Friday, September 23, 2016

Peak Power Sports Calf Sleeve Review

The benefits for compression gear have been debated.  Some doctors say it can provide a benefit while other doctors say that using it after your run is more beneficial and can speed up recovery.  There are some doctors that say you should use it during and after your runs and other doctors that say that there is no benefit.  I am not a doctor, but I am a huge fan of compression gear, both during and after my races.  I have personally felt the difference and it helped me beat shin splints.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

It is said that wearing compression gear improves blood flow inside muscles and the surrounding tissue.  Proper blood flow is essential in performing at your peak and compression gear may really help.  Have you ever had that heavy leg feeling?  Compression gear can assist in getting the blood flowing and allowing the blood in your legs to make it back to your heart.  This process can help move out metabolic waste like Lactic Acid, which will help delay the onset of fatigue.  It also helps to keep the muscles in your legs from vibrating when your feet impact the ground, which is great for people who suffer from shin splints.

Not all compression gear is created equally though.  You want to look for compression gear that says it has graduated compression.  This means that it has the greatest compression in the ankles, which will help send the blood back up your legs.  Many of the cheaper compression sleeves don’t provide true graduated compression.  The optimal pressure range for compression socks and tights is 20-30mmHg.

The Peak Power Sports Graduated Calf Sleeves are comfortable enough to wear all day long, but have enough support and compression to help with calf soreness and shin splints during your runs.  It can also help speed up your recovery after hard runs.  The construction and materials are good quality and the price is decent.  You get a pair (2 sleeves), unlike some of their competitors, for $14.95 on Amazon.  I really like the graduated compression of the Peak Power Sports Graduated Calf Sleeves.  They have 20mmHg of compression at the top of the sleeve and 25mmHg at the ankle.  It is the perfect amount of compression in my opinion.  They provide superior support and are extremely comfortable to wear. 

Comfortable to wear, even for extended amounts of time
Reduces inflammation
Reduces pain and discomfort
Helps stabilize muscles during workouts
Great price $14.95 (for a pair)
No-quibble lifetime warranty

Peak Power Sports is offering a pair of their Calf Sleeves for $14.95 on Amazon.  These are cheaper than the competition, but are every bit as good if not better.  Peak Power Sports puts out great products, especially for the price.  Proper recovery is key to performing at your best and to reduce the risk of injury.  These Calf Sleeves do a great job of reducing pain and inflammation and increasing circulation.  The price is great, especially if it can help with one of the most painful running injures, Shin Splints.  Get a pair and let me know what you think.

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Guest Post: Washing your Lycra containing garments

Handle with Care
by Travis Murray at SLS3

You’ve spent your hard earned money on your exercise gear like Running Shorts or Compression Socks and now it’s time to put it to the test. After a grueling workout, you and your Lycra® containing gear are ready for a bath. By the way, Spandex is the generic Lycra® version. Lycra® is a brand name trademarked by DuPont.

After Your Workout

As much as we hate it, we’re all drenched in sweat after a good workout, which means our clothes are, too. If you don’t have time to wash your clothes right after your workout, or you’re too tired like me, then hang dry your workout clothes, making sure there are no wrinkle or overlaps. This prevents your gear from turning into a mildew breeding ground. Gross! It also helps prevent weird stenches from staying trapped inside your clothes.

Getting the Stink Out

The best method for remedying smelly gym clothes is to give them a prewash. Soak your Lycra® outfits in one part vinegar, and four parts water for at least 30 minutes before hand washing, or throwing them into the washing machine. Rinse your clothes thoroughly before washing them to get rid of any vinegar.

Some Dont’s to Remember

Do not mix vinegar and bleach ever! If your detergent contains bleach rinse out your vinegar soaked clothes before throwing them in the washer. Do not use vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washer if your detergent contains bleach.

Do not use heat for any of your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy the elastic properties aka the Lycra® fibers of your outfits. Avoid the dryer, ironing and the sun. Remember: Heat is bad.

Do not use chlorine or bleach. This will destroy the fibers of the fabric and you will get “bag and sag” syndrome.

Do not use Fabric Softener. These are used to soften clothes and will make sure your expensive garment will never retain its shape. Avoid the fabric softener.

In the Wash They Go

Although it is said that hand washing is always the way to go, most of us don’t have time for that. Don’t fret though! It is safe for your Lycra® garments to go into the washing machine following these steps. First, make sure that all of your zippered garments are zipped all the way up to prevent the zipper track from snagging onto other fabric during the washing cycle. Turn your clothes inside out. Put delicate items into a mesh laundry bag, lingerie bag, or pillowcase to protect them (Definitely do this for Bib Shorts).

