Bibrave Product Review: CTM Band

Disclaimer: I received  a CTM Band to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’m well known to beat my legs up. I may like to do my fair share of endurance events, and to top it off, I hate foam rolling, despite the necessities of doing it. I’ve been fairly lucky that I’ve only had 2 IT band injuries over the course of my running life, and that was when I had no idea what I was doing. Enter my new friend, the CTM Band.

 

CTM stands for Compression, Tension and Movement. The goal? Increase flexibility, decrease muscle pain by simultaneously having compression, tension and movement. The goal? Quicker recovery by targeting specific areas that are sore and tight.

How To Use the CTM Band

  • When you first get the CTM Band, it’s wrapped on itself. Unwind it and choose which part of body needs some TLC
  • On the CTM Band are 4 half golf ball type balls. Align them with what’s sore
  • Wrap away and do it tight, because let’s face it, tight is good (but not beyond painfully tight).
  • Keep it on for 2 minutes and take it off
  • Need a visual? Take a lookhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEH8_iOtjG8

 

CTM band was developed by Dr. Kyle Bowling, a Chiropractor and former D1 Athlete. It’s goal is to help with soreness and trigger points, as well as help with recovery/treatment of injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT Band Injuries, and large muscle group tightness. Let me tell you, he’s on to something. With the amount of endurance training I’ve been doing, coupled with my love (or not) of taking days off, the legs get tired, sore and a bit beat up. I’ve come home on more than one occasion and wrapped my CT Band on to a few different areas for 2 minutes each to get some muscle relief. It helps with the tired and helps loosens things up in multiple areas. I feel like I’ve decreased the amount of foam rolling I’ve had to do because of this (it takes 2 minutes. TWO MINUTES. to use).

What else I like about the CTM Band? You can modify the amount of attachments on it. You can have 1 attachment or all 4 depending on what area you’re looking to treat. They easily unscrew and detach from the band itself. Larger muscle groups? Go with all 4 attachments. Smaller muscle groups or a more specific area? remove 2-3 attachments and only have 1-2 on the band for more isolated therapy. I’ve used it mainly on my quads, hamstrings, IT bands and calves with some good relief.

Pros of the CTM Band

  1. Target relief
  2. Travel sized (though I’m not sure it’ll make it through airport security)
  3. Adjustable
  4. Lifetime guarantee (something breaks? It’ll be replaced)

One thing I hope CTM Band looks at is maybe doing a version a of the CTM Band with a band that’s wider (think the width of a 4″ ACE Wrap) for some of the larger leg muscle groups. I feel like things may stay better in some instances or you may even be able to hit a little bit more.

Overall though, I like it. I think it’s a good product that is filling a void in the endurance community. Want to give it a try? Use CTMBIBRAVE to save 20% off through their at https://ctm.band/collections/all!

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Bibrave Product Review: KT Tape

Disclaimer: I received samples of KT Tape to try and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Nagging injuries, runners injuries, large muscle injuries. We all get them. My first running injury was in the Fall of 2009 when I was starting on long distance running and thought the regular shoes I had were ok for running. I ended up with an IT Band injury so bad I ended up with a month of Physical Therapy (after I ran the half marathon the orthopod told me to not run. Sorry Mom). Part of what I found while doing PT was KT Tape. Don’t believe me? Flash back to January 2010 with my first marathon:

KT Tape is an elastic sports tape designed to relieve pain and support muscles/tendons/ligaments. When you get hurt (and not the tired/stiff/sore that my trainer tries to get out of me on a regular basis), KT tape (when applied correctly) lifts the skin from the area of pain , swelling and/or inflammation to provide decompression to the fascia and greater movement of the lymphatic fluid through your system.

The nice thing about KT Tape is it can be used for Common Injuries like

And the list goes on! I remember having Turf Toe in high school and looking back, I wish I would have had some KT Tape rather than the tape the trainer had for me at that point in time. What’s even better is that there’s instructional videos on how to apply KT Tape depending on where you’re hurting.

