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More and more runners are wearing compression clothing. The problem is, not many know why.

Jamie Hunt doesn’t have that problem. Co-founder and director of sports clothing brand 2XU, he is what you might call evangelical about the benefits of compression clothing for athletes.

“I believe compression is the greatest evolution of sporting apparel in the last 20 or 30 years,” he announces with no lack of bravado. “Absolutely. 100%. What other technology reduces injuries, helps you recover faster, helps you run faster? I’m still amazed how many runners do not run in compression. It absolutely blows me away. If they truly knew the benefits of compression, I can tell you that every single runner would wear it.”

It’s a bold claim, as you’d expect from a company that has pumped huge amounts of money into developing technical sports apparel. But should we believe the hype?

Compression clothing has been used for medical purposes for donkey’s years; during and after pregnancy, for example, or to treat thrombosis, varicose veins and other venous disorders. Flight socks are a commonly used type of compression clothing. Some people find compression socks bring relief from leg pain after long hours spent standing up at work. It’s only in recent years that athletes, however, have woken up to the potential of compression clothing.

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About Men's Running

New to running? The February issue of Men’s Running is tailor-made for you. If, like many, your decision to dust the cobwebs off your trainers was driven by Christmas guilt, then signing up to a race, several months down the line, is an excellent way to keep that new-year motivation running high. And for that, our Ultimate Race Guide is a good place to start. Featuring 100 of the UK’s – and indeed the world’s – premier running events, you’re guaranteed to find a race that takes your fancy. And here’s hoping it will mark the start of a long and event-full running journey. It's not all about racing, of course, as proved by MR debutant Matt Buck, who embarked on a self-supported run along Portugal's stunning and appropriately named Historical Way. And of course there’s the usual blend of seasonal training advice, exclusive reviews, witty race reports and nutrition know-how – all of which, we hope, can help you make 2018 your best running year yet.