Patt-Strap Helps

From Liz Marallo:

I purchased the Patt Strap and became a walker in the training program. The marathon was yesterday and I started at 5:30 am with the walkers that had adopted me in the club ( a wonderful group). We clipped along at 17 minute miles. Just before mile 12, I couldn't handle walking anymore. Maybe it was all those runners flying by me. My right ITB felt great w/ the strap but my left hamstring and behind my knee was hurting. It felt better to run. So I ran from mile 12 to mile 18 w/out pain and ran off and on until the finish. I didn't finish my first marathon the way I planned but at least I finished and did it in 6:42 according to the chip time!! Not quite a record breaker. I wore my medal to work today as I limped along and cursed every stair step and curb in my path. :) I finished the day w/ a massage and more advil.


From Jeff Lisson:

Wanted to let you know that there is hope for ITBS sufferers who want to run!

As I told you, I developed ITBS in my left knee about 4 weeks before my
marathon, which was last Saturday (December 11 in Kiawah Island, SC), after an 18-mile training run. Planned to do 20 the next weekend, and had to quit after 3 - pain was too great. Rested a week, stretched, tried to run, and couldn't. Rested another week, stretched, ran seven, and it struck again.

I then bought the PattStrap from Fabrifoam, after seeing the USNA review linked from your site. Got it, ran 7 miles and two 3-mile trainers without problem.

Well, on Saturday, I ran the complete marathon! Finished it without any ITB pain at all. I was sore all over, no question. Still am. Left knee hurts, but no worse than the right. My time was poor - 5:45, but I did it. My first. I focused on finishing, not time.

The PattStrap was amazing for me. When I developed the ITBS, I thought I was through. I couldn't believe how such a simple device could work. It's just a piece of fabric with a hook-and-loop fastener which wraps about 2-3 inches above the pain area. It shortens the muscle/band flex point, relieving the friction.

That said, there are others which do the same thing, many of which are more commonly available in running stores (not necessarily advertised for this purpose; many are for use below the knee for bursitis, e.g.). However, I don't think they would work as well, due to their design, which relies on the calf expansion to help keep them in place.

I am sure the strap cost me a lot of time. I had run a 10-minute pace
consistently in training, on long and short runs. With the strap, I
consistently ran 12 minutes. Why? The strap not only shortens the ITB, it shortens all the other upper leg muscles as well. That shortened my stride, which meant each footfall covered less ground, and I needed more footfalls to finish the race.

Also, I didn't have adequate time to strengthen the shortened upper leg
muscles. It's like asking 16 inches of an 18-inch muscle to do the same
task. Believe me, I felt the difference.

But all that said, my goal was to finish. I didn't think I'd even start.
The strap let me do it. I can't say enough about it, helping me accomplish a goal I'd worked so hard for when things looked so bleak.


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