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Monthly Archives: July 2011

  1. KT Tape Athletes the Men's USAWP Go for Olympic Gold

    Congratulations to KT Tape Athletes the Men’s USA Water Polo Team and their quest for Olympic Gold featured in the L.A. Times:

    Terry Schroeder considered hanging up his coaching whistle after the Beijing Olympics.

    He had pulled off a near miracle in barely a year with the U.S. men, steadying a water polo team that had gone through a revolving door of coaches and was ranked ninth in the world. He instantly had their respect as a four-time Olympian and captain of back-to-back silver-medal winners in 1984 and 1988. He quickly won their loyalty with an emphasis on teamwork, which appealed to players whose careers scattered them throughout Europe.

    But as much as he loved molding players and lives, he missed watching his two daughters grow. He also felt a duty to patients at the Westlake Village chiropractic office he shares with his wife, Lori. "I feel like I was born to do this in a lot of ways," he said, "but I also put a lot of priority on the family, and this takes a lot of time and energy."

    After talking with his family he decided to return. "I'm a bit of an Olympic addict. It's my drug of choice," he said, smiling.

    Equally important, he saw each player was willing to sacrifice something significant — money, time with loved ones, launching a career — to accomplish unfinished business together.

    "Our mantra in 2008 was 'Let's get back to the podium.' We're really now trying to put these guys in a mind frame of 'Let's be the best team ever from USA Water Polo. Win a medal at world championships, come away with an Olympic gold medal,'" he said.

    "Obviously there's not too many steps above that silver — just that one big one."

    They will begin that climb Monday in Shanghai by facing Germany at the world championships, where the top three finishers will earn berths in next summer's London Olympics. Serbia qualified by winning the World League title and if it finishes in the top three, the top four will get Olympic spots.

    The U.S. has never won a medal at the world championships. Its only Olympic gold medal came in 1904.

    Reaching the podium at Shanghai won't be easy for the U.S. men, who trained together only a few weeks. If they miss they can try again in October at the Pan Am Games, but they've embraced Schroeder's philosophy that they're in it to win it.

    "A silver is essentially losing gold. We want to be on the top step. Always," said defender Peter Hudnut of Encino, a Beijing Olympian. "We have a little bit older team and almost everyone came back. We don't play for money. We play for each other and we play for winning and for our country."

    Tony Azevedo of Long Beach, a three-time Olympian, cited Schroeder's team-building skills as the reason the group has remained nearly intact since 2008. Azevedo is among several players who will pass up lucrative contracts in Europe — about $65,000 for the season in his case — to stay together for training.

    "What made us so great at the Olympics was we played like a group, a unit," Azevedo said recently at the team's training base at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

    "We have a lot of guys who took some time off, but as long as we can jell like that again there's no doubt in my mind we're among the top three teams in the world right now. For sure."

    This year and next present a prime window for success. The world team roster, which could change for the Olympics, is weighted with veterans. Time is tapping on their shoulders, life insistently intruding on the pool.

    Five players are married. Two have children. Center Ryan Bailey has taken steps toward becoming a firefighter. Defender Layne Beaubien is involved in his father's insurance business. Schroeder can't treat them like the kids they once were.

    He allows them a lot of input, which maintains mutual respect.

    "He's willing to take criticism or advice or another opinion and he's very open-minded about that. Some coaches aren't," said center Jeff Powers, a two-time Olympian and UC Irvine alumnus. "He's very eager to grow. It's nice as a player to see a coach as hungry as he is."

    Schroeder's hunger extends to leaving a wide legacy. He has already done that in one sense — he modeled for the bronze male athlete statue at the peristyle end of the Coliseum — and he's writing a book for his daughters, 16-year-old Leanna and 9-year-old Sheridan. Even if it's never published he wants them to benefit from what he learned in the water and on the pool deck.

    "There's nothing like working towards a goal and giving up part of your life to make something work. To belong to something that's bigger than yourself," he said. "It's really special and you develop friendships that last a lifetime."

    His wife and daughters plan to join him for the last four days in Shanghai. "Hopefully we'll be in the semis then," he said.

    His players won't settle for that next summer. "This time we're getting the gold, not the silver," Azevedo said. "That's what we're all staying home for. All of us are going to take a big pay cut to do this, but we really believe in ourselves and this group."

    To read the entire article or to read about the results of USA Water Polo’s recent competitions, visit the USA Water Polo website. 

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  2. Tips for Running Distance Relay Races

    What better way to spend time with family and friends than running all day and all night and then all day again?!?  Running Times Magazine featured an article by Ethan Coffey offering ten tips for running distance relays, and how to get the most out of the grueling race while having fun!

