For many runners, a marathon or even a half-marathon is the ultimate achievement. For Stuart Barrington, its all in a days 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 hes training for a 100 mile ultra marathon with a workout schedule that is punishing. After one particularly grueling run, Stuarts 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.
Ive 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 runners 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. Heres 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
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 dont 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 couldnt 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 Stuarts adventures on and off the trail on his blog, on his podcast and on twitter (@quadrathon).