We had a variety of different tapes to try out and I’m still trying to make my way through them. I started with the KT Tape Pro version (we were also sent KT Tape Pro Wide, KT Tape Pro Extreme, KT Tape Gentle and the original KT Tape). I was in New Orleans for a 5K/Half marathon race weekend and was dealing with some heal pain due to cracked skin. I came up my own little tape job:

I applied two pieces and left it for the whole weekend. I was able to get through a 5K on Saturday and a half marathon Sunday and 2 showers without it coming off.

When you apply KT tape, make sure the area your applying to is clean and dry. If you’re a woman, shave before hand; men I’m sorry. Also make sure to apply it an hour or so before a workout to allow maximum sticking. The key to putting on KT tape is the stretch. It does have stretch quality to it, but when applying it, you want to really only it stretch it about 50% with the main point being over the area of injury or pain.

Depending on how long you plan on wearing the KT Tape can dictate which version you want to choose.

KT Tape Pro is good for 4-7 days and stays on in water

KT Tape Pro Extreme is good on for a week and highly water resistant. The difference between this and the original Pro Version is that it has extra strength adhesive

KT Tape Pro Wide is a 4″ wide strip that’s good for your larger muscle groups (hamstrings, quads, low back). Typically this is good for 4-7 days and water resistant. Yes, if you’re short armed like me, you can still get it to your low back

KT Tape Gentle is made for gentle adhesive for easier removal and good for 1-3 days. If you’re going for harder work outs, maybe not the best one to use though.

While going through the KT Tape Website, I was able to find some newer stuff that I jumped on. I’m excited about the Blister Prevention  Strips which are small strips aimed for blister/chafing/hot spot prevention. Needless to say, I bought 2-3 roles and tested out the strips this past weekend while in NC. Two thumbs up for that! The next one is the KT Tape Pro X which is two 10″ strips combined to make an X for point related pain. I’m still working on getting the right placement for this one, so we’ll see.

Overall, LOVE the KT Tape. It travels well, is durable, can be used for multiple injuries or sore spots and does it’s job well. They’ve come out with a ton of different products since I first started using it back in 2009 and quite frankly, it’s gotten a lot better (huge fan of the Pro and Pro Extreme Versions!). Get over to their website and use BIBRAVE30 to save 30% off your order!

 

Bibrave Meets Athlinks

Disclaimer: This year, BibRave has teamed up with Athlinks to help runners and athletes track their running. To join Athlinks, head over to to http://www.athlinks.com and set up an account. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This year, Bibrave has teamed up with Athlinks in an effort to help runners and other athletes get on track, claim results and get connected with other athletes. Let’s face it, every runner has different was of tracking their races and it’s probably across a variety of platforms: spreadsheets, log books, websites, who knows what else. Athlinks is a online community where you have all of your races in one place. 1 milers, ultras, triathlons, you name it!

I’ve actually been using Athlinks for about 10 years, when I first started running. I stumbled on it and signed up. It was free and when you’re looking for a cheap (costs nothing) way to keep all of your race results together, I was all for it.  To join, all you have to do is go to http://www.athlinks.com and click on sign up (or click here to make it easy)

You get an option of how to sign up: email, facebook or google. All you need to to is enter your first name, last name, email and password and bam, you’re in! Easy, right? Once you’re set up, it’s easy to start looking through race results already up and to start claiming them. There’s filters so you can search by year, location, birthday (let’s face it, lots of common names, etc). Races will pop up if they meet your demographic information (name, age, location, etc) and you’ll have the option to claim them or not.

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Over the years, Athlinks has tweaked and grown. In the past year or so, they’ve added an iPhone and Android app, which makes finding results a little bit easier. They’ve also added features that include joining a ‘Start List’ of races you’re registered to run, where you can see who else is running, and add a goal time to it to give yourself some motivation! After the race, see if your results pop up (heads up, some race results are up pretty quick, others come up in a week or two. Time varies.). Adding yourself to the start list also makes it easy to track all of your races:

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The best think about Athlinks, though, is it keeps track of all your race distances and PRs. If you’re trying to figure out when your last one was for a certain distance, all you have to do is pull up your profile and voila, you can see when, what race and what time you had! It’s kept me sane over the past few years for sure, especially with the increased amount of running I’ve been doing. Now that I’m throwing triathlons in the mix, it’ll be even more beneficial! I’ve loved Athlinks ever since I started using it and highly recommend it!

