Rock Tape Fail

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I had a conundrum tonight:



  • Figure out how to put on Rock Tape, “the only Kinesiology tape engineered to meet the demands of endurance athletes like runners, swimmers and cyclists.”


Obviously, I went with the Rock Tape:



Smushed knees 🙂


I had high expectations for the Rock Tape because it was a sample given to me at Ashley’s Half Ironman.  We were standing in line for the bus and I spoke to a guy with Rock Tape on his knees.  Turns out he was a representative for the company and gave me a free sample on the spot!  I saw him at the finish line and the tape was STILL on his knees through 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of biking, and 13.1 miles of running.  I figured it MUST work!


I followed the tape’s instructions for Runner’s Knee and waited 30 minutes for the ‘glue’ to dry.


As mentioned, I have Runner’s Knee (here’s an explanation of how I manage the problem) but can typically run pain free because I wear knee sleeves (on the left below).  I’ve been wearing sleeves for 3 years STRAIGHT.  FOR EVERY RUN.


I’ve tried other brands of Athletic Tape (given to me by a physical therapist and on the right knee above), but I generally prefer sleeves over tape for many reasons, like this cost and effectiveness comparison.


As mentioned, I had high hopes for the Rock Tape and wore it on a 3.0 mile run this evening.  I did 3.0 slow, even miles in about 30 minutes, but the tape began to come off around Mile 2.0!  I was VERY disappointed – and my knees are going to kill tomorrow.


I must have put them on incorrectly, right?  The Ironman dude’s stayed on through a 6 hour event – with swimming!  Any ideas?


Pre-run snack:


With a drizzle of honey.


Dinner was a yummy vegetable