A few weeks back I received a note from the folks at Tommie Copper asking if I was interested in trying out and reviewing their products. Compression technology has been the latest rave in our sport, and I, like many others have been intrigued by it. Of course I said I would.
I'm going to spare you the compression technology technical chit-chat for I believe most everyone is familiar with it, and most everyone interested has already some basic idea of what this is all about. But, what makes this product different from the rest is that they use Therapeutic Copper technology in their product, and we all know that copper has been used for ages and in all continents to alleviate a variety of health related issues.
Tommie Copper "is designed to relieve pain 24 hours a day using Therapeutic Copper Compression (TCC). By targeting the problem area with Tommie Copper's TCC, circulation is enhanced, inflammation is reduced and pain is relieved. Unlike ordinary, bulky compression wear, Tommie Copper is made from a revolutionary, proprietary fabric. All of their products are designed to be comfortable and lightweight, and can be worn under any apparel, keeping you comfortable and pain free all day."
I promptly received my package which included two each; Knee Compression Sleeve, Calf Compression Sleeve, Ankle Compression Sleeve and Elbow Compression Sleeve. Immediately I was very excited to give Tommie Copper a try. The sleeves, much to my (pleasant) surprise are very lightweight; no bulkiness of any kind.
The first real test for the product came the day of the Country Music Marathon, in which I ran the Half Marathon. Immediately after finishing, I proceeded to wear the Calf and the Ankle sleeves. Two areas which have, in the past, given me headaches after long training or racing.
The very first thing I noticed was some sort of immediate relief around the areas compressed. This was a welcome sight. The second thing I noticed was that the calf area of my legs felt a bit "warm", if you will. I believe that the immediate improved blood circulation was responsible for this sensation. I was beginning to like this. Couldn't wait to see further results.
I kept the sleeves on until the next day (minus the time it took to shower). I was extremely excited as to how recovery time had improved.
Next came time to give the Knee sleeve a try. Because of the way it fits, I thought it would help with the soreness on my quads after a long bike ride. I was not disappointed. Again, recovery time, in my estimate was tremendously enhanced.
I've tried a couple of times running with the calf sleeve on... and left it on after finished for a while. The jury still out on whether this improved my performance or not.
I have yet to try the Elbow sleeve. I'm thinking that as I increase my yardage in the pool, as I will have to soon, I may give these a shot and see what happens. Will report on the result.
Bottom line: I give Tommie Copper a big two thumbs up. Sleek design and great use of technology. I will be wearing my Tommie's after each and every training session on my way to Ironman Louisville 2011.
For additional information on this product, go to www.tommiecopper.com