Rock Tape

Terry With Stripes
Rock Tape

I tried to tell the kids that they are “Daddy’s Racing Stripes”. AS IF, they could make me run faster… it’d take a lot more than some flashy adhesives to get me faster, perhaps actually training would help. Recently my chiropractor, Dr. Jason Smith went to a conference where he learned how to use Rock Tape. Without getting into the technical details of what Rock Tape is, I’ll say it’s a lot like Adhesive meets ACE Stretch Bandages. It sticks on and stays for about 3 days (depends on usage). Despite making you quite dashing from the backside, it’s main purpose it to provide support.

Rock Tape, as I discovered when I took it off, is flexible in 2 directions. If you had a square piece of it, the (force vectors) the stretch-pully-action-thingie would be in the center of the piece. I am sporting the “Hamstring”/”Calves” configuration with the intent to give my Hamstrings (which I had a bad pull in 2001) some support during (my one and only) long training run to see how it would work for me during a marathon (P3’s addendum to running rules: never EVER try anything new during a race, if you can avoid it or you’re desperate).

Gettin’ Sticky Wit It
It’s pretty easy to put on. In my case, Dr. Smith was giving me a trial run with the Rock Tape to see how I would like it before I invested in a whole roll. During lunchtime the Friday before my long run which was on, dang gotta check my running log, Saturday morning I went into the office to get taped. All I had to do was wear a pair of shorts  and in about 10 minutes I was striped up and ready to run. I had a choice of Black, Red, Pink, Yellow, Skin Peach Flesh Not Quite White with a little brown tint Beige and White. [Editor’s Note: when retrieving the links to the post, I found they have a  BIOHAZARD pattern!] I figured that Yellow shouts “HEY, I GOT YELLOW THINGS ON MY LEGS” or “I’m A Runner AND a Freak”. I changed back into my work clothes and while the newness of having something attached to your skin was a little awkward, there was no discomfort at all… no pulling or anything.

Have Stripes, But Not a Tiger
Because of the adhesive polymer technology (stuff that makes it stick) you can wear it up to 3 days with normal activity. You could probably stretch it out to about 5 days, even with showering and such, but sitting in the chair, lying in bed, kids pile driving on your legs, and all does take its toll on the outer edges of the Rock Tape. Like regular bandages, once a corner is started it grows pretty quickly and before you know it, it’s over. This picture was taken on Sunday night, and you can see on my right calf that there is a little piece that is starting to peel off. So it stuck well for all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it was ready to come off on Sunday… you can’t just NOT pick at a piece that’s starting to come off. I even cut it down to reduce the temptation to no avail.

Hold Still, I’m Gonna Pull
You would think that with the adhesive power of Rock Tape that removing it would be something like a Wax Job, but it’s not! I has some mysterious ability to stick but as it ages, it becomes less sticky, so that when it is time to leave, it comes off easier than you think. I won’t say that it is painless, but it does have a high value of being very uncomfortable… any hair that gets pulled isn’t comfortable… ANY.

Have You Reached A Verdict?
The Rock Tape experiment was a success and with 1 data point in my universe, this Statistician is giving using Rock Tape at the Flying Monkey Marathon, a GO! Here’s my observations on what the Rock Tape provided to me. The run that I used the Rock Tape was a 18 mile run. It happened to be the longest run in training for the Flying Monkey Marathon (and 2nd longest run for 2010). I was expecting to be in great pain after that run for a couple of days because the longest run to date for training had been 13.1 miles the week before (for the [Sound Trumpets] PHEDIPPIDATIONS HALF MARATHON CHALLENGE presented by the WORLD WIDE FESTIVAL OF RACES). So doing the running math, I was increasing (just my long run for this illustration) my weekly long run distance by 38% which is one of the Cardinal Sins of Running (i.e. 10% Rule). So pain was to be expected. I had no pain. None… no hamstring pain, no problems walking up or down stairs (marathoners… you know what I am talking about).

It’s Not Super Rock Tape
Now, let me be clear… the Rock Tape helped improve my recovery time, but it did not help my in-run conditioning. I still hit The Wall at around mile 13 (reference paragraph above and last long run), there was still fatigue in my leg. So, while the Stripes are super cool, they won’t make you into a super hero.

The 2010 Flying Monkey Marathon is on Sunday November 21st and on Friday I am going to get my very own roll of Rock Tape… the hard part is going to be deciding which color do I want to wear for a while. One roll will last me a number of runs… decisions, decisions!

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon