Day After Long Run Routine and Kinesio Tape

It’s Friday party people! This week went so fast because of Labor Day and I’m scrambling to see what is going on this weekend. Friday just snuck up on me (but in a good way)!

I have two questions I want to ask you guys today. The first thing I wanted to get to today is Kinesio [Kinesiology] Tape. You know, that tape you saw all the Olympic athletes wear? It comes in a variety of colors–that supposedly have different functions–and can be used almost anywhere on the body.

This is what I know about the tape based on my “extensive” (read: quick) search of the internet: “Kinesio tape has been around since the 80′s and was developed by a Chiropractor named Dr. Kenso Kase. It is used to help patients with injured muscles and joints. This tape was also developed to enhance peak performance ,so it’s obvious why so many athletes are using it today” (source). According to Runner’s World, the Kinesio tape is designed to lift the skin and allow better blood flow, which is said to increase muscular performance and allow better mobility in injured areas.

All this from a tape? Can it be true? Well researchers in New Zealand reviewed the literature on the efficacy of Kinesio taping (in essence they did a meta-analysis of data that was already out there), which only really amounted to 10 rigorous studies, and concluded that that Kinesio taping may have a small beneficial effect on strength and active range of motion of an injured area. However, it probably doesn’t help in other musculoskeletal outcomes, including pain, ankle proprioception, or muscle activity (Williams et al, 2012). In short, there aren’t many rigorous (RCTs or experimental design) studies out there on this tape and the studies that do exist, which are mostly anecdotal, say its benefits are limited. 

Ahhhh, so what does all of that mean? For me, I’m willing to try anything that could help stabilize my bad knee, even if just a little. And Olympians wear it…So of course I ordered a roll of tape off Amazon to give it a whirl.

According to the reviews on Amazon, this RockTape was supposed to be the best. <—this meant the stickiest, btw. And if you’re running for hours at a time you want your tape to stick, you know what I mean? I guess black is also supposed to be the stickiest (red is supposed to “warm” your muscles and blue to “cool” them…not sure how much I buy into this). I looked up some tutorials on line and then tried it out on some of my medium distance (8-10 mile) runs.

My take? Ehh. I really think much of the Kinesio tape’s benefits are psychosomatic. It feels like there is something there that is supposed to help so…I feel better! I think with such a big problem as having osteoarthritis/cartilage tear of the knee it’s just not enough. It’s not nearly as good as wearing the PT strap, which can really compress the knee and immobilize the knee cap. But I’ll keep this stuff around just in case I have some tendonitis or something else it might help with.

Have you tried Kinesio Tape? If so, what do you think? If not, do you think you’d like to try it?

Ok, my second question for you guys concerns the day after your long run routine. For years I followed what Hal said and did some light cross-training after my long runs. But this summer I decided to try something different. I have been taking the day after off completely, which means I have a rest day before the long run and a rest day after. That leaves 4 days of running a week and one day for cross-training. It’s been working really well actually. I find that two days after my long run I feel pretty great and am able to do an easy 4-5 miler with no pain or stiffness (I also attribute that to my beloved tart cherry juice!).

But yesterday I didn’t feel like taking the day off. My arms have been feeling flabtastic because I’ve all but stopped upper body strength training since my migraine episodes. I just didn’t feel like contributing to the stiff and painful upper back/neck I already had. But yesterday I felt the NEED to start doing some upper body strength again. So I went to the bf’s gym with him–which is usually empty by the way–for what used to be my day after a long run routine

just look at how empty and pristine!

20 minutes on the elliptical to get the blood flowing through my legs and then 20 minutes of upper body strength using free weights and the exercise ball. And then you know what I did? Something I haven’t done for months, but something that used to be an almost daily part of my fitness regimen. I went swimming! 🙂

It’s really weird that I only did one triathlon this summer and all but gave up swimming the last 3 months, since I had been swimming almost daily for 3 years. Since all the bf really does is swim (I tell our swimming story here) I was reminded of how fun it is to go work out with him. And to get back into fitness swimming. The first flip turn was tough but after 100 yards I was back into the swing of things. And OH I had forgotten how good the cool water felt on my legs the day after a long run.

**Quick tangent: After I ran the Boston Marathon my legs were SUPER sore for 6 days (probably because, if you know the BM, there is a pretty extreme net decline over the course of the race). I remember getting in the pool that following week and barely being able to kick my legs but the water felt so good**

I was glad that I got in a mini-workout yesterday but I am still up in the air as to whether I’ll continue my day of rest after a long run or start to cross-train again. Taking the whole day off has really helped so I don’t want to mess with what works. I might go back to that routine next week. So here’s what I want to know…

What is your routine the day after a long run? I know that this differs for everyone (some people can get right back out there and run again…umm jealous!) so I’m just curious to know! 

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!!

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15 Responses to Day After Long Run Routine and Kinesio Tape

  1. I will have to look at that rock tape…I have tried the kinesio tape but it usually sweats right off of me when I run. After a long run day I usually either just rest my legs, cross train, or go for a short, EASY shake out run (no more than 3 or 4 miles). Swimming sounds like a great option too!

    Have a great weekend girl!

  2. My boyfriend swears by Rock Tape– he uses it for all his tri/ironman training on his knees, back, adn shoulder. I would def recommend it and there are some great you-tube videos on how to put it on (shapes, etc)

  3. Carina says:

    I was mega-sore after Boston too, but I blamed it more on getting on a plane and flying to Italy right after the race, but I bet it would have been the same given the course, even if I’d moved around like a normal person instead of sitting still for so long.

    I almost always XT the day after a long run. I don’t have easy access to a pool, but I bet that would be ideal. I usually do arms and core.

    I don’t really buy the KT hype. Any time I see a runner wearing it in a race, I think they’re weak and injured, and I speed up to pass them. Haha, just another mental game I guess.

  4. Melissa says:

    I haven’t tried the KT tape but Jac at challengedandrunninginthebikelane loves the stuff…you may want to visit her blog or email her. 🙂 I used to run the day after my long run but now that I’m doing back to back long runs…I take Friday and Monday off which is what this plan suggests that I’m following. I say go based on how you’re feeling. 🙂 happy weekend!!

  5. I usually take it easy the day after a long run, but today I am going to the gym because my arms are also feeling flabtastic! Yucky feeling so I’m going to fix that, lol! I think I am also going to do a quick run to flush everything out.

    Thanks for doing a little review on the tape, I have been curious about it for a while. The different colors are interesting, how they do different things.

  6. I know some people LOVE kinesio tape and others don’t. I haven’t tried it yet although I wanted to try it! I know PTs and OTs go to courses on the correct ways to tape people, so it can get intense! Maybe give it another shot and see if it helps!

  7. jumpeatrun says:

    I’ve been taking a rest day after my long run too. Some foam rolling and stretching, but usually no work out at all. I have also been dying to try the tape- I thought it might help with shin splints.

  8. I’m glad you brought up Kinesio Taping. Like with most treatments, people have varying results, but I definitely have patients (and my wife) who swear by it for certain injuries. One of the most important components is that the tape is applied correctly. As a PT, I have completed a certification because many of the applications are complex to get maximum results. I would recommend finding a CKTP (www.cktp.com) and making an appointment to get your first application and instruction. Here’s to happy and healthy running!

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