    Long distance relays are becoming more popular every year. Why? I have no idea. I have never done another event that has kicked my butt (and mind) like the Blue Ridge Relay (BRR). And yet, I have competed in the ultra division of the BRR for the last two years. I’m also on a team for the Hood to Coast Relay (H2C). Am I just a masochist? Maybe.

     
     

    For anybody who has never run a relay like this, the idea is relatively simple. In the BRR, the 211-mile course is split into 36 legs. Each team can have between four and 12 runners. Those teams with four to six runners compete in the ultra category, and teams with seven to 12 people compete in the open category. There are also categories for masters runners and mixed teams, which need to be at least half female. 

    Other relays may have different categories, such as the corporate category at H2C. Each team assigns a running order to its members. The order must stay the same for the entire race, and every team must hand off at every exchange zone. Since each leg varies in length and difficulty, this means that with a little planning, each runner can be assigned to a set of legs that matches his or her ability. Of course, if somebody gets sick or injured (which happens frequently with people racing three or more times in one day over challenging terrain), each remaining runner moves up a spot, which can wreak havoc on a team’s strategy. Teams usually have one or two vans, based on how many runners they have, that shuttle the team members who aren’t currently running to the next exchange zone. Start times are generally staggered throughout the day, with the slowest teams starting hours before the fastest teams. The goal is to have all the teams finishing at around the same time.

    So, with the warning that you should only attempt one of these if you want to trash your body and have a hell of a fun time doing it, here are some things I have learned that may help you avoid some agony and enjoy the event even more.

    1. Water: The first time I ran the BRR, my team had no idea how much water six runners running six different times would drink. At one point, we found ourselves feeding quarter after quarter into a vending machine in the middle of the night trying to get as many bottles of water as we could, since we were nowhere near an open grocery store. You either want to plan ahead and decide where you will stop to buy extra water or bring two to three gallons per person from the beginning. Definitely err on the side of caution on this one.

     
     

    2. Food: You would be amazed at what is and what is not appealing to eat at 4:00 a.m., when you’ve run four or five times and have covered 20 to 30 miles. Those of you with marathon or ultramarathon experience have probably gotten to the point where you know you should take that energy gel or bar, but you feel like if it goes down at all, it will immediately reverse course. If you are running more than three times during the relay, you will probably reach this point. Fortunately, you don’t have to try to eat on the run, so you have more options than gels and bars. The tricky part is finding something that you still find appealing and that will give you some calories and hopefully provide some nutritional benefit. Items that I have found very useful to have in the van include beef jerky (lots of it!), chocolate milk, Snickers bars, peanut butter, applesauce, oatmeal creme pies and bananas. Unfortunately, no matter what you bring, you will probably start craving something that you don’t have. That’s just the way it works.

    Also, energy drinks can work wonders. While my team didn’t use any of the shot-type drinks, I have heard good things from other teams. One of our runners downed an entire Monster energy drink before each of his last three legs and was able to maintain his energy level through all six runs. Conversely, I drank one before my fourth run and spent the entire run trying not to throw up. 

    3. Transportation: As previously mentioned, most teams will travel in one or two vans. Some teams use cars, some use minivans, but I highly recommend using 15-passenger vans. A 15-passenger van is perfect for six runners and a driver, because, while one person is running, there is room for one runner to navigate from the front seat, and each of the others has his or her own bench to stretch out on. Since you are constantly on the move, cooldowns are scant, and as your muscles start to cramp you will really want that extra legroom. 

    4. Support: I previously mentioned a driver. I highly recommend having a full-time driver for each van. While it is possible to have the relay members driving the van, by the end of the race, sleep deprivation, dehydration and caloric deficits are likely to make driving a dangerous proposition. By the time I finished BRR each year, I couldn’t move my legs without having every muscle in both legs and feet immediately cramp. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to drive.

    5. Teammates: You are going to be spending a lot of time in stressful situations and close quarters with your teammates. It’s a good idea to make sure that you can get along with these people. Of course, unless you happen to live in a van with all of your teammates, there is no way of knowing all of their eccentricities beforehand. And sometimes when you just need an extra body, you’ll take whomever you can get. Just be careful. Because at five or six in the morning, after no sleep, not enough food, cramped quarters and a lot of running, peoples’ patience tends to wear thin. The stench of a day’s worth of wet running shoes and sweaty clothes doesn’t help, either.

    6. Safety: Chances are if you’re running a long distance relay, you will be running at night at some point. At the BRR, at least half of our running was done in the dark. Night running requirements are, at a minimum: reflective vest, headlamp and blinking LED on both your front and back. The first year I did the BRR, we didn’t think ahead and brought only one headlamp, as just one person is running at a time. This meant that we had to hand off both the relay bracelet and a headlamp at each exchange zone. We worked it out fine, but it was a situation that could have been avoided. Bring extra lights, and, if possible, get reflective vests that also have lights on them. Much of the running is done on windy country roads, and anything you can do to increase your visibility is a good thing. Also, be aware of any special safety requirements for the specific relay. For instance, any relay runner on the Blue Ridge Parkway at any time (day or night) must be wearing a reflective vest.

