Whether you've been a runner for ten minutes, or all of your life, you should try the new CTM Band. I've used mine for a month now. I'm really happy with the results. Keep reading to find out why.
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!
CTM Band Combines Compression, Tension, and Movement for True Myofascial Release
Myofascial (my-o-FASH-e-ul) release is a manual therapy technique used in massage. Self-myofascial release means you do it yourself.
Basically, you apply gentle sustained pressure into your muscles and connective tissue to stop pain and restore motion. The pressure relaxes the muscle and improves blood and lymphatic circulation. This relieves tightness and knots. It also stimulates the stretch reflex in the muscle.
Genuine Myofascial massage must include movement (stretching) and pressure (compression band + trigger points) to release the trouble from your muscles. The CTM Band let's you put a trigger point on the tight spot, then apply compression and stretch.
The result? Pain relief and faster muscle recovery.
CTM Band Versus Other Recovery Tools
CTM Band Therapy is more than a compression band or a pressure point. Why? Because it combines compression plus tension plus movement for true Myofascial massage.
Foam rollers, balls, and massage sticks give you pressure and movement, but no compression. Floss bands give you compression and movement, but no pressure.
If you want to remove accumulated adhesions from your fascia (and you do!), you need compression and movement while you apply pressure.
The CTM Band is the only recovery tool that uses all three essential elements. That means you don't have to use multiple recovery tools to relieve your muscle soreness. You can speed up recovery with one tool that's easy to take to races, the gym or on a racecation.
My Experience with the CTM Band
I was using several types of recovery tools: a foam roller, trigger point balls, and a floss band. Each tool helped, but I needed all three to take care of everything.
My foam roller does a great job of working out tight spots on my back, thighs and shins. But, there are some muscles it will never reach. The roller is stiff and doesn't adapt.
I had a spot on my right calf that bothered me for months. I could loosen it with my foam roller, but it kept coming back. Now, I wrap it with the 4 trigger points and stretch before every run. Problem solved.
I can wrap my knee or ankle and stretch with the CTM Band. I can get that tight spot on my shoulder or bicep, or the bottom of my foot. I even wrapped the CTM Band around my waist with the trigger points on my lower back one day. It worked on my achey muscles.
I was satisfied with my compression band until I used the CTM Band with the trigger points. The trigger point balls let me pinpoint the tight spots. I got results faster with the CTM Band than a standard compression band.
Next, I tried the CTM Band on my feet. I used two of the four trigger points on the bottom of my foot, wrapped it with the band, and stretched back and forth. It felt really good. The compression and the trigger points hit the spot. It was much better than rolling my feet on a spiked massage ball.
The CTM Band puts what I need into one recovery tool that's easy to carry. I can take it to the gym, a race, or outside to stretch in the sunshine. I even use it while I'm a passenger in a car. That's a win for me.
CTM Band Relieves Runner Aches and Pains
The CTM Band works on lots of runner problems. I suggest you visit the CTM website to watch the videos on the correct way to use the band.
If you suffer from any of the following issues, the CTM Band can help you recover.
You also can watch explainer videos on the CTM Band YouTube Channel.
Pre-Workout Stretches and Warm Up
Have you ever had a tight spot BEFORE a run? I have. I used to stretch a bit and hope it would work itself out by mile 2 or 3.
Now, I'm using the CTM Band before my workouts with good results. I wear it while I go through my stretches. It makes my muscles feel relaxed and ready to run.
The CTM Band is a wonderful recovery tool, but it also works when you use it during your dynamic warmup.
Save 20% with Discount Code "CTMBIBRAVE"
The CTM Band costs $40. I feel it's worth it — I use mine every day. Plus, it has a lifetime guarantee. If you hurry, you can save 20% with my discount code: CTMBIBRAVE.
FYI: The CTM band is 4 inches wide by 7 feet long — plenty of band to wrap those muscles. It has a maximum stretch of 150%. You can order your band here. I hope you will!
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Have you heard about Plogging? There's been a lot of it going around here lately in celebration of Earth Day. Yet, it's a great idea any time of year.
The word "Plogging" is a combination of "jogging" and "plocka upp," a Swedish term for picking up. It refers to stopping to pick up trash while you run. It's a nice way to reduce litter and show appreciation for the places where we run and walk outside.
