WHITNEY – a busy, multi-job runner that needs more time and less to do
BIB RAVE – a place to read and write race reviews
CTM Band – a recovery tool
WHITNEY’S ATHLETES – the Green Mountain HS track and cross country teams
BEN – Whitney’s unsuspecting boyfriend
EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE, END OF DRIVEWAY
MONTAGE: We see a series of video clips of a girl running over trails and streets followed by her rubbing her aching muscles….
We all know that you don’t become a better runner by JUST running. You have to change up your running workouts, add some strength training in there and maybe a stretch or two (or 20). Ah, that generic RECOVERY term that we all hear and know we should do more of but it’s time-consuming and maybe a little boring. It’s usually the step that most runners skimp on or even skip altogether. Personally, I’ve added little tricks to my routine to keep that recovery in there, but honestly, I could probably be better about it. I usually stretch, wear compression clothing while going about the rest of my day, and try to eat the right things after completing a workout (i.e. protein). For years, I’ve struggled with plantar fasciitis, tight hamstrings, and shin splints. It’s definitely time to change it up.
INT. THE LIVING ROOM – DAY
Enter CTM BAND
I have only been a Bib Rave pro for about a month now, and the first product I got to try is the CTM Band. So what is it? This stretchy band with golf balls looking knobs attached to it looks like some sort of medieval torture device, but The CTM Band is a tool to help you recover faster from running and exercise in general. It can help relieve muscle spasms, knots, speed up muscle recovery, ease muscle soreness and increase range of motion. And let me tell you, it works!
How do you use it? Luckily the CTM Band website has plenty of informational videos on their website, but basically, you just adjust the band if needed by removing one or more of the knobs, place the knobs on your afflicted muscle (never on any bone), wrap the strand around, tightly, and then move around, stretching the muscle while it’s wrapped for no longer than two minutes. Easy-peasy!
INT. THE LAB – NIGHT
For the science nerds out there like me: the CTM Band is different from other recovery tools like foam rollers and compression bands. Foam rollers only apply tension and compression bands only squeeze. But the CTM Band uses Compression, Tension, and Movement…hence the name…as forms of Self-Myofascial Release or SMR, to help break up the muscle adhesions you get after working out. Once the CTM Band is removed, blood rushes back to the area bringing nutrient-rich fluid and recovering ensues! Bringing compression, tension and movement all together can help increase range of motion and decrease pain. You’re essentially combining the use of foam rollers, trigger-point bands, compression tools and stretching all in one.
INT. THE LIVING ROOM
Like I wrote earlier, I regularly struggle with plantar fasciitis, tight calves, and tight hamstrings. If this product can help with those, we’ll have a winner. I was also intrigued by the idea that it could help with shin splints, sore muscles and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for those times in my life when I experience those things.
The week following the arrival of the CTM Band, I purposely went out for some harder workouts. I ran the hills in my neighborhood, worked out at Red Rocks Amphitheater (think LOTS of stairs) and upped my mileage on “long run” day. In general, I just wore out my legs.
After watching all the “how to” videos on the website, I was ready to try it. Being a science nerd (I do have a Zoology degree after all), I performed an experiment on myself by only using it on ONE SIDE of my body so I could compare.
The results came in fast and STRONG! Literally. The moment after taking the band off different parts of my body, my muscles felt relief. I felt like there was definitely more range of motion, I could stretch them further and the pain and soreness were significantly less. I don’t know if using this tool by itself saves me time, but it definitely reduces the amount of equipment I need to bring out to recover.
EXT. THE TRACK AT GREEN MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL – AFTERNOON
Overall, I’m extremely happy I got to test this product. It will be making a regular appearance in my training and recovery. I can’t wait to try it out on my high school athletes when they complain of shin splints at the beginning of the season or sore muscles as the season is well underway. I’ve already tried it on my boyfriend after he told me his shoulder hurt from climbing. The CTM Band now travels with me when I travel and comes with me when I meet my clients.
I think this product is genius, unique and effective. It is definitely a game changer. I’d like to see other personal trainers, athletic trainers, and physical therapists add this to their repertoire. While it should never replace a doctor’s visit when the need arises, I think this can help aid in faster recovery time and maybe prevent some serious injuries from forming. It is a much-needed invention for our running community.