seen around for years but may not think of when you think running gear. Founded in 1919 this company has been around for a long time and brought out the Jogbra in the 1970s and considers themselves experts in sports bras for women. When the chance to check out some their running gear….I said why not!

I am not a picky runner, but have been running for over 27-years and like to be honest and simple with reviews and comments.

Here is what I had the chance to try out:

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Champion PerforMax Men’s Running Tight

The Champion tights are all black with small Champion reflective logo and used what they call Vapor technology – dries faster the more your body heat rises.

The tights have drawstring, smooth seams but no key pocket at waist and no zippers at ankles. Despite no zippers the tights were easy to get on and comfortable.

REVIEW

Very comfortable tight, simple black but lacked key pocket (although you could tie keys into drawstring if needed). I picked the right size for me and were snug not tight and no chafing anywhere.

RECOMMEND

Mid-level warmth for Canadian spring and fall and maybe cold summer mornings. Recommend for runners looking for basic functional running tight with no stripes or fancy designs.

*Champion if you add a small key/card pocket near front of waist would add to appeal.

**I tried around the house and first run was a cold mid-November run with snow and ice on ground and air temperature with wind chill was near -10C. Legs were a bit chilly but was doable.

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Powertrain Tech Fleece full zip

The colour I got was not what I was expecting but colour (maroon) is not function. The zip was I thought a bit big for a medium and looked boxy but looked warm.

The fleece has 2 zippered pockets and inner spaces, small logo on chest, minimal smooth seams and medium weight.

REVIEW

The jacket/zip is a bit roomy and square cut for me and there is no way to cinch things in at the bottom. The material is nice and kept me warm under light wind-breaking jacket on cold windy day. Zip did seem a bit heavy with sweat after run but may have been as was a bit baggy on me.

RECOMMEND

Not a bad choice under a jacket or for stockier built runner. Some may find fit loose and would recommend another Champion zip, the Champion PerforMax Men’s Stretch Fleece Jacket. The other option has reflective piping, looks snugger and has thumb-holes (I like these). Both would be good choice as main layer in spring and fall or under jacket when it gets colder.

Performax® Short

The short is black with some white (vented sides) and logo on them, ample venting (mesh) at waist and a white breathable liner (inner short) along with quality drawstring. The length is a bit long for me to run in (just above knee) but may be ok for others. I am going to use as a pair of shorts for the gym. The materials

RECOMMEND

I would recommend this short to runners who don’t like the shorter running shorts or for something you can wear to the gym to do some cross-training in. With the longer cut and inner short there is no fear of being indecent or showing anything when stretching etc.

Good workout short – like to see something shorter for running (in Canada). On US Champion site there are shorter shorts (Champion Mileage shorts) that some may like better for running.

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Champion website

After many years of running and starting when there were not that many clothing options – priority is comfort, chafe free gear that fits well and meets the individual runner’s requirements.

The Champion gear I tested is good quality and could be reasonably priced option for many runners. I am hoping that some of the other products I mentioned are available in Canada (ie. zip with thumb holes).

Run on friends!

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Tailwind and trying times

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“Adversity builds character or something like that. I’d trade in some of that for hips that worked – but still alive and kicking!”

ME (Wobbly ole bastard)

Been a while since I have given an update on how I am doing. I am still running. I finally saw someone who gave me some solid information on what has been causing me hip/pelvis discomfort. Apparently more than just hip flexor issues I need to actually strengthen specific hip flexors significantly and work on my glutes as well. Summary is that i probably had these weak spots before and that 100-mile weeks and brutal workouts were what caused all the alarms to go off.

So I have been running but not as much and looking to slowly build back up towards a fall 2015 marathon. But I am continuing to share runner’s stories and to do running related gear reviews.

So trying times – but I am still pounding the pavement and trails!

Tailwind Nutrition

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Found Tailwind Nutrition through some online friends and like what they had to say so I decided to get hold of some to check it out. The white powdered water soluble endurance drink comes in packets for single bottles, and in larger bags (normal and caffeinated version).

Why Jeff Tailwind started his company/product

Quick summary of Tailwind is that it was created by an ultra runner to solve some problems he’d had with fuel on liquids on his races.

