Originally I was planning to write a long overdue review of Garmin Vivofit bracelet, but I am still waiting for it to come back from service, and it would not be right if I did not share that experience as a part of the story. So while we are waiting, I will tell you about this magic product – KT Tape.
As some of you know, I decided to join the triathlon club, and along with many other benefits of the membership I discovered that I am not as good as I thought. While everyone told me to just do as much as I could, since I am not training for any long distance anyways and most of the workouts are longer than my whole race, I still was dumb enough to try to follow people. “Try” is the right word, since most of them lap me on the bike before I even turn the first corner.
And all of you know, any dumb ideas usually result in injuries. Just like with the RW Running Streak last winter, I managed to get injured within first few weeks of the workouts. And once again KT Tape came to my rescue.
If you are in any competitive sport, you probably saw a person or two wearing something that looks like oversized colourful Band-Aid on various parts of their bodies. This is KT Tape. In a way, it does the same job than the elastic bandage or a brace you pick up from the local pharmacy, but it does it way better.There is some science involved, but company’s website will do a much better job at explaining it, while I will just share my personal experiences with it.
We use the KT Tape PRO, that is made of newer synthetic material and much more flexible than the original one. It can go in the water and will stay on after it got wet. You can wear it few days, but it will start getting loose corners and peel off.
When you first get the KT Tape it will be neatly rolled inside the plastic jar. It is very convenient for storing and travelling. Because of the hard sides of the container, you can be sure it will not get squished when you shove it along with a million of other things in your race bag.
In the container, you will find 20 strips that are already pre-cut. Almost no arts and crafts required. Occasionally you will need to cut one strip in half but it is pretty straight forward. All the corners are also rounded preventing each piece of KT Tape from catching on the clothing and peeling off. You should do the same when you are cutting your own pieces, to make your taping jobs last longer.
Each strip also have a bit of a reflective design for additional visibility and safety. I guess if you are already injured, the last thing you want is to get hit by a car when you forgot to properly dress. I am not sure how much safer these few little tick marks on your injured knee or shoulder will make you training, but I guess it is thought that counts.
To remove the backing from the tape you just need to pull on the ends of the tape stretching it. The paper will rip and become easy to remove. Make sure not to touch the glue when removing backing. It is very easy, and each application video reminds you how to do it quickly.
Applying the KT Tape is also very easy. You will need to locate your pain and follow appropriate video instructions. I found it a bit tricky, since I am not great at naming my body parts in latin and I wish they had some sort of picture that you could click on (something along the lines of “point where it hurts”). However, if you are a bit better knowledgeable about what to call your toes and elbows, you will most likely be ok.
The instructions are step-by-step and accurate. They tell you how to properly stretch the stip of KT tape, cut it when need it and cross or twist if necessary. The videos are very good at pointing out what to watch out for and what to avoid. Often they recommend any additional treatments for each type of injury.
Once you taped your injured body part, the effects are similar to the elastic band or brace from the pharmacy. However KT Tape is not as bulky as the traditional solutions, it will fit seamlessly in under your usual workout clothes and shoes. It also comes in many colours that can match your uniform or team spirit.
Usually the tape will last you about 2-3 days before starting to peel off. Sometimes I cut loose ends, just to prevent it from catching on clothing. We both went swimming and took showers with it on. Once the tape dries it looks and stays on just like new (not like the wet Ban Aids).
At the end of the day, we are on our third or fourth roll already and still loving it. I wish I knew about it when I injured my elbow few winters ago. I am sure it would heal better if I did not have to deal with a massive brace that did not fit through sweater sleeves and always made me want to remove it.
If you are interested, you can pick one up on Amazonfor about $20, or check out your local sports store (most of the places carry these by now in a variety of colours).