IMG_0043

Want to join? Head on over to Athlinks and get started!

 

Bibrave Product Review: Eagle Creek Pack it Sport Active Set

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek Pack it Sport Active Set to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Another fun month of testing some good work our products!  We had the opportunity to try out the Eagle Creek Pack It Sport Active Set, and I quite frankly was excited to try it. Plenty of times I go from a spin class to the gym or am driving somewhere for a race and want to change out of clothes before driving home if I’m far enough away and things end up stinking up the car or I’m dragging along a huge gym bag full of stuff.
Enter this dual set of Pack It products

You get a Wet Dry Fitness Locker and Shoe Locker that’s incredibly versatile. Though they’re marketed as products to keep your sweaty and clean clothes separate, don’t think they’re limited to just that!

The weeks I’m off from work, I sometimes will go spinning prior to the gym. The shoe locker is great for carrying the extra pair of shoes around and keeping them in the car if I’m not using them. Since it’s just getting nice out, the windows haven’t been open all that much. Needless to say, my car still doesn’t smell like sweaty feet, and this includes leaving post work out shoes in the shoe locker. With my size 7 feet, I can fit at least a pair of spin shoes or running shoes and a pair of flip flops easily in the bag. I even have extra space for a HR monitor/car keys and phone!

The Wet/Dry Fitness locker is the second piece to this set and double sided, which is even better. You can keep clean stuff on one side and sweaty clothes on the zipper side. On a recent trip to spin class, I had my water bottle hanging out in one of the pockets.

 

You can also fit a good amount of clothes in the zipper side. I’ve been able to fit in a full change of clothes and then some into the wet/dry locker pack. If you’re worried about your car smelling, don’t be! I’ve left dirty work out clothes in the car for a few hours and came back to a non sweaty smelling car.

What’s even better is that you can wash these puppies and they tolerate it well. I haven’t had the chance to throw mine in the washer yet, however, just let them air dry out!

I have quite a few races coming up and I can’t wait to take this along with me. They’re definitely travel size and easily packable for races anywhere or if you’re going out of town!

Join us for Bibchat on 4/25/2017 at 9pm EST/6pm PST with Eagle Creek. Convinced enough? Use SPORT15 for 15% off!

 

 

Bibrave Product Review: OOFOS

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos Project Pink Sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Oofos. An interesting name but a brand that does recovery shoes. Lord knows with all the running I’ve been doing, I need some recovery for my feet. Bibrave teamed up with Oofos to test out their Project Pink line. What’s up with the Project Pink? It means $10 of every purchase from the Pink Line goes to cancer research. Recover your feet and support a good cause at the same time!

I first heard about Oofos through Bibrave a few months ago and saw them when I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro and Aussie, Erin T. while in Honolulu for the Marathon. She was raving about them there. Locally, our Fleet Feet carries them and I happened to see them while in looking at some sale running tights. Enter the chance to try them out for Bibrave and I was all over it.

The Pink Line has a few options, all in men’s and women’s

I was worried about the sizing, just because I run weird on shoe sizes. I can be anywhere between a 6 and a 7 depending on the brand. My Oofos were a size 7, but my regular flip flops are a 6. Then again, I have others that are 7s. Oh well

The perks of these nice pieces of footwear involve getting more shock absorption to the feet. They also give more cushion and cradle your feet more. This is huge after races when you’re walking more around town. It’s made out of a moisture resistant closed cell foam that can be machine washed. I haven’t gone as far as machine washing, but I’ve definitely wiped mine down a few times to clean them off.

I’ve been wearing mine a lot around the house because they’re that comfortable and when you’re on your feet 12 hours a day at work and then go running, your feet hate you at the end of the day. I’ve also worn them pre and post spin classes and after my most recent Half Marathon in San Antonio.