He ended up creating a product that:

  • Replaces gels, bars and various fuels – one powdered drink
  • Is easily absorbed
  • Easier on the stomach
  • Great value

For more info and references

Mixability

The powder mixes easily and I found you could add water or powder first with no issues. You got no clumps or residue on bottom of bottle. Quick shake or stir and ready.

Flavour

regardless of flavour on package or bag there is not a lot of flavour. This will be bad for those used to uber sweet, strong drinks like Gatorade etc. But I liked the just-enough flavour. It reminded me a bit of flavour of Canadian company E-load‘s products. I liked the taste of Tailwind even better and tasted especially good when really cold.

Testing and review

I did a number of runs and a 50k walk/hike and used Tailwind before and after. I liked the taste and it really did seem to sit well with my stomach. I also liked the taste, that was not too strong or sweet.

This is more than just an electrolyte replacement drink, does not contain protein and I think is a great product to try. Especially recommend to anyone who does have stomach troubles with other products.

*I would also advise people to test out any fuel on training runs and short races before using for a marathon or longer. Everyone has a different stomach, legs etc. -not everything works for everyone.

Hoping to be back into big miles and out on the roads more often to see folks soon! If not close to me – see you in the blogosphere!

Run on!

You can also find tailwind on Twitter @gottailwind -Tell em Noel sent ya!

 

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Runner new to running makes up for it quickly!

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“If running were easy everyone would do it. Take pride in overcoming the difficulty and search out new challenges.”

We (who run) have taken up running for different reasons and at different times in our lives. I fell into running at a young age – it seemed to just be something that was in me and that calmed young tendencies towards anger and frustration.

This blog profile is of a Quebec runner who recently took up running in January of this year but soon found himself on a 105-km run! I met this runner through online, social media and was interested to know more about him and his running.

Pierre-Etienne Vachon
Pierre-Etienne is a 37-year old runner from Valcartier, a small town north of Quebec city. Although he lives in Quebec Pierre-Etienne says he has lived all over the world over the last 15 years. He is the youngest of three kids and says he has always been involved in the outdoors as soon as was able to walk.

Pierre-Etienne runs his own marketing strategy agency and also has a catering and international project management firm. Busy fellow – perfect type A personality to be a runner or an ultramarathoner!

Most runners slowly graduate from shorter races to longer ones after a number of years. But not all. Only starting to run at the end of January this year, Pierre-Etienne says he is a late bloomer.

“However I have been on more expeditions that I can count from mountaineering to climbing big walls, in deserts or down some whitewater. I would consider myself more of an adventurer than a runner. To me running is a mean to explore more ground in a shorter time span and in a lighter more enjoyable fashion too.”

As he has only been running for a short time and has not run in many organized races – the new runner does not have many official PBs but says he has run a solo 44km run and a hilly 10km trail run in about 40 minutes. Pierre-Etienne may be a new runner but he sounds like a fit one!

Gear for the adventure.

Gear for the adventure.

I asked Pierre-Etienne about his 105km run (La Traversee de Charlevoix )(One I had actually heard about online and would be interested to do one year).

Tell me about your run and why did you do it?
“Aside from personal goals I do these projects to raise some funds for the Quebec Suicide Prevention Center. “

“This trail is a very well know hiking trail in Quebec and the end is located about 15 mins away from the family cottage. Been hearing all about it (how hard technical and unpredictable it is) my entire life and is usually hiked in 7 days. So when I started running it rapidly became an objective to run it in one single push.”

“Aside from running 100km-135km weeks, the team and I started planning and preparing this adventure at the end of June. Just to find the access roads to reach to potential aid stations took days upon days of scouting. I also did all the sections of the 105km in advance before linking them all together last week. A lot of communications, equipment, team coordination strategy and risk management planning went into this project.”

“One of the most interesting elements of a large scale solo project to me is that it is actually a team effort. All the components and team members must work like clockwork in order to achieve the goal and unsure as safe of a passage as possible.”

The tough and beautiful terrain of the run.

The tough and beautiful terrain of the run.

On the run, with his dog Sputnik by his side, Pierre Etienne saw moose and bears, climbed mountains, descended valley, hiked through snow and for a portion of the run had to carry his dog who had injured himself. In the attempt to help his dog Pierre-Etienne also injured himself but carried on.

