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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 May;111(5):819-26. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1705-2. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Effect of lower body compression garments on submaximal and maximal running performance in cold (10°C) and hot (32°C) environments.

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  • 1School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA, 6027, Australia.


No previous studies have investigated the effect of lower body compression garments (CG) on running performance in the heat. This study tested the hypothesis that CG would negatively affect running performance in the heat by comparing CG and non-CG conditions for running performance and physiological responses in hot and cold conditions. Ten male recreational runners (29.0 ± 10.0 years, [Formula: see text]max: 58.7 ± 2.7 ml kg(-1) min(-1)) performed four treadmill tests consisting of 20-min running at first ventilatory threshold followed by a run to exhaustion at [Formula: see text]max velocity in four conditions: 10°C with CG, 10°C without CG, 32°C with CG, and 32°C without CG (randomised, counterbalanced order). Time to exhaustion (TTE), skin and rectal temperature, [Formula: see text], heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were compared between CG and non-CG conditions at each environmental temperature. TTE was not significantly different between the CG and non-CG conditions at 10°C (158 ± 74 vs. 148 ± 73 s) and 32°C (115 ± 40 vs. 97 ± 33 s); however, there was a small (0.15) and moderate effect size (0.48), respectively, suggestive of an improvement in TTE with CG. Lower limb skin temperature was 1.5°C higher at 10°C with CG (P < 0.05), but no significant differences in other physiological variables, including rectal temperature, were observed between garment conditions. Interestingly, RPE was lower (P < 0.05) during submaximal running at 32°C with CG (13.8 ± 2.0) compared with non-CG (14.5 ± 2.7). It was concluded that CG had no adverse effects on running performance in hot conditions.

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