Posted on May 31 2016
At first glance...
The concept behind Physiclo is pretty straightforward. Our compression pants use built-in resistance to push your body to work harder in the same amount of time and training volume.
Still, runners and athletes commonly ask, how does that translate into actual results? Can wearing extra resistance actually help one become faster, stronger, or fitter?
So we tested it out
Over the last couple months, our team has been working on a pilot field study to see how training with Physiclo resistance apparel helps distance runners enhance marathon and half-marathon performance. The 10-week study tracked the daily time and distance trained for 37 runners as they prepared to compete in their next road race.
Half of the subjects were given a pair of Physiclo resistance pants to incorporate into their workouts, while the other half trained in their regular running pants. Subjects who met study entry criteria, including both men and women, were matched within one standard deviation for previous finish times, training volume, and age.
After ten weeks, the 19 runners who trained with Physiclo ran an average of 7 minutes and 53 seconds faster than their previous personal bests, a 4.2% improvement (p=0.015). On the other hand, the 18 runners in the the control group did not see a significant change in finish times, with the group's average being 3 minutes and 43 seconds slower than their previous bests, a decrease of 1.5% (p=0.23).
Despite finishing slightly slower than their previous races as a group, 9 out of the 18 control runners (50.0%) still managed to beat their previous personal best. Meanwhile, 13 out of the 19 runners who trained with Physiclo (68.4%) achieved new personal records.
On average, testers reported wearing their resistance pants for 64.5% of their total training time. The majority preferred to use them for shorter runs during the weekdays, while running in regular gear for longer distance runs on the weekend.
Testers also found that running with the extra resistance generally slowed their average training pace. During their 10-week training, marathon runners who trained with Physiclo averaged 28.64 miles per week at a 9:41 pace, compared to control marathon runners who trained 33.72 miles per week at a 9:01 pace. Half-marathon runners who trained with Physiclo averaged 19.37 miles per week at a 10:50 pace, compared to control half-marathon runners who trained 21.23 miles per week at a 10:14 pace.
- We found that runners who wore Physiclo resistance apparel for a significant proportion of their training saw a significant improvement in race performance and were more likely to achieve a new personal record.
- Additionally, runners who used Physiclo achieved better results despite training at lower weekly mileage and slower paces.
As far as scientific studies go, this was just a pilot to show proof of concept- that training with Physiclo does have an impact on race performance. However, the sample size was relatively small and we did not have the means to control for factors such as differences in diet, race day weather, and course topography. We plan to conduct more rigorous testing with partner universities later this summer.
If you're interested in learning more about the study protocol and results, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!