I love my Oofos! They really are that comfortable to wear and keep your feet happy. I wish I had a pair of the clogs on top of the sandals so I could get away with wearing them to work as well. You feel like you’re walking on something soft and your feet will love you for it. My only gripe about them is they’re a bit bulky, so packing them means they take up a little more space than I’d like (I don’t check bags 95% of the time I travel). Overall, though, a good investment for any runner or athlete who’s looking to give their feet a break after a race or event

Looking for Oofos? Check them out

Website: Oofos

Instagram/Twitter: @oofos

Facebook: oofosfootwear

Check out what other Pros are saying about Oofos: Jeremy    John      Jenna      Mary Jo

Bibrave Product Review: UV Reflective Half Buff

Disclaimer: I received a UV Reflective Half Buff race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Buff! I love me some Buffs. Over the course of my time as a pro, I’ve tried quite a few of their products (Full Buffs, Merino Buffs, Half BuffsOriginal Buffs, Hoodies) and have loved them. When I forget one of them for a race, it’s a sad day.

When the Reflective Buff came out, I was excited to try it!  What I love about the half buffs in general, is that they’re perfect for small headed people like me. While the full buffs are good for winters and head coverage, the half buffs are just enough fabric to do the job of catching sweat, keeping your neck warm or keeping the hair back.

IMG_4405

What’s so great about this? You get the thermal aspect of the buff, 95% UV protection, Reflective Strips so you’re seen in dim/dark circumstances, moisture wicking and odor control. My first few times wearing the reflective buff, I wore it to spin class. Did wonders for keeping the sweat off and controlled and glows in the dark if you have white light! I also wore it for the Hot Chocolate 15K in Seattle over the weekend. It kept the sweat in control and the hair off my face at the same time. Needed a little adjustment here and there, but such is life. By the end of the race, it was soaked through! Need some suggestions how to wear it? Take a look below!

 

IMG_4411

I still love the buffs, but one minor critique is I feel like my head is touch small for it sometimes- it seems looser than my other buffs and I’m adjusting it maybe a little bit more, but that isn’t a reason to hold up getting it. I haven’t had the chance to run at night with it yet, just because the weather is being temperamental here in the PNW (apparently we still need snow here in March).

Item Specifics:

  • 100% microfiber polyester
  • Polygiene Odor Control
  • Coolmax Extreme!
  • 95% UV protection
  • Reflex

Interested in Buff? Check them out:

Website      Instagram      Facebook      Twitter

Bibrave Product Review: Earth’s Care Pain Relieving Ointment

Disclaimer: I received Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

This couldn’t come at a better time! I’m fresh off of running the Honolulu Marathon last week, so something to help with muscle soreness after some serious miles. Unfortunately, mine didn’t come prior to me leaving for Hawaii. However, fellow Bibrave Pro Chris had his already and happened to bring it to the Honolulu Marathon.

Anyone else smell mint with their @earths_care? #bibchat

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

 

Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment is perfect for aches and pains of everyday life, grueling training or for post race soreness. It’s 3 active ingredients are:

  • Camphor (4%)
  • Menthol (10%)
  • Methyl Salicylate (Wintergreen Oil) 15%

It’s main ingredients are geared to penetrating the sore/painful spots and to provide natural pain relief without preservatives.

The Pain Relieving Ointment works quickly and is great for local use. Apply it where you need it and that’s that. It lasts and has a decent smell to it, so you don’t feel like you’re putting on something that means you’re running the bathroom. The smell of mint is on the stronger side, so a little will go a long way.

Should have opened this before work today! #bibchat @earths_care

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

What’s the Pain Relieving Ointment good for?

  • simple aches/pains
  • arthritis
  • strains/sprains
  • bruising
  • post marathon soreness

Some behind the scenes good stuff:

  • Allergy tested
  • No artificial colors/fragments
  • No animal testing involved
  • Non Irritating.

It definitely helped the calf soreness the day before the Honolulu Marathon. I can thank loads of walking and the Merrie Mile for that! It was something I wish I had prior to my redeye flight from Honolulu to Spokane.

Overall, definitely get your self some of this! It comes in a in a 2.5 oz container, is $12.99 and will last a long amount of time. Any runner/non runner with everyday or sport related aches and pains need to look at this!

Join us for #bibchat on 12/20/16 at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST with Earthcare!

Website       Twitter      Instagram

 

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