    7. Preparation: Obviously if you’re going to run a relay like this, you are going to try to get into decent shape. This means running a good amount (in the ultra category of the BRR, you will run somewhere between 28 and 47 miles), probably running some doubles, and maybe even some triples. However, that’s only the beginning of the preparation. When you are traveling through 200+ miles of unknown terrain, much of it in the dark and in very rural areas, there is a lot that can go wrong. I was never a Boy Scout (I quit Cub Scouts when I was a second-year Webelo) but I know that their motto is, “Be prepared,” which is good advice for anybody.

    For instance, our most valuable grocery item ended up being a bottle of Pepto Bismol that I bought at a gas station during the relay. Your stomach tends to get somewhat upset when you start running relatively quickly several times in one day with little rest. That bottle of the pink stuff was like ambrosia to us. Also, the first year I did the BRR, we just cut out pieces of paper for each runner with turn-by-turn directions so they could take the directions with them. That works fine until about three minutes into the run, when the paper is completely soaked through and useless. So the next year we made laminated cards, which worked much better. Finally, it turns out that everybody looks exactly the same at night with a reflective vest, a headlight and an LED. So, it helps if your team comes up with a “calling card” for nighttime running that will let you know that the runner coming into the exchange zone is one of your teammates. We started calling, “Ca-caw!” when we would get close to the exchange zone. This was the sign that my team needed to have the next runner ready to go. It was a great idea except for the time that the route passed an especially noisy chicken coop and our runner started sprinting, as she thought the “Ca-caws” were coming from us at the exchange zone (which actually happened to be about two miles down the road).

    8. Communication: Losing a runner...it’s a terrible thing to think about, but it happens. It happened to my team. There are so many turns and so many miles that it isn’t uncommon for a runner to get off course, even if, as in the BRR, the turns are pretty well marked. Some runners carry cell phones with them, which is a good idea, but in a lot of rural areas, cell phone service is weak or non-existent. My suggestion is to include a couple of teammates’ cell phone numbers, one or two emergency contacts and the race director’s phone number on the laminated cue sheet that each runner has. That way, the lost runner will be able to contact somebody as long as he or she can find a phone. We ended up losing over 30 minutes (and then being fined an extra hour) because our runner took a wrong turn and completely bypassed the exchange zone, causing him to run an extra leg. We had no idea where he was and searched everywhere in the vicinity of the leg that he had started on, completely unaware that he was already waiting for us at the next exchange zone. He tried calling his cell phone in the van (the only useful number he knew), but it was (of course!) on silent mode in his bag.

    9. Motivation: Again, these are long races, and it can be easy to lose motivation when you are running along a dark back road with no lights in sight, no cars and no people, not to mention that you’ve already run three or four times and your body is starting to shut down. One useful trick is to create internal competitions within your team. We had a competition to see who could get the most “kills,” or passed runners, both overall and during a single leg. This kind of competition will help to keep you moving, especially when you see a blinking red LED in the distance, signifying a kill waiting to happen. Also, we had an unofficial team song, “Danger Zone,” by Kenny Loggins. Yes, that’s the Top Gun song. Every time we passed one of our runners in the van, we would slow down and blast “Danger Zone.” This helps take your mind off the task at hand briefly, and also reminds you that, although you are running alone, you have a team that is depending on you and cheering you on.

    10. Water: I toyed with the idea of using a cliché and making tip 10, “Have fun,” but if you use the other nine tips, this will happen anyway. So I went with that other cliché, which is that water is so important that I included it twice. Even on the 50-degree nights in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you are going to sweat a lot, and the longer you can stay well hydrated, the longer you can avoid cramps and other dehydration issues. During my first try at the BRR, my legs started cramping after my second run—and I still had four to go. The next year, I was able to hold off the leg cramps until I was finished (although I did get knots in other unexpected places, such as my abs and jaw). Of course, as soon as I finished, the cramps hit with a vengeance, but at least I didn’t have to run anymore.

    If, after reading this, you still want to participate in a long-distance relay, you’re courageous. I’ll see you out there. My team van will have a mustache on it.

    To read the entire article, visit runningtimes.com.