Plogging Started in Sweden
People have been plogging in European countries for a while. Now, the idea is getting popular with U.S. runners. The first Facebook group, Plogga, showed up in January 2017. You can find dedicated Ploggers on Instagram, too. My favorite is Plastic_SolutionPollution.
All you need to plog is a place to put the trash you find. Take a grocery bag or a garbage bag. You may want to bring a pair of gloves. If you want to plog in a group, look for local activities organized by Keep America Beautiful.
Plogging on Trails vs City Streets
I spotted trash out on the trails the other day. Not cool, hikers. Not cool. Since I was wearing my FlipBelt Crops (of course!) I realized they were perfect for plogging.
It was easy to grab food wrappers and bottle caps and put them in my pockets. I decided next time I'd stash a bag and gloves in my FlipBelt Crops for a serious plogging session.
I think plogging works best on trails, or less busy suburban routes. You're able to run and pick up trash. If you're on city streets with heavy pedestrian traffic, it's more challenging. In most cities, it's lots of picking up and little running.
I've read about running groups that run first, then take 20-30 minutes afterwards to pick up trash. That's certainly an easier way to plog in the city.
Plogging Can Be a Workout
Some runners like to run a route once with an eye out for trash, then repeat the course to pick it up. I use this method when I run around a nearby lake.
However you plog, it's good for the environment, and adds stretching and squatting to your workout. In fact, the Swedish fitness app Lifesum, lists plogging as a fitness activity. If you're wondering, it burns 288 calories in 30 minutes.
Disclaimer: I received a pair of FlipBelt Crops 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!
SAVE 25% on Your Own Pair of FlipBelt Crops
Use the code: "BIBRAVE" when you order online and SAVE a whopping 25% on your own pair of crops. Visit FlipBelt.com right now to get yours.
You can read my reviews of FlipBelt Crops here and here.
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Don't Let the Children in Costume Fool You!
Disclaimer: I'm promoting Pumpkins in the Park 5K 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!
That's Right! If you meet the qualifying standards, you can join the Elite Corral at the #PumpkinsInThePark5K this Fall in Chicago! Elite Corral runners are eligible for cash prizes. Now, that doesn't always happen at a 5K!
To qualify, you must submit proof of performance from a similar event. See the chart below for specifics.
Note: If you don't submit proof by the deadline, you'll be placed in an alternate corral and will NOT be eligible for the prize purse.
Placement in the Elite Corral is on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't wait! Assignment is not guaranteed. You can verify your corral assignment in your Ram Racing account.
Think you have what it takes to win or place?
Cash Prizes for Elite Runners
Here's the deal. There's a cash purse for runners in the Elite Corral. The Top 3 overall Men and Women in the Illinois Elite Corral will receive awards.
The awards structure for 2018 is as follows for both the men and the women:
In addition to the overall prize money, the top overall male and female finisher who beats the existing Pumpkins in the Park 5K record wins an additional $100.
Current #PumpkinsInThePark Records to Beat
Male Event Record is 14:48.
Run by Dan Kremske of Woodstock, IL in 2016
Female Event Record is 16:53.
Run by Katie McMenamin of Lafayette, CO in 2017
Athletes must be accepted into and start with the Elite Corral in order to be eligible for the prize purse. Failure to do so will result in ineligibility.
How to Apply for the Elite Corral
If you'd like to be considered for the Elite Corral (and be eligible for the prize money), you must be a US Citizen and you must have proof of a qualifying finishing time from a previous race.
To apply, register for the race and select the Elite Option during registration, and when submitting proof of results.
If you already registered, and want to be considered for the Illinois Elite Corral, email your proof of qualification AND your confirmation number to email@example.com.
Proof of Qualification
Any of the following is considered acceptable proof of your race time:
Proof of U.S. Citizenship
The prize money and elite corral are only open to U.S. Citizens. You'll be asked for proof of citizenship at packet pickup, and on race day when you get your bib.
Accepted proof of citizenship includes the following:
#PumpkinsBR #PumpkinsInThePark #Chicago #5K #OctoberRace #PromoCode #BonusSWAG #RamRacing #BibRavePro #BibChat #GoodieBag #Elite5K #PrizeMoney
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Remember, I am not a running coach. I don't even play one on TV. Please ask your doctor or professional for advice specific to your body.
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