Monthly Archives: January 2011

  1. More Magazine Features KT Tape

    moreMore Magazine recently did article on the effectiveness and ease of KT Tape.  Here's the article by Danielle Koescki:

    Have an ache or pain that won’t go away? Or a twinge that’s threatening to flare into an activity-ending injury? Ask your doctor about treating yourself with kinesiology therapeutic tape, says Ted Forcum, DC, CSCS, a Beaverton, Oregon-based chiropractor and the 2008 Beijing Olympics sports medicine team member who treated athletes with these distinctive multi-colored strips. Although this tape has been used by chiropractors, physical therapists and athletic trainers for decades, a company called KT Tape is selling it directly to consumers for the first time.

    How it works is a big question mark, says Forcum, but it appears to function completely differently from the rigid, white tape you’re probably used to. Traditional athletic tape is designed to compress and restrict range of motion, which proponents believe will protect an injury from further harm and prevent any current inflammation from ballooning. Kinesiology therapeutic tape, on the other hand, has the same elasticity as human skin, so it doesn’t restrict motion. Experts believe the increased circulation and support allows damaged muscles, tendons and tissue to rest and heal naturally despite continued activity. Best of all, the tape is simple to apply and, because it’s breathable, can be worn in water and for up to five days at a time.

    For taping instructions click here.

    To find a KT Tape retailer near you click here to use our Store Locator

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  2. Find a Marathon Training Program For You

    trainCompleting a marathon can be one of the most rewarding accomplishments an athlete can experience, but getting there is no easy task.  So finding a marathon training program that works for you is key.  There are several ways to go about choosing a marathon training regimen that suits your needs.  One way is to search the several running websites that offer training programs.

    Active.com, Movescount.com and RunnersWorld.comhave marathon training programs that could work for you, and Competitor.com offers several great training tips.  Click  here to see Active.com’s program, click here to see the Movescount programs, here for RunnersWorld.com, and here for training tips from Competitor.com.  Each are a little different so it’s up to you to see which one would be the best for your needs.

    You can also choose to join a local running club that trains specifically for a marathon event.  There are many clubs that meet and train for the sole purpose of getting ready for a marathon.   A lot of marathon sites have training programs you can download as well.

    You can also consult your physical therapist, sports med doctor, athletic director or coach for advice in training for a marathon.  Use all the available resources you have to properly get ready for the event in order to perform in top shape and injury free.

    Training for a marathon is no smooth road and KT Tape is here to help make it as painless as possible.  Taping running injuries like plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee and ankle sprains are our specialty. Our online kinesiology therapeutic taping instructions make it easy for anyone to tape up and get back to training.

    Feel your best as you train and race your marathon with KT Tape.

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  3. Running With Headphones: Pros/Cons

    headphonesKT Tape is an important tool for helping athletes perform their best.  While kinesiology tape by KT Tape helps with the physical part of training , there is a debate about another accessory many runners use: headphones.  Running with headphones: is it good or bad? Many runners depend on their music to help pump them up and keep them motivated.  But is running with headphones a positive thing or negative?  RunnersWorld.com’s editorial staff took the question to two different experts on opposite sides of the debate for a deeper look into the matter.  From RunnersWorld.com:

    In 2007, USATF, the governing body of distance races in the country, banned the use of portable music devices in its sanctioned events, and officials at the 2007 Twin Cities Marathon disqualified 144 runners. USATF later amended the ban—it now applies only to those vying for prizes in championships—but the clash between headphone lovers and haters continues.

    On the pro side is Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., a sports psychologist, who has studied music's positive influence on athletes. His challenger is Jim Denison, Ph.D., a sports sociologist and coach, who thinks it is best to run to the sound of your footfalls. Here, the two have it out.

    Runner's World: What's the big deal about running with music?

    PRO: Music can sometimes make running feel easier. Studies find that music reduces your perception of how hard you are running by about 10 percent. An external stimulus such as music can actually block some of the internal stimuli trying to reach the brain—such as fatigue-related messages from muscles and organs. When these messages are blocked, this reduces a runner's perception of effort, so you feel like you can run farther, faster. (The exception is at higher levels of effort—the brain involuntarily switches its attention from the external to the internal.) Music also elevates positive aspects of mood such as excitement and happiness, and reduces negative aspects such as tension, fatigue, and confusion, so it can be used pre-performance to get runners into an optimal mind-set.

