7. NormaTec Boots
NormaTec is a pneumatic compression device, originally developed for medical uses, that has become popular as a recovery aid among elite endurance athletes. It consists of a pair of soft, boot-like enclosures that cover the legs. These boots are attached to a generator pump that fills them with air, causing them to compress the legs. But instead of applying static compression, as wraps and compression socks do, NormaTec applies intermittent, or dynamic, compression, which is said to better mimic normal physiology.
Tollakson uses NormaTec boots for approximately 30 minutes after every run, usually following his cold bath. According to Rountree, that’s time well spent. When she was researching her book on recovery, Bill Sands, the former director of the U.S. Olympic Training Center’s recovery center, told her that NormaTec was the most effective recovery-boosting method he knew of after training smart, eating well and sleeping well.