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  3. KT Tape Propels "Iron Mom" to Finish France Ironman

    Congratulations to KT Tape Fan Eve Barrett of Florida, USA on completing the Ironman France this summer!   She is truly an IronMom and we were thrilled to hear her story on how KT Tape saved her Achilles tendon pain throughout training and the races.  Check out her race report and photos below:  

    I started training for Ironman, France in December of 2010, developed intense Achilles tendon pain in February 2011, discovered KT TAPE that same month, and have used it consistently through the intense train-up and Ironman race in June. I still use it today. It totally keeps the Achilles pain at bay. :)

    Below please find my race report. KT TAPE has seriously changed the way I train, race and enjoy triathlon. At one point, I thought my Achilles would knock me out of the race. You-all helped me cross the finish line and complete a life-long dream. Keep up the great work! WE ARE ALL SUPERSTARS WITH HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS!!!

    The IronMom Dream - Fait Accompli

    As I sit in the Nice, France airport waiting to board our flight for Rome, Italy, I can't help but wonder if writing this race report may seem a tad redundant, given the detailed report Jim published on FaceBook during the event. Technology has certainly come a long way. Here we are in another country, six hours ahead of the United States, yet Jim is able to post pictures, realtime time splits, as well as report my physical and mental condition to more people than I would have ever expected. It was literally like you were all on the sidelines holding signs up, BeliEVE in EVE forEVEr!! The energy was absolutely amazing.

    The last seven months have been life-changing. The Universe served up a bounty of good fortune each day, including PERFECT weather for training, no illnesses or viruses, no training time lost due to injury, and, of course, allowing me to cross paths with the most stellar and inspirational triathletes worldwide. Sometimes the stars and moons must align perfectly to bring one to their final destination...and this was just that occasion.

    Arriving in Nice, France on the Thursday afternoon, we settled into our hotel across from Expo Village. I'm not going to lie, the butterflies began to flutter. We checked into the Expo to register before the masses arrived, then shortly thereafter met Alex, my 'virtual Ironman training partner' from Denmark. Alex and I had met a few months earlier on FB and had followed each other's training plans; hence, the reason for my frequent training posts. We motivated each other via instant messages and wall posts, we compared heart rates, training rides, runs and swims, distances, terrains, temperatures. And although our training regiments appeared vastly different, we shared the same goal, to cross the finish line and hear those four words...You Are An Ironman! Little did we realize that participating in the event together would prove so beneficial.

    Saturday was eventful. Transition bags organized and relinquished, bike turn-in would be my 15-seconds-of-fame celebrity moment. As soon as I departed the hotel room with Pink-a-Boo, the crowds stopped and stared...and took pictures. Little girls ran over to take a closer look. MANY of the European male athletes pointed and took photos with their phones, all professing their girlfriends would LOVE to see a pink bike. An Ironman representative spotted me and asked if I would pose under the faux finish-line arch. Of course, I obliged. As Ironman's large cameras were flashing and rolling, so, too, were many other flashes and camera phones. There were 5 pink bikes at the event, but none nearly as pink as Pink-a-Boo. She took center stage and stole the show everywhere we went. Along the bike course, one of the penalty refs cautioned me to slow down. I thought for sure he was citing me, but, no, another Kodak moment for Pink-a-Boo. It was really cool having my own personal paparazzi, albeit for a short time.

    As most of you know, Jim was an Ironman volunteer and was placed in transition. The morning of the race, he reported to duty before me, and by the time I arrived, he was busily chatting with the pros and pumping tires for many athletes. What a trooper. Transition is a VERY busy area, but from his vantage point, he was able to catch me at three different points and physically kiss and hug me upon entrance and exit. Lord, that carried me through.

    2,500 blue caps and 191 pink caps toed up to the swim-start shoreline. Not quite the stats I had hoped for, but the mass swim start commenced at 6:30am sharp. The Mediterranean was everything I could imagine...sapphire blue, calm, alluring and not nearly as salty as the Gulf, which caught me off guard. The horn blew and the chaos erupted as the black-wetsuit-clad bodies piled into the water. It was a very rough start, which, unfortunately, carried through entire swim course. I've never played football before, but can only imagine this is what it's like. I was kicked in the jaw, punched in the head several times, elbowed and physically pushed repeatedly. As we exited the first loop, a large male dragged me down, used me as his carpet to avoid stepping on the painful rocks, along with the jerk behind him, and I struggled to gain the attention of the volunteers, who graciously yanked me up. As we entered the water again for loop 2, I was much more prepared, as well as much more aggressive. I plowed my way through shoving and kicking and making up valuable time to the swim finish.