    CON: One big problem is that listening to music can remove you from the other sounds that running produces, such as breathing and footstrike, which are essential cues. They give you feedback on your effort. Running while listening to music also removes you from the environment you're in, which can be unsafe. You may not hear a car or person behind you. You may not hear thunder in the distance. And in races, it makes you oblivious of other runners and you can't hear the directions being given by officials. Would you ever drive or ride a bicycle with headphones on? Not likely, because doing so reduces awareness and increases reaction time. I want those things working for me. Finally, I believe runners can become dependent on music. Eventually, you can lose a sense of what might be truly motivating to you, such as the energized feeling you get on the run.

    RW: Do some runners need music more than others?

    PRO: Yes, in fact, music is not effective for people who are "associators." Serious athletes tend to be associators, which means they focus intently on internal cues such as breathing, heart rate, and muscular tension. This type of athlete tends to not derive as much benefit from external stimuli such as music. Then there are "dissociators." Your average active person falls into this category. For these people, music can be a motivational force. Dissociators will seek it to distract them from the boredom often associated with exercise.

    CON: Elite runners may tend not to need external aid to overcome the so called drudgery of running, but I don't want to give up on Joe and Jane Recreational Runner. I don't think everyone views running as a means to an end. We shouldn't assume that people view running as boring and need music to get through it. Many people enjoy running and being present in the sensation of moving. You don't have to be an elite athlete to be in tune with your body.

    Hey! Ho! Let's Go!

    RW: People say running clears their heads. How does music affect that?

    CON: The ability to be at peace and be calm is something we've lost in our culture; we've lost it in favor of multitasking. I would argue that listening to music—or podcasts or audio books—while running is a form of multitasking. It keeps us too plugged in and prevents us from enjoying the running experience.

    PRO: In the "flow state," which is complete immersion in the task at hand, time almost seems to stand still. You're enjoying what you are doing, you feel at one with yourself. But there's good research showing that music can help enhance flow state during running. So it can actually be part of this holistic experience, not necessarily detached from it or a detriment to it.

    RW: When running on a treadmill, music is necessary, right?

    PRO: Listening to music on the treadmill is probably better than using it outside. For one thing, there's no danger of traffic. Also, outside running comes with built-in distractions because of changing landscapes, and these external stimuli can provide a distraction and alleviate boredom. On the treadmill, you don't have those stimuli—or far fewer of them—so music comes in very handy. Less perceived exertion, less boredom.

    CON: I disagree. When you run with your iPod on a treadmill, you can't hear your footfalls or your breathing, so you're not learning to connect those cues to your effort level. You become cut off from your running. Why should things be different on a treadmill than when you're running outside? The same positive connection to one's body can occur in any context of running, and in my opinion that is always better than having music interfere with the sensations of running and movement. I watch athletes all the time running on the treadmill and outside. Regardless of where they are, it's always the case that when they listen to music, they're almost robotic. They put on the music just to get through their workouts. If you see people working with no music, you see a much different approach. There's better focus.

    Discover the upside of running inside. RW: What do you think of races that feature music along the course?

    CON: I think music during races can backfire if it throws you off your pace by causing you to surge up a hill, for example, because you happen to be passing a band. It is inefficient to run a race unevenly like this, and it will come back to haunt you. To guard against this, I would use your watch and check your splits early in the race to get a read on your pace. This will help you know exactly how your race pace should feel. The most important thing is to be aware of the possibility that music might be affecting you in ways that are not beneficial, and determine to not let that happen.

    PRO: Some of our most recent research has looked at music not being played throughout a task, but rather at predesignated points. This seems to be where music is most effective, so I would think music at specific spots along a race course would be beneficial.

    RW: So how can runners use music to their best advantage?

