Why Do Runners Wear Arm Sleeves? A Complete Guide
If you have competed in a marathon or just watched it on television, you may have come across some runners wearing arm sleeves.
Arm sleeves are more common in elite runners. However, over the past few years, it has started to trickle down to the amateur ranks. Because of this, more and more amateurs are now starting to wear arm sleeves, both in training and racing.
If you haven’t used arm sleeves before, you may be wondering why runners wear them and the benefits they provide.
In this article, we discuss why runners wear arm sleeves, what they are, and the benefits they provide. So, if you are interested to learn more about this new trend, keep reading.
What Are Arm Sleeves?
Arm sleeves originally were developed for cyclists as an easy way to remove clothing as the weather changes. Because they are small and can be removed with very little effort, they provided the cyclist extra warmth when needed and were easy to store in their back pockets.
Arm sleeves for runners also provide the same benefits. Events like the marathon often start early in the morning when the temperature is low. Then halfway through temperature usually rises. The use of arm sleeves allows the runner to remove this layer of warmth to keep the body temperature low.
Arm sleeves also provide some compression benefits. That means they can help aid the recovery of muscles. Wearing arm sleeves for recovery can help increase blood flow around the arms and help circulate the blood to the heart quicker.
However, for most runners they are used as a piece of removable clothing during days where the temperature may fluctuate.
Are Arm Sleeves Good For Running?
Arm sleeves are a good addition to your clothing collection because they can be used to:
– Aid recovery of the arm muscles
– Keep you warm during fluctuating temperatures
– Prevent sunburn on hot days
The reason why arm sleeves are good for running is that they can be easily stored in a back pocket, held in the hand, or even tucked under your waist. That means they are one of the few clothing pieces that can be easily stored, removed, and put on while running.
They can also be worn after a long run or intense interval. By wearing them directly after hard training, you can help remove lactic acid build-up in the arm muscles, which will aid in faster recovery.
Why Do Runners Wear Arm Sleeves?
Runners wear arm sleeves for a variety of reasons. The main is to keep their body warm during early morning runs when the temperature is consistently rising. This helps them stay warm during the first parts of the run and allows them to remove them with ease once the temperature increases.
Arm sleeves use lycra material, which means they also provide little to no discomfort when running. They are a stretchable fabric that allows them to shape to the size of the arm and also stop them from falling down when running.
Arm sleeves are used by some runners who are susceptible to sunburn. Wearing UV compression arm sleeves can help prevent sunburn and also help make your arms feel cooler. They can also help control your sweating through the moisture-wicking effect they provide.
In general, there is no rule on when and how long you should wear arm sleeves. If you find wearing arm sleeves while running causes chafing or irritation of the skin, you may need to either change the model of the sleeve or disregard them altogether. Alternatively, you can also use anti-chafing cream to help prevent any irritation to the arms.
If you wear arm sleeves for the recovery benefits, it is recommended you wear them directly after a run for a few hours. Again, there is no right or wrong time frame you should wear them. However, we don’t recommend you to sleep with them.
Why Do Marathon Runners Wear Arm Sleeves?
There are two reasons why marathon runners wear arm sleeves.
One is to reduce muscle vibration, which can cause tiny muscle fiber tears. These small tears can cause an inflammatory response, and wearing arm sleeves during long-running events can help prevent this by supporting the muscles while they run.
The second reason is to help regulate body temperature. Since marathon events usually start early in the morning, they can help keep the body warm for the first part of the marathon. Once the temperature rises, they can then remove them while running.
If you haven’t used arm sleeves before, we recommend you try them. They will help create better circulation, which means better performance, especially during long runs or more intense exercise.
Alternatively, if you are running early in the morning, they can help you keep the body warm until the temperature rises. Make sure you pick the correct size for your arms and make sure they feel comfortable. Otherwise, you may get irritated by them falling down all the time or rubbing on your skin.