    The bike course was epic. There's no other word to describe it, and I don't use that word lightly. The first 68 miles was an 8,000-foot ascent through the French mountains and numerous small villages. Mile 68 to 86 was up and down, Mile 86 to 99 was a steep, sharp-cornered descent with no guardrails along the edge off cliffs. Although it was a great recovery opportunity and a chance to make up some serious time, I used caution and rode my brakes and kept my speed at around 25 mph. Mile 99 to 112 was a fairly flat exit ride to the transition point. Obviously Florida training rides could not prepare me for these climbs. San Antonio would not have prepared me for this, either, as it turns out. But because I was churning on the climb for 3 1/2 hours at a 6.5 mph rate, the upswing was I was able to ride beside other athletes and chat. One of the cyclists I chatted with at great length was Adam, age 28. Having trained in the Shenandoah Mountain Valley range for the last six months, he was ready for this. We had exited the swim together, I caught up with him on the bike after my long transition and stayed with him through much of the bike course. Would this push cost me on the marathon??? My quads were shot.

    Entering the run course felt like a dessert after the appetizer of a 2.4-mile swim and the main course of a 112-mile bike ride. Feet to pavement is where my comfort zone lies. Entering the transition tent, I checked the condition of my KT Tape, and believe it or not, it had withstood the last 9 hours of sweat and heavy mileage, as well as a sharp blow by a fellow swimmer's fist during the early morning swim. Although I was ready to change the tape, it was unnecessary, and this saved me precious seconds on my transition time. As I entered the marathon course, my ever-nagging Achilles tendon pain was under control. Mentally, this is right where I needed to be.

    Maintaining Z2 throughout the course to this point had bode me well, and I wasn't switching it up on the marathon. My breathing was fluid and steady as I ran each of the four 6.4-mile loops. My pace was incredible the first loop. By the second loop, my right knee started to bother me. I'm absolutely sure this was due to the steep climbs on the bike course. Lord knows my poor knees were surprised with the long, steep elevation increases. By the third loop, the heat and fatigue made for a lethal combination and I watched several athletes collapse, succumbing to dehydration and exhaustion. My mindset hardened and I vowed not to become a victim this close to the finish line.

    Each lap was rewarding as I was able to cross paths with Alex and Jim and receive my doses of motivation. Dressed in pink and one of only a handful of females on the course, both were able to spot me from yards away. Alex had an hour's headstart on the run course, so he was always on the backside of the loop when we met up. What a great kid. He would jump across the median to give me a hug and say, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!! Yes, we are, I would say. Catch you on the next loop.

    On the third loop, we hugged again, but this time he said, great job, Eve! At the rate you're going, you'll finish in 15 hours! I'll be waiting for you at the finish line. He was thrilled for me, but I was not content with that finish time. I kicked it into high gear vowing only to stop for water, no stretching. Alex was clearly a whole hour ahead of me, but I dug deep and made up 45 minutes during the last 8 miles, finishing only 15 minutes behind the 6'6" young Danish man. 14:06 it was. The last 3.2 miles was spent running and slapping young children's outstretched hands right through to the finish line. The sheer joy and elation and adrenaline that surges through your body as you hear the announcer calling your name that last .5 miles is exhilarating! It's a drug, more addictive than anything known to man, I'm sure.

    Jim grabbed my hand and ran with me through the finish chute. Looking up at the clock, I realized I had beaten Alex's 15-hour prediction by a landslide. I was relieved. Jim picked me up, hugged me and spun me around. Thinking there was finish-line video feed to my children and friends who were viewing, my body fought hard to find the last bit of energy to raise my leg and strike a pose...the Barrett pose, to be more precise. The finish-line photo is clearly my best photo moment of any race. Not only did I finish, I finished strong, KT Tape intact!! What a rush.

    While crossing the finish line and tasting the sweet reward of victory was truly sensational, I soon realized the ultimate reward lie in the journey to that finish line. The life-long, world-wide friendships formed along the way made me realize that we are all exceptional beings yearning to push ourselves beyond what we thought possible. Many shared my journey, and many have been inspired through my journey. If you're truly willing to put in the time and effort, as well as diligently follow through with your goals, your family and friends will support you. As I experienced, that's what WILL carry you through the worst of the worst and lowest of lows.

    Brevity has never been my strong suit, whether it be racing or writing race reports. As evidenced by this article, I especially enjoy endurance events. Please know that all of you reading this lengthy report have contributed to my success in your own special way. I can only hope to reciprocate when the time comes. To the 10-thousand dollar question that's been asked of me a few times since race day, "Will you do another Ironman?", my reply is simple: Cozumel, Florida and Arizona are on the radar... Here's to a fabulous 2011 triathlon season! Hoping to read all about your race experience soon!

     -Eve J. Barrett - IronMom

    Photos:  Ironman Finish Photo - KT TAPE is unfortunately hidden by my compression socks, Finishing a 15k Training run in May with Pink KT TAPE, Finishing Disney 70.3 Ironman in May with Royal Blue KT TAPE to match outfit, Swim Start of Olympic Triathlon in April with Beige KT TAPE on ankle, Finishing Sprint Triathlon in March with Beige KT TAPE on ankle

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  4. Quad Strain? Sneak Peek Preview of New KT Tape App!