    PRO: The benefits from music tend to occur at low to moderate running intensities. I would say it's best to use on your easy running days. We've also been investigating the synchronous application of music. This is where an athlete consciously ties in his or her stride rate to the rhythm of music. This can actually result in more efficient oxygen use during running. To do synchronous running, you figure out your stride rate for your pace, then find music with beats that are slightly above that stride rate—one or two beats per minute higher than your normal stride rate should do it (thebpmbook.com; ez-tracks.com). We've also found that the optimal method is generally two sessions with music for one session without. If you use music for every workout, you can become desensitized to it or rely on it in races.

    For more training tips and discussions visit the KT Tape Facebook page.

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  4. KT Tape Athlete Kerri Walsh Announces New Olympic Partner for 2012 London Games!

    kerri new partnerKT Tape is proud to be the first to announce Kerri Walsh's new partner in her quest for a third Olympic Gold Medal!  See the announcement below in Kerri's own words:

    Happy new year, KT Tapers! I hope the new year has started off on the happiest and healthiest foot possible. I absolutely love this time of year!

    Fresh start, new goals, new inspiration, new determination. I probably feel more inspired this time of year than any other.

     So, with the new year comes a new volleyball partner (for me). You guys are the first to officially know that Nicole Branagh and I are officially partnered up for our quest for GOLD in the 2012 London Olympics. I am beyond excited about playing with Nicole and beyond inspired to make our dream of Olympic gold in London come true.

    For those of you who don't know Nicole yet, she is a stud, a sweet heart and a winner. We are determined to be the best of the best ... Ever! We'd love your support for the journey ;) I want to wish you all a very happy 2011! Make it great. Make it healthy.

    Make it about the important things in life -- faith, family, and the pursuit of happiness. There's so much fun to be had in the pursuit!

    Congratulations, Kerri and Nicole!  We are excited to watch your journey to the podium again!

    UPDATE: Kerri Walsh announced in March 2011 that she will be reuniting with her former partner, Misty May-Treanor, for the 2012 Olympics Pursuit.  Read here for the whole story.

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  5. Health Risks Associated with Snow Shoveling

    shovelAs Mother Nature continues to dump snow on the US we  are reminded of how sometimes simple winter chores can yield injuries.  KT Tape wants everyone to remember to be safe while out in the slippery cold snow and should an injury befall you, remember KT Tape has your (sore) back.

    Here is an article we found from the Huffington Post on the health risks with shoveling snow:

    Before you strap up your boots and grab your snow shovel, you might want to think twice. An average of 11,500 people in the U.S. are sent to the emergency room each year for injuries related to shoveling snow -- injuries caused by slips and falls, acute muscle pain and cardiac problems -- according to a recent study from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

    While people may complain of a sore back (a common snow-shoveling injury), what doctors worry most about are the heart problems that result from the arduous chore. The study found that a mere two minutes of shoveling snow can spike your heart rate to unsafe levels.

    Why such an extreme spike? Blame the cold weather. Cold air can cause blood vessels to constrict in the body, resulting in skyrocketing blood pressure, said Barry Franklin, Ph.D., Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Laboratories at Beaumont Hospital, on ABC News.

    Cold weather and an activity that creates "excessive demands on the heart" make for a dangerous mix, he said. "The heart is working very hard, yet we're not getting enough blood flow back to the heart."

    So is there a safe way to shovel snow? Snow-blowers considerably reduce the demands on the heart, said Franklin.

    Common injuries related with shoveling snow that KT Tape can help with: back pain, wrist pain, sprained ankle.  For video taping instructions visit the KT Tape instructions page here.

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  6. Don't Get Bored With These Indoor Cycling Training Workouts

    indoor-cyclingTraining on a stationary bike in the winter can be a drag when you're used to cruising hills, roadways and trails outdoors, but is necessary if you want to have a successful upcoming racing season and are unable to train outside.  At KT Tape, we found this article by Dr. Edmund Burke, Ph.D. to help lift you out of the doldrums as you train indoors.

    From Dr. Edmund Burke, Ph.D. on www.active.com --At this time of the year, most of us are looking forward to the next racing season. But the groundwork necessary to achieve improved results next year needs to begin now, and, unfortunately, this is when it is most difficult.