                                                                       picture courtesy of instagram

The Set-Up

If you are worried that a pre-soak just won’t cut it for getting all the smells out, you can put some vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of your washer. This will make sure your washer will dispense vinegar in the rinse cycle. Always use cold water when washing your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy them. Set your washer on the “Delicates” setting to prevent damage of your clothes.

Less is More?

Use less detergent than you normally would for your Lycra® clothes. While detergent cleans your clothes, you definitely don’t want a build up of it on your workout clothes. A build up of detergent will trap in dead skin cells and trap bacteria into the fabric. If you want to make sure your clothes last, try a detergent designed for washing workout clothes. 

Finishing Touches

After the washing cycle has been finished, hang your clothes up, or lay them down flat to dry. Never put them in the dryer. Remember heat is not friendly to Lycra® clothes. Lycra® is a fast drying fiber so your clothes should not take too long to air dry.

Special Offer: Save 40% off at SLS3 with coupon code BLOG40 at checkout.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Topo Athletic ST-2 Review

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I really like Topo Athletic shoes.  They offer shoes with a low heel drop and wide toe box.  This allows your toes to spread out instead of feeling claustrophobic like in most shoes.  The durability of the materials that they use is excellent as well.  The MT is one of the first pair of shoes that I reviewed on my blog.  It is still one of my favorite trail shoes because it is so light, comfortable, and really flexes with your foot.  The Hydroventure is an amazing trail shoe with a waterproof eVent material that keeps the water out but is still breathable.  Topo Athletic also has some amazing road shoes.  My favorites are the Runduro, Magnifly, and the UltraFly.

If you are not familiar with Topo Athletic shoes, they fit snug in the heel and midfoot, while it they are loose in the toebox.  The wide toe box allows your toes to spread out, which has several benefits.  This will not only help you be more stable, but will also reduce foot injuries commonly caused by shoes that compress your toes. 

I have tested 10 shoes from Topo Athletic and have been impressed with every one.  Here are some of my past reviews.

Topo Athletic just released one of their lightest, most flexible shoes to date.  The ST-2 is a very light weight, fast shoe that is perfect for speed work, tempo runs, and even cross training.  The shoe is extremely flexible and has an almost sock like fit.

The ST-2 features a zero heel drop, which will put your body in an ideal alignment.  If you aren’t used to a zero heel drop, you should ease into using them over a few weeks to get your calves and Achilles tendon use to the extra stretch.  I love my zero drop shoes and can’t recommend them enough though. 

The upper material is a light weight stretchy mesh that allows some ventilation so your feet don’t overheat.  It is also soft against your feet and packs down flat.  The heel is collapsible as well.  That makes these shoes perfect for traveling with.  There are strategically placed printed overlays keep the outer material strong while cutting weight.  Because of the ability to pack flat, these won’t provide as much support as some shoes out there, but this isn’t necessarily a long distance shoe, so that shouldn’t be a big issue.

The ST-2 has a total stack height of 16mm and breaks down to 4mm of rubber outsole, 7mm of midsole material, and a 5mm footbed.  There is definitely not as much cushion as some of their other shoes, but for speed workouts, tempo runs, and cross training, it should be sufficient.  Here is the crazy part, it weighs in at only 6.9 ounces (men’s size 9).

I am a huge fan of Topo Athletic shoes, which you would know if you have been reading my blog for a while.  Topo Athletic has only been around since 2013, but they have made some incredible shoes.  The ST-2 is awesome in the right situations.  You need to know that most people won’t be running in these every day (especially on long runs), but if you are looking for a shoe for your speed and tempo runs, it’s a good choice.  The ST-2 is so comfortable, flexible, and folds flat.  It really feels fast.  Not too shabby Topo!

Super lightweight (6.9 ounces)
Wide toe box allows toes to spread out
Zero heel drop allows for better form and posture
Great price ($90 at the Topo Athletic website)
Extremely flexible
Folds flat, perfect for traveling
Sock like fit with a flexible mesh upper

Topo Athletic’s Social Media Links:

Topo Athletic continues to step up its game with the ST-2.  This light weight speed shoe feels great and is amazingly light.  You can’t beat the price too at a mere $90.  You can get a pair at the Topo Athletic website, or check the Topo Athletic Store Locator for a store near you.  Give them a try today and let me know what you think.

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.