What was the hardest part of the run?
“Most definitely the part where I had to carry Sputnik (his dog) on my shoulders. Not only from a physical standpoint but also psychologically as it was casting a strong shadow on my chances of success.”

Pierre-Etienne completed his run with a total time of 21hrs some of it spent with his dog on his shoulders. He says he is still recovering and he has a sore hip that has yet to heal but says he is pretty satisfied overall. He is definitely a runner though and says he is currently looking at new adventures in northern Canada.

I love meeting new runners and hearing about their stories. It inspires and motivates me and I love sharing.

Run on my fellow Quebec and run on my friends!

Find out more about Pierre-Etienne and his adventures on his blog.

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I watch marathons not ball games or hockey

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“You know you are a runner when you will sit and watch ALL of a marathon.”

if you do what is stated above – you are probably like me – yep sorry, a full blown geeky runner. Not a bad thing.

So if you watch marathons (I just finished watching the Toronto Waterfront marathon the other weekend)(on YOUTUBE!) and looking for more.

*Some of you may have to switch up day of your long run or get up early and get run done before sitting down to watch.

New York City Marathon

Official website

How to watch

History of the race

News articles about 2014 event and those running

Article about Buzunesh Deba – will to return and run well after death of training partner.

Runner to knit as he runs NYC race

Meb – Boston winner looking for good run in NY

Overview of women’s race in NY

Deena Kastor could break US/WR marathon time in NY

Former US distance record holder Bob Kennedy to run NY marathon

My recommendation

  • Switch long run to Saturday
  • Prep TV and quiet spot and get healthy snacks and chocolate milk handy
  • Have towel ready for quick shower after Sun run
  • Easy early Sunday run
  • Sit and enjoy watching marathon
  • Foam roll n stretch as you watch

Run on my friends and have fun watching!

SHOUT OUT to Eric and JP who are both running!

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Chowin down on Clif bar

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“Good training, rest and proper fuel are key components to training for any foot race.”

Some say you are what you eat, others say going gluten-free is best, or vegan, or high protein, or low protein or all smoothie…..the list goes on. All I know is that eating in a healthy manner and providing healthy fuel and enough of it during marathon training is important.

I am not necessarily loyal to one food source or one type of endurance hydration or training fuel help (bars and gels) etc. but use what I like the taste of and what i can get my hands on. If I were sponsored or took the time to stock up all the time I might eat differently (unfortunately I do the best I can with the budget I have)*.

*Plus I think eating as natural as possible is best and that gels, powders and bars are the for enhancing and eating when you need a quick shot of the proper healthy/stuff.

Clifbar

Bars

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Although I have eaten many types of energy bars aimed at runners (Powerbar, Honeystinger, Vega etc.) I have always liked Clifbars. I find Clifbars are not always my favourite but are always reliable, tasty, have a good texture and easy to open. A reliable choice.

The original bar is great and my favourite of their bar products. This fall they sent me Pumpkin spice and Pecan pie (seasonal flavours) (GREAT)! My other favourite flavour is White chocolate macadamia (very tasty). The bar tastes like real food and is not a candy bar format (covered in chocolate).

Protein bars

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The protein bars I like less than the original bars. They are more candy bar like and less tasty and like many other option out there. But a good choice and product from Clif.

Clif shots and blocks

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The package of square shaped energy chews (Blocks) are tasty, easy to eat (not too chewy) and easy to take on a run. These I like!

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Clif shots – well I like the consistency of the gels but flavours are very individual. Everyone has a preference. Its all about what tastes going in (what you can stomach) and what you wouldn’t mind pukin up mid-race! I don’t mind the chocolate flavour but all my all-time favorite gel flavour is Gu‘s PB.

I like the commitment to making good tasting bars with organic ingredients and how they give back to the community and others.

Clif bar makes great products – check them out – but make sure to find something that works for you, your stomach and your training!

Run on friends!

*History of the company

An interesting Canadian company that makes tasty food bars is called Tho’z barz, may not be providing gels, chews or runner specific bars – but worth checking out!(eh)

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