    Daylight hours are at their shortest, and for most of us, the weather is anything but warm and sunny. With these two hindrances posing a threat to training consistency, you know it's time to clean off that indoor trainer and climb aboard.

    The good news about training indoors is that you can maximize your training benefits while minimizing the amount of time required. In fact, the benefits of indoor training are so profound that some top cyclists who have limited training time use them in their training programs year round.

    You need to make indoor training fun and productive. Steady pedaling in front of the television watching movie reruns or MTV is fine for the first few workouts, but it's a sure guarantee your mind will eventually mutiny, and your body will surely follow.

    It doesn't have to be that way. The truth is, indoor cycling can be twice as effective and almost as exciting as anything you can do on the road. That's because when you're indoors you can measure and monitor incremental changes in resistance which many times is impossible outdoors.

    As a result, with a little planning and analysis, you can turn every workout into a quality one.

    Here are several workouts you can add to your program to add variety, and improve your fitness and power. Remember to warm up and cool down before and after each of these workouts:

    The 10- to Two-Minute Descending Ladder

    Start with a 10-minute hard effort followed by two minutes of easy spinning for recovery.

    Your second interval will consist of eight minutes hard effort and another two minutes of easy spinning.

    Each hard set decreases in time by two minutes while increasing slightly in intensity. The easy set remains the same. The workout ends when you reach two minutes of hard effort. Cool down and call it quits for the day.

    Pyramids

    Pyramids are a variation of the above workout. Usually pyramid workouts consist of gradually increasing periods of hard effort, then gradually decreasing these periods of hard effort.

    For example, after a normal warm-up, you could go one minute hard, one minute easy, two minutes hard, two minutes easy, three hard, three easy, four hard, four easy; then descend to three and three, two and two, and one and one.

    Or you may choose to keep the time element constant and gradually increase the load. For example, pick a steady cadence and go to a smaller rear cog every two minutes until you reach your highest gear, at which point you lower your gear by one cog every two minutes. (Beginners may wish to use one-minute intervals instead of two minutes.)

    Surge and Purge

    Do this set three times through: Five minutes in a hard gear in your normal riding position on the flats, then three minutes in your seated climbing position in an easier gear, but at a high cadence so that your speed stays nearly the same.

    Try to use the high cadence session to allow the lactic acid to slowly dissipate from your muscles. Then go back to your standard riding position and the hard gear for three minutes. Spin easy for three minutes to recover before the next set.

    This exercise is good practice for recovering during a race when you have to surge to drop someone, or if you have gone too hard and have to let your legs recover. Change your hand positions during these sets to break up the monotony.

    Anaerobic Threshold

    Often referred to as maximal steady-state pace, this workout will help you build your sustainable pace, which will pay off during long races and climbs.

    Complete 20 minutes (or 10 sets) of the following:

    • One minute in a 42 x 15 gear ratio, cadence at about 110 and heart rate at 65 to 80 percent of maximum.
    • One minute in a 53 x 15 gear ratio, cadence about 90, and heart rate at 75 to 90 percent of maximum.

    Build up to two twenty-minute sets or one thirty minute set (1:30 intervals).

    This workout will build your sustainable pace. The gearing changes give you the opportunity to push up your heart rate without fatiguing your muscles. You should not feel a "burn" in your muscles if you are doing these intervals correctly.

    Do these continuously for a full 20 minutes. This is a low-intensity, long-duration interval set. Simply make your gear changes and concentrate on your cadence.

    As you improve, you can choose to increase the duration of the set or increase the resistance, or both.

    Climbing

    Use the trainer to simulate climbing on steep roads. Select a gear that increases the load sufficiently to require a 15 to 20 rpm drop from your normal cadence.

    Slide back in the saddle and picture yourself on a long climb. Maintain this workload until hyperventilation or leg fatigue bring your rpm's significantly lower. Shift to a lower gear and recover completely before attempting another bout at the high resistances.

    This develops leg strength and technique to push those bigger gears when the hill steepens. It is also as good idea to put a two to 4-inch lift under the front wheel to simulate the angle.

