A couple weeks ago, after a particularly hard string of workouts, I emailed Kari, the queen of giveaways. “Can you please hold a giveaway for compression shorts?” I asked, “and make sure that I win?”
“How about reviewing a pair instead?” she responded in short order. “I can hook you up.”
Two weeks later and just in time for my last hard week of training for nationals, I had in my possession a pair of Aspaeris Pivot compression shorts, bright red, per Kari’s recommendation.
Aspaeris, I read in the enclosed information packet, is a female-centric company that makes women’s specific compression-wear designed to prevent injury and enhance performance.
What more could I ask for?
I admit, when I pulled them out of the packaging, I was dubious. I’m a pretty small person, and I thought I’d followed their sizing guidelines to the letter, but there was no way, I thought, that these sausage casings would fit me.
Image c/o Racing with Babes - notice the size comparison with her skin-tight bike shorts.
I contemplated emailing Kari then and there, but instead, I pulled them on – surprisingly smoothly – and let them work their magic.
Now, I’ve never worn compression shorts before, and I had visions of electric-like pulses healing my aching quads and massaging my hamstrings all without my noticing I was even wearing them.
Here’s a spoiler: that didn’t happen.
In fact, what did happen was a week of trial and error where I kept convincing myself that they weren’t working, and then finding myself running faster with less effort during each successive workout.
I wore my Aspaeris’ four times over the course of the week, all for recovery. I slept in them once, snuck them on under my work clothes for 12 hours a second time, and donned them for short durations on two additional occasions.
And here’s what I found:
The shorts themselves were comfortable enough, but when I was wearing them, my legs felt tight and when I took them off they felt heavy.
Where was the compression wonderment that everyone speaks of? Why wasn’t I feeling light and fresh and ready to PR every single second of the day?
Oh right. Probably because I was knocking out my highest running mileage month in two years and simultaneously fitting in long hill rides every weekend.
These shorts didn’t perform any miracles.
But when I took them off, after I shook out the heaviness, I found that I was comfortably and consistently running a quicker pace than I thought I should be.
And after coming off a weekend that included a 100k hill ride and a 19-mile run that culminated in some pretty intense IT band pain, I experienced no discomfort in my post-compression runs.
Is there something unique about the Aspaeris, or is this the effect of compression shorts in general? As a compression virgin, I can’t answer that, but I can tell you that these shorts did what their website told me they would do: in my week of compression-dom, they elevated my running performance, and they kept a budding injury at bay.
So, want a chance to try out your very own pair of bright red (or navy, or black, or white) Aspaeris Pivot Shorts?
All you’ve got to do is go to the Aspaeris website and leave a comment telling me what you’ve learned about the shorts and why you’d like to give them a shot.
One entry per person, to be drawn randomly on Sunday evening, October 2.