    Here is the sneak peek video for one our newest applications for quad strain!  Read below for more details on how to use KT Tape to prevent injury, recover faster, and play harder than ever before!

    Where do I apply KT Tape for quad relief?

    Apply the base of KT Tape on the area just above the knee. Apply the tape towards the hip with 10-20% stretch - while all skin is on stretch. Lean back at the hips and have the knee in full flexion to achieve maximum stretch on this skin. Lay the end down with no stretch. You can repeat this on the inner and outer quads for even greater effect.

    Why do quad injuries occur?

    Quad injuries can occur for many reasons including, but not limited to: over-activity or insufficient rest, over-abrupt changes in direction or twisting during activity, dehydration, inadequate nutrition, or stretching the muscle too far. A lack of flexibility or training, muscle imbalance, or poor form can lead to frequent quad injuries as well.

    How does KT Tape help?

    This application can be used for most all quad issues including soreness, tightness, tears, spasms, and general pain. The application helps to relax the muscles while your foot is off of the ground in order to promote the healing process and give the muscle a break. Consequently, this application also helps to assist the muscles during contraction as your hips move over your feet. Increased blood flow results from the surface sensation and rushes more nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties to the area. With this assist in relaxation and activation, as well as the additional nutrients and anti-inflammatory components, you are sure to see a reduction in re-injury and healing time.

    What else can I do to prevent further pain or injury?

    To help alleviate the causes of quad injuries, make sure you stretch dynamically before activity. This means do some high knee raises, leg extensions behind the body, and squat thrusts prior to your high intensity activity. Drinking plenty of water and taking in sufficient electrolytes will drastically reduce all issues with muscles and help you to perform at a higher level. If muscle imbalance is the issue, consider visiting a professional for a KT Tape application that will help to activate those weaker muscles and inhibit the muscles that are overactive. And as always with an injury, consider decreasing activity while icing and KT Taping.

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  5. FREE KT Tape Giveaway: Where do you buy YOUR KT Tape?

    Where do you buy your KT Tape?  We want to hear about it! 

    Do you purchase from your local running store?  Online?  Tennis Pro Shop?  Your clinician? Sporting goods stores like Sports Authority or Dick’s Sporting Goods?  Or mass retail chains like Walmart or Target?

     Tell us how you buy your KT Tape by posting a “comment” on this blog post, and you will be entered to win!

    Also feel free to tell us if there is a store near you that you would like to carry KT Tape (name of store and city/state/country), and we’ll see what we can do to get it there...

    Comments will be accepted through Sunday, July 24th at 11:59 p.m.  Winners WILL be posted on this blog by Wednesday of that week.

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  6. KT Tape Awarded Top 10 for UVEF’s Successful Business “Top 25 Under 5”

    We are proud to announce that the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum (UVEF) awarded KT Tape in the Top 10 winners of its its 2011 "Top 25 Under Five" Award, spotlighting outstanding Utah entrepreneurs and start-up companies for success in the first five years of business!

    Award ceremonies were held at Utah Valley University with Adobe, Silicon, Slopes and InnoVentures sponsoring the event. KT Tape took 9th place overall, and this year’s winners collectively created 800 jobs and $189 million in 2010 revenue.

    This is UVEF's twelfth Top 25 Under Five competition. UVEF has highlighted more than 200 companies through this competition, including Utah success stories like Omniture, Skullcandy and Xango, among many others.

    The Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum (UVEF) is a volunteer non-profit support group linking entrepreneurs to Money, Markets, and Mentors.

    Celebrating 22 years of new business success, UVEF empowers current and future business leaders to thrive in today's competitive market. They provide real-world, practical education and valuable resources on how to access needed capital, attract new customers and tap into industry experts. For information on upcoming meetings, speakers and exclusive membership benefits visit www.uvef.net.

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  7. For Some KT Tape Athletes, USA Water Polo Is A Family Affair

    The KT Tape-sponsored USA Women’s Water Polo Team is competing in the FINA World Championships in China this month, just in time for a feature on two of their key players from ESPN.  Check out the article below on the Steffens sisters- and GO USA!

    The family business is an American tradition. Some families sell vacuum cleaners, while others maintain law or medical offices for generations. For the Steffens family, the business is water polo.

    Sisters Jessica Steffens, 24, and Maggie Steffens, 18, are key players on the two-time defending world champion U.S. women's water polo team. The top-ranked American squad seeks an unprecedented third consecutive FINA world championship starting Saturday in Shanghai. Jessica and Maggie, playing on the national team together for the first time, represent two in a long line of water polo-playing Steffens family members.