    As you train, don’t let anything like shoulder pain or a quad strain slow you down and treat it with KT Tape.  Taping with kinesiology therapeutic tape by KT Tape is easy, affective and will keep you training your hardest so you can have a successful upcoming racing season.

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  7. How Young is Too Young to Marathon?

    kidsrunningHow young is too young to run a full marathon?  Young runners often face  joint problems as their bodies continue to grow.  KT Tape can be a helpful tool in treating running pains like knee pain.  But the question remains, when is the right age for children to kick-off their long distance running career?  There is much debate on the issue, so we did a little research and found a great article from  Runningtimes.com on the subject.  Read below for the article.

    Should minors run marathons? The topic engenders considerable debate, both among runners and the medical community. When the RT editors discussed the topic, we discovered that two out of six of us had completed a marathon before we were 18 -- both more than 25 years ago -- and we are still running strong. Arthur Lydiard felt that there was no problem with 12-year-olds running regular 20-mile runs.

    But some serious voices disagree. In 2001, The International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA) issued a position statement that concluded, "It is in the overall best interests of children to make participation in a full marathon an adult activity, reserved only for those 18 years old and older," citing concerns about overuse injuries, psychological burnout, increased risk of the female athlete triad (disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis) and decreased ability of children to withstand heat stress.

    In 2005, however, Dr. William Roberts, Medical Director for the Twin Cities Marathon, published a response to that statement in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, in which he argued it is "difficult to single out long distance running even at the marathon level as a significant risk to long-term health and well-being compared with baseball, ice hockey, soccer, gymnastics, figure skating, and football, or the extreme sports that children and adolescents choose to escape adult supervision."

    Dr. Roberts went on to report, regarding the Twin Cities Marathon, "To date, none of the under-18 entrants have required care in the medical tent at the marathon finish line." He concluded that while he would not encourage participation of children in marathons, there is no evidence to restrict it either, and proposed 14 guidelines for races, children and their parents. (See runningtimes.com/july08 for the full discussion and guidelines.)

    Our medical advisor, Dr. Cathy Fieseler, suggests these simple guidelines:

    1. The runner should not be attempting to complete a marathon during or just before his/her competitive season. Just finishing the distance is one thing, but a hard, competitive marathon requires considerable recovery and can sabotage a season or a high school or college career.

    2. The idea should come from the kid, not a parent or coach.

    3. There should be no pressure; the child should be allowed to drop out of training at any time if it is more than they can or want to handle.

    All good advice.  Running a full marathon is no small task and takes a lot of mental and physical preparation.  So regardless of the distance your favorite running youngster is planning to attempt, KT Tape has them covered for any aches or pains they may encounter along the way.

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  8. Taping for Baseball Injuries

    baseballshoulderThe General Sports Baseball Expo was this week which reminds us that even though it is still biting cold and snowy out in most of the country, spring is coming up on us quickly.  It’s never too early to start your training and getting into shape for America’s favorite pastime.

    Unlike treating baseball injuries with traditional athletic tape which can be restricting, using KT Tape kinesiology therapeutic athletic tape offers full range of movement along with support.  Problems like shoulder pain and shin splints can be easily treated using our easy online application videos.  You can also find a KT Tape clinician for professional application.

    Let KT Tape help you knock your baseball pain out of the park this training season.

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  9. KT Tape for Arthritis

    arthritisWe all know KT Tape isn’t just for athletes. It has many practical uses for everyday aches and pains as well.  Back pain, foot pain and other day-to-day maladies can be treated with KT Tape.

    This time of year, winter's harsh temperatures can make arthritis and other joint issues particularly painful.  To help ease the pain and promote blood circulation, KT Tape can be applied to the affected joints.

    Though KTTape.com has a plethora of applications for specific injuries,  arthritis pain can be very specialized, so we recommend finding a local KT Tape clinician to consult with about the best way to tape for your personal arthritis pain.   Let KT Tape help and don’t let winter arthritis slow you down.

    For KT Tape applications click here.

    To find a KT Tape professional in your area click here.

    To email a question to one of our KT Tape experts click here.

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  10. IRRA The Running Event

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