Calves, KT Tape (Review!), and Long Runs

Thought I’d start by tickling your funny bone (which hopefully isn’t injured)  with a true story:

Michael Johnson, the Olympic Gold Medal runner, was on his way to a club with some friends. At the door the bouncer turned to him and said, “Sorry mate, you can’t come in here; no denim allowed.” Michael was quite annoyed by this and retorted, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Michael Johnson.” To which the bouncer replied, “Then it won’t take you long to run home and change.”

This week was the first in a while that I felt strong. More specifically, while doing my iron strength routines. I’m feeling solid. Which is good, considering the fact that I’m due to run a half in only 7 weeks!

The only problem is that earlier this week, my right calf tightness was coming back (I took a week off  because of this). I was diligent in warming up and stretching, but it stuck. It’s light, mind you. Mostly a deep tight knot and tightness early in my runs. Yesterday (Friday), I decided I really needed to do this Saturdays’ 13 mile long run, as I have been missing far too many long runs (I don’t think I’d run over 10 miles yet….maybe 11). Thus, I took the day off (skipping the gym). I dug out my winter legwarmers and spent the day with one leg covered (looked rather stupid, but I’ll do anything for running). I decided it was the perfect time to try this stuff (which I heard about a couple years ago).

IMG_1625

Yup, you’re looking at KT tape. KT Pro, to be exact. I figured I should spoil myself and get the best kind, which is supposed to stay on longer (the main reason, really).  I’ve only had it on for less than 24 hours (I put it on yesterday evening), but so far I’m impressed and pleased. I watched the videos on how to apply (really like this one!) because I must do it right (ya, perfectionist alert). Plus I didn’t want to screw up and have to re-tape. LAME. Anyway, I felt the difference from the support. The tape is barely noticeable and looks pretty awesome, I must say. I think it made me feel more serious and “athletic” and gave me a HUGE mental confidence boost (if nothing else, that’s honestly worth the money to me). It was fine through the night (I wore my trusty leg warmer over it). Best part: it stayed on through 13 stinking miles this morning! It was warm but not hot (about 75-85 F by the time I was done), so I was definitely very, very, veeeery sweaty. It didn’t peel in the slightest. I’m in love.

Final and Official words on KT Pro Tape:

It can be an A+++ product or an F— (does that exist?) product. It all depends on whether or not you put it on right and, as much as I hate to say, it would seem the person. Things to remember when applying:

  1. Watch the videos on how to do it. Most of the info you need is all in the videos. Being taught by a professional is probably best, but I wasn’t and it came out fine for me (then again, I’m a sports medicine geek/enthusiast so I know a tiny bit on the subject).
  2. Wash and THOROUGHLY dry skin before application.
  3. (As learned in the videos) DO NOT stretch the ends. Stretch and mold the middle, but not the ends, or it won’t stay on.
  4. Don’t touch sticky part of tape before application.
  5. Don’t try to peel tape off of skin and replace. It you have to, just start over.
  6. Stretch skin while applying when in an area that’s appropriate (again, stated in videos).
  7. Rub tape towards edges once on to activate “glue”. A good 20 seconds of rubbing should do it.
  8. Try to put tape on skin, not on tape. It doesn’t stick very well to itself (this is the one con I can think of).

I’m not sure how much hair affects tape use (my leg was recently shaved).

Speaking of that 13 mile run…..It was awesome. My calf felt great. I did a more careful warm-up w/ walking, 1 mile easy, and the next mile gradually speeding up. It was tough and exhausting, but went very well I think. I had to stretch my calf at all my stops in the beginning, but it eventually loosened all the way and never hurt.

I’ll see how long the tape stays, as I’m going to a pool party tomorrow and then working all week in a pool. Oh boy. 🙂

Happy running! Stay strong, runners!

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