Kieffer, H. S., Babcock, M., Keen, K., Mellinger, K., Gotchel, A., & Peterman, E. (2011). The effects of compression socks on running economy following a cycle-run transition. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 859.

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This study compared running economy after a cycle-run transition with and without the use of compression socks in trained triathletes (N = 7). Ss visited the laboratory on three occasions. During the first visit, Ss completed a VO2max test, were fitted on a Velotron cycle, and familiarized with each protocol. Each protocol consisted of a 40K time-trial on the Velotron, a three-minute transition, and a 5K treadmill time-trial. Testing conditions were randomized, succeeding sessions being matched for effort with that of the initial protocol. Effort was matched for cycling with verbal and visual feedback employed to maintain the same time along checkpoints in the 40K time-trial. Running pace was matched for the 5K time-trial. Heart rate, VO2, oxygen saturation, respiratory exchange ratio, and rating of perceived exertion were measured during each 5K time-trial. Running time was subdivided into thirds to monitor changes during the run.

There were no significant differences for any variable. For the main effect of time, only respiratory exchange ratio demonstrated a significant difference, decreasing during the run.

Implication. Compression sock use following a cycle-run transition does not improve running economy in triathletes.

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