The CTM Band – A Screen Play (Product Review)

(Disclaimer: I received the 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 find and write race reviews!)

CHARACTERS

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

ACT I

SCENE 1
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.

SCENE 2
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!

SCENE 3
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.

SCENE 4
INT. THE LIVING ROOM
Enter WHITNEY

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.

ACT II

SCENE 1
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.

Trying it on my boyfriend


ACT III

Check out the CTM Band for yourself: WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Use coupon code: CTMBIBRAVE to save 20%!

Check out BibRave where you can Find & Review Races! Join us on Tuesdays at 8pm CT for #BibChat, a twitter chat with running-inspired conversations.


Check out the other BibRave Pro’s Reviews:
Jessica’s Re-Inventing Recovery | Mary-Jo’s Opinion | Lindsey’s Review | Amanda’s Post | Danielle’s Blog | Amanda C’s WritingDrrunner |

Gear Reviews: LEGEND Compression Wear Recovery Socks

Some of you might know, I am a Legend Compression Wear Ambassador. I was contacted last year by one of their team members after they saw my blog. Super flattered, of course I accepted it! Back in June, I was the first Legend Compression Ambassador of the month! Woot!

While compression socks are not a new thing, LEGEND is focusing on the right way to compress. Their hashtag, #rightnottight hones in on their graduated compression technology (instead of just being a super tight sock). They want all athletes, from the elite to the casual jogger, to perform at their best and extend the life of their legs and live their own Legendary life. #BeALegend

The recovery socks are 20-30 mg of compression and meant for post-exercise and travel. Key features:

Why I love the Recovery Socks:
1. They are super comfy!
After a race, I’ll a throw on my recovery socks, memory foam sandals and be good to go for walking around the expo, heading back home in the car, or sitting on a plane.

2. They are the perfect amount of compression.
They are not too-tight and I can wear them to bed, something I can’t do with regular compression socks.

3. They are not just tight on the calves but on my feet as well.
I’ll wear them even just after a long day of standing. I also get plantar fasciitis regularly and these socks are tight around the feet to help relieve some of those symptoms.

4. They really do work! 
I bring these socks whenever I am doing a relay race, traveling, or when I know I have a bunch of days of hard running in a row, like a Cross Country Camp. I’ll wear these after each run or while sleeping and I really feel like my legs are a lot less sore. Without them, I would never be able to complete some of the hard running events I do.

Tips:
1. Think outside the box. These socks aren’t just for after a race,  you can wear them to keep your legs fresh while traveling, after working on your feet all day, or sitting at the desk.

2. Buy a pair of strap sandals. Or anything that you can put your whole foot in (i.e. not thong-flip flops). That way you can still wear the socks and not have to put on stuffy closed-toed shoes.


You can find the LEGEND Compression Wear Recovery Socks HERE.
Only $42.50, they are a worth it!

Click HERE to get $15 off your first LEGEND Compression Wear Order!

Don’t forget: #BeLegendary


Your turn: Do you have a favorite compression gear brand? Would you try LEGEND?

Gear Review – SLS3 Compression Foot Sleeve

20160511_110723 (I was given a free pair of the SLS3 Compression/Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sleeves in exchange for my review. All opinions below are my own.)

After trying the SLS3 running belt, I was stoked to try another product by SLS3. I use my running belt all the time and I had bought a pair of SLS3 compression calf sleeves I run in regularly.

I got an email to be part of a blogger group to try the plantar fasciitis foot sleeves and thought, “Well, I do have plant fasciitis and I like SLS3 products, so yes, I’ll try those!”

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I’ve been battling the dreaded plantar fasciitis, a bad word to runners, off and on for a few years now. Although mine is un-diagnosed by a doctor, I’m 99% sure I have it and it sucks. I am lucky that it hasn’t gotten to the point of side lining me completely. When I first discovered the signature bottom of foot pain, I did my research, read every book I could, and came up with a routine. Every time I feel a little twinge, I use my methods and it’s gone.

With my running being off and on as it has been over the last 6+ months and me admitting not taking care of myself due to low energy and lack of time, I haven’t been able to shake this bout of plantar fasciitis as easily. The foot sleeves were calling my name!

What are they? They are compression sleeves that just cover from above your ankles to right before your toes. Claiming to help with the relief of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon pain and stress fractures by applying  compression, increasing circulation, reducing inflammation, and providing support for weak ankle muscles.

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While, I can’t prove if they reduce inflammation and increase circulation, I can say they did relieve some pain!

SPECIFICS:

  • Come in black or pink
  • Three different sizes to choose from (S, M or L based on shoe size)
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Interchangeable (each sleeve is not right or left foot specific)
  • Machine washable

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.58.24 PM

PROS:

  • Alleviated my foot pain relating to plantar fasciitis and achilles tendon issues for a brief time
  • They fit under socks
  • Cool, in temperature

CONS:

  • Stiff when you run in them
  • Thick. Yes, the fit under socks but I could still feel them
  • Too tight for LONG periods of time

 

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Originally, I was wearing them to treat plantar fascitiis, now I have some weird achilles pain and I have been using them for that. While great for a temporary relief post-run, I don’t like them while running.

Althought the website says, “Helps relieve joint and muscular pain even during sleep,” I once, accidentally, fell asleep in them.  I did order my size based on their sizing guidelines, but they must have been too tight because I woke up to shooting pains in my feet! I quickly took off the sleeves and the pain was gone, leaving me to believe that they were cutting off my circulation.

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Would I recommend them? Sure! If you have achilles pain or plantar fascia issues. However, they aren’t a cure for either issue, just a temporary pain relief. I personally will put them on while I foam roll (my calves because that’s sometimes the root of feet issues) and then keep them on as a barrier while ice.

I would also suggest them for if you need some ankle support while running. I don’t necessarily need a brace or ankle support, and running in them was stiff and uncomfortable for me, but if that’s a need for you, they would work well.

I’ll save mine for recovering on the couch!

Find them:

On Amazon for $18.90

SLS3