Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tape(r)ing for Boston

Onto the two week countdown to Boston and it's time to start tape(r)ing!  This has by far been my most intense marathon build-up of all time.  I'll share details another time of why I believe that was possible, but this post will focus on what I call tape(r)ing.

For last year, I had paced Carmel Marathon the week prior to Boston and needed all the help I could get.  This is how I developed what is now known in the sports physiology community as "taper(r)ing". Related, but different, this NPR article about compression has gotten a lot of attention in the running community.  While compression is garbage and does not work at all, tape(r)ing (if done correctly) absolutely works.  This quote can be adopted for tape(r)ing and is an indicator of why it may also work for you:

Two men who did show improvements while wearing the compression sleeves were the ones who believed the garments aided in training, racing and recovery.

Tape(r)ing works because I believe it works!  All that downhill in Boston can really tear up the quads - everyone says that!  That may be true...if you're not wearing KT Tape.  The best part of tape(r)ing is it starts today and lasts through the end of the marathon.  Whereas normal "tapering" only lasts until the start of the marathon.  That's almost an extra 3 hours (2.5 hrs if you're in coral 1)!!!

Quads still intact last year thanks to tape(r)ing!
Recommended Tape(r)ing Routine:
Two weeks prior to goal race: 1 piece of tape on quad and calf (50% stretch) - wear for 3-5 days
Morning of race: 2 pieces of tape on quads in a "V" pattern,  1 piece of tape on calf (both 50% stretch)

It is likely that tape(r)ring will cost you about the same as your raceday nutrition.  Fortunately, the US economy is on the rise and you may be able to afford both.  However, if you're on a tight budget having already spent your last dollar on the plane ticket and VIP hotel accommodations, one solution is to not purchase raceday nutrition and use what's provided on course.  This will entail a lot of Gatorade consumption as the only gel location is at mile 17.  Still well worth the extra 3% of performance from the tape though.  KT Tape PRO is more expensive, but a must for optimum performance.

During the race, if you ever start to doubt the effectiveness of tape(r)ing, simply think of this - Kerri Walsh (two-time olympic gold medalist) uses it!  If it's good enough for her, it better be good enough for you!

Have a great tape(r)!

***Disclaimer: I am in no way endorsed by KT Tape.