    It starts with their father, Carlos, who caught a "fever" for the sport after seeing his first water polo match as a child in Puerto Rico. Years later, legendary Cal coach Pete Cutino recruited Steffens. He left Puerto Rico and became a three-time All-American at Berkeley, leading the Golden Bears to the 1977 NCAA championship.

    The family tradition continues with their uncle, Peter Schnugg, a two-time All-American at Cal in the 1970s, and too many water polo-playing Schnugg cousins to count.

    Carlos met his wife, Peggy, Peter's sister, through water polo. There's also Jessica and Maggie's brother, Charlie, 22, the Cal water polo team captain, and sister, Teresa, 20, who competed for the Golden Bears before leaving to focus on her academics.

    For the Steffens family, water polo is a way of life. While raising his children, Carlos would use water polo metaphors to explain everyday situations, like driving lessons or playing dominos with the family. The siblings have followed suit.

    "I find myself doing that now," Charlie said. "I know when I get together with Jess -- we were driving in the car the other day looking for a parking spot -- and she was saying that getting that perfect parking spot on the street after you have been looking for it for a long time is like that goal after you have been in a slump. Just really random things like that get related to water polo."

    It wasn't always that way, especially for Jessica, a valuable utility player who is back with the national team after missing all of 2010 due to a shoulder injury. Growing up in Danville, Calif., she excelled in soccer and swimming before switching to water polo in high school.

    "I did not want to play water polo," Jessica said. "I had seen a few videos of it, and I just thought it was way too complicated and crazy. I knew that my dad had played it, and for some reason I was just like, "Oh, it's too much.' "

    That attitude started to change when she entered Monte Vista High School.

    "It was really surprising to see her pick up water polo because she was really successful at all these other sports," Charlie said. "[Once she tried water polo], it sort of exploded and kept improving every year.''

    One Olympic silver medal from Beijing and a stellar NCAA career at Stanford later, Jessica seems to have adapted quite well to the family sport. She hopes to add a world championship and an Olympic gold to the family legacy.

    For Maggie, who, in the position of attacker, faces some of the roughest action in the pool, playing water polo was a natural fit. With three older siblings and a whole mess of cousins already on board, she jumped into the pool at an early age and demonstrated skill and a fiery competitive nature. But she was never forced into playing the family game.

    "We all kind of started right around the same time, and my dad obviously had so much experience playing water polo," Maggie said. "So we kind of just jumped right into it, and once I started playing and having the feel for the competition of it, I started growing a passion for the sport, then it just kept growing and growing."

    At 18, Maggie will compete for her first world championship and has committed to Stanford. Despite coming from a family of Golden Bears, she will be the second Steffens child to play for the Cardinal.

    Their father has made peace with his daughters' decisions to play for the respected rival, knowing it was the school that was best for them and where they could be the most successful. It's yet another way for the sisters to express their desire to compete.

    "The strengths for both of them is their competitive drive and their determination to achieve their goals," U.S. women's water polo head coach Adam Krikorian said. "Whether it's academically or athletically, they are both extremely competitive and determined individuals. You can see that certainly, and that comes out as soon as they touch the water - it's like a magnifying glass."

    The sisters' similarities extend outside the water as well.

    "They have similar mannerisms," Krikorian said. "I give them both a hard time. I think they're both fairly goofy and pretty funny at times to laugh at, not necessarily laugh with. But you can tell the respect and love and admiration they have for one another is certainly second to none."

    That Maggie and Jessica will play together on the national team for the first time is the source of great pride for the Steffens family, particularly their father, who taught them the game.

    "My kids are on the way to do better than me, not just in sports," Carlos said. "Once you taste that flavor of being among the best in the world, in whatever you do, that taste will never be forgotten, and you want that and that's basically what I was trying to teach my kids. I taught them the passion of the sport and what the sport's life is like."

    To read the entire article, visit ESPN.com.

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  8. KT Tape at Tinseltown Throwdown Lacrosse Tournament

    Check out these pictures and event report from Evolution Physical Therapy in Culver City, CA on how they used KT Tape at a recent lacrosse event:

    Clinicians from Evolution Physical Therapy were on hand at the Tinseltown Throwdown Lacrosse Tournament in El Segundo, California providing complimentary Injury Prevention and Performance Screenings as well as applying KT Tape to lacrosse players. 

    The physical demands of the dynamic, fast paced sport of lacrosse makes KT Tape a necessary tool for athletes to avoid getting injuries and providing support and reducing pain when injuries occur.  Knees, shoulders, calves, and quadriceps were frequently taped.  Contusions from opponents sticks are not uncommon and athletes experience significant reduction in pain when KT Tape was applied to sore muscles.  The taping concept and product was new to many participants, and through this event a number of new athletes have been introduced to the tape and KT Tape has many new believers.

    Evolution Physical Therapy and Evolution Fitness are located in Culver City, California.  We provide state-of-the-art techniques and technology to help patients and athletes recover from injury and get stronger, faster, and more flexible.  We believe that preventative exercise and research-based performance training is crucial for all sports as well as for maintaining a painfree, healthy and active lifestyle. 

    Our physical therapists are experts in movement and can help facilitate recovery or prevention of injuries better than any other profesion in the medical field.  Friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @evolutionptfit for all news, information, and special offers.

    Thanks to the Evolution Physical Therapy team and to all the competing lacrosse athletes and their fans- we’re excited for the next event!

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  9. To Bare, Or Not To Bare? The Debate On Barefoot Running

    With summer in full swing, barefoot running is picking up the pace!  Amby Burfoot of Runner’s World showcased an article looking at both sides of the barefoot debate- check out these tips from their experts, and let us know what you think!

    In 1960, Ethiopian Abebe Bikila won the Olympic Marathon in bare feet. In 1966, Robert Parker recorded his hit song "Barefootin'." And in 1969, Paul McCartney walked barefoot across Abbey Road. No one noticed a trend; people in the '60s had other concerns. Three decades later, Ken Bob Saxton completed his first barefoot marathon in 4:12. Still, it wasn't until 2009 that barefoot running became a hot topic. The biggest impetus was Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run. While ostensibly the story of Mexico's Tarahumara Indians—who run barefoot or in tire-tread huaraches—controversial chapters in the book conclude that running shoes have done little to prevent injuries. The popularity of minimal shoes, such as the Nike Free and Vibram FiveFingers, has fueled the fire. "Barefoot Ken Bob" Saxton, founder of runningbarefoot.org, and sports podiatrist-biomechanist Kevin Kirby, D.P.M., a runner for nearly 40 years, agreed to discuss the merits—and drawbacks—of running barefoot. (McDougall declined.)


    RUNNER'S WORLD What are the best and worst things that can be said about barefoot running?

    KEN BOB SAXTON The best thing for me and a lot of others who run barefoot is actually the stimulation and exhilaration. It's the process of being more interactively involved in the running—we feel it on our feet. We don't just robotically pound out the steps. And we enjoy the freeing effect of air blowing across our feet. In short, it's fun.

    KEVIN KIRBY I have no problem with people who occasionally run barefoot on a safe surface as a supplement to their normal training. But in today's society, we don't have a lot of grassy fields. We have a lot more asphalt, concrete, glass, and nails. So I worry that barefoot running is going to produce injuries, such as puncture wounds, infections, and even lacerations of vital structures at the bottom of the foot. I would hate to see someone who wouldn't get injured in shoes go out barefoot running and get a serious injury.


    RW In recent years, there has been a lot of talk in running circles about Pose running, Chi running, and now barefoot running, which all seem to advocate for a midfoot or forefoot landing pattern. Have you encountered a lot of runners interested in these approaches?

    KIRBY Yes, and I think Pose running and Chi running can be okay for some people. They both seem to advocate landing more on the forefoot because proponents think rearfoot strikers will somehow be less efficient and/or get more injuries. But forefoot running can cause injuries, too. I've seen a lot of Achilles tendon injuries among runners who were naturally rearfoot strikers but then forced themselves to run more on the forefoot.

    SAXTON I've met runners who got injured from the so-called minimalist shoes more than from barefoot running. I think the shoes take away too much of the feedback. When I ran my first marathon, I wore shoes, and I got such bad blisters that I had to walk the last six or seven miles. My toenails all turned black and fell off. Since then, I've run a total of 74 marathons barefoot, and hundreds of shorter races. I've run on trails and roads, and covered tens of thousands of miles in training. And I can assure you that the total barefoot damage that my feet have endured is significantly less than what they suffered in that one marathon in shoes. I don't think my feet are particularly special.

    To read the entire article and for more information on Barefoot Running, visit Runner’s World online.

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  10. The Counter Attack Featuring USAWP Team Goalie Merrill Moses

    The Counter Attack is the official podcast of KT Tape sponsored athletes: the USA Water Polo National Team.

    This episode of The Counter Attack features checks in withMen's Senior National Team Goalie Merrill Moses at the recent Fisher Cup. Moses talks about gearing up for the summer of 2011 while looking back at the recent success of the Men's National Team. He also gives an important update on the status of his stolen Silver Medal. 

    To listen to this latest episode of The Counter Attack, click here.  And Good Luck to the USA Water Polo Teams in China this week!

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