10x winner of Conquer The Gauntlet and CTG Pro Randi Lackey taping author during FMT Basic Course.

I recently was able to attend RockTape Functional Movement Techniques Basic: Kinesiology Taping Certification. If that confused you, it’s an eight-hour block of instruction about using RockTape (a brand of kinesiology tape) to help manage pain, assist in fluid drainage and improve posture.  The course is designed for medical professionals such as occupational therapists, personal trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors and doctors of veterinary medicine. If I didn’t name your job, don’t worry, keep reading and stay with me because I think there are some valuable stuff that you can use to enhance your Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) performance here.

As OCR athletes, we often push hard (sometimes too hard) through the pain. Chances are if you are the type of person who wants to spend your weekends jumping over fire, crawling under barbed wire and swinging from your hands testing muscles as well as fear of heights, you’re also the type of person who is not going to let a few aches and pains stop you. Due to this “run at all costs” type of personality, we often show up to races with nagging injuries or pain without a way to mitigate these problems or reduce a chance of further injury.

Hammer Nutrition sponsored Evan Perperis on his way to 1st place at Dirt Runner's 6 hour Warrior Rush in his Marena Sport shorts and MudGear socks.

This is where RockTape comes in. It provides an all in one temporary solution to help mitigate some of these problems. While RockTape isn’t going to fix a torn muscle, it does provide you enhanced blood flow through decompression (ex. the skin is pulled up slightly opening blood flow and lymph nodes as shown through sonogram imaging). While it won’t stop you from re-injuring a problem area, its cueing (ex. the tape provides a visual and physical reminder to keep the correct posture or be careful with a movement by pulling on your skin), may help you avoid further injury. While it won’t numb the pain completely, its physical presence on the skin helps block pain signals by running interference (ex. as shown through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)).

Instead of carrying around a knee brace, a bandage for your elbow, a different brace for your ankle, you can just pack a roll of RockTape. The versatility and convenience of this stuff can’t be beaten.   The question remains if you’re not a personal trainer or another medical profession, how can this help you?

2x Broken Skull Competitor Brenna “Red Beast” Calvert gets taped by FMT (Basic and Advanced) certified Nathan “Napalm” Palmer.  Certified CTG Pro Team athletes will tape anyone at any race for free.

I recommend two things:

  1. Pick up a roll of RockTape for yourself and keep it in your gym or race bag. It’s versatile, lightweight and low cost. Plus, anyone can apply it, not just professionals.
  2. If you are on an OCR Team (Pro Team, Regional Team or Club), chances are at least one person is a personal trainer or one of the other profession I listed above. Send that one person to FMT Basic Course so you essentially have an expert with you at all races. (Whether that person pays out of pocket or the team chips in so they can provide a benefit to the team, is up to you.) I’ve seen other club teams pay for one of their members to go to SGX (Spartan’s trainer certification) so they could bring the knowledge back to the team. The investment in one person will pay dividends for the whole team multiple times over.

The versatility of RockTape can't be beat as demonstrated by this 2016 picture of Ashley Samples and Dustin Radney.

As someone that was historically skeptical of kinesiology tape, I was glad I got to attend the training. I now understand its uses better than before and got to see the science and studies behind the product.   Check out RockTape’s products, which is more than a tape company, they offer a full line of movement related products to prevent injury, help with rehabilitation or make you a better athlete. In the end I think you’ll find some valuable products and information to help you go stronger for longer.

Record holder for most Master's athlete wins at Conquer The Gauntlet Lisa Nondorf shows off her tape after completing the FMT Basic Course.

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