KT Tape “goes the distance” for an ultra-runner

A long-distance runner training for a 100 mile race puts KT Tape to the ultimate test.

For many runners, a marathon or even a half-marathon is the ultimate achievement.  For Stuart Barrington, it’s all in a day’s workout.  Barrington is an ultra-runner – logging 45 to 50 miles a week running as well as cross training on his bike.  Quite a few of those miles happen off-road, since Barrington is a trail runner as well.  Earlier this year, he was knocking out 50 mile and 50k races, but right now he’s training for a 100 mile ultra marathon – with a workout schedule that is punishing. After one particularly grueling run, Stuart’s knee was acting up.  He tried ice and rolling, but it was still giving him trouble.  The next day, he saw KT Tape mentioned on Twitter, and decided to give it a try.
“I’ve taped in the past on the suggestion of my physio-therapist, but with medical bandage and not with sports-specific tape,” said Stuart Barrington, trail and ultra runner.  “I followed the instructions in the box, taped for runner’s knee and set off, a little over two hours later I was back with 14.5 miles on my Forerunner and no pain.” Running that far would be a major accomplishment for most people, but Stuart is used to that level of intensity.  He left the tape in place, and ended up running his second-highest mileage week ever, pain free.  Here’s his recap:
  • Thursday 13 miles in 1:59, pain free; felt a bit tired and under-fueled
  • Friday 13.1 miles in 1:46, pain free; felt great and just enjoyed the run
  • Saturday 13.1 miles in 1:56, pain free; another good run, deliberately at a slower pace
“That’s 54 miles in 4 days and a smidge over 74 miles for the week, my second highest week ever! OK, so now I am convinced!” Stuart now uses KT Tape as a preventative measure.  It lasts up to 5 days, even in the shower or the pool, so he just replaces it as necessary.

“The tape is really easy to apply, although guys may want to consider getting the razor out for a cleaner ‘sticking’ area. It comes in four colors and it is pre-measured, so you don’t need scissors.  They have videos on their website on how to apply it.  And, oh yeah, it looks pretty cool as well!  Quite possibly the cheapest thing you may ever buy for running at $12.99 a roll.” So … we couldn’t resist asking this ultra-runner and trail specialist for some insider tips.  He says anyone thinking of going off-road or ultra needs to ease into it. “As a trail runner, my terrain is much more varied and as an ultra runner I also walk a fair bit (the ups mostly).  This has allowed me to build up all the little stabilizer muscles that you would not necessarily work simply running roads, so I usually caution anyone who is thinking about running trails to consider this.  That's probably the biggest mistake people seem to make -- you have to respect the terrain and the distance.” You can follow Stuart’s adventures on and off the trail on his blog, on his podcast and on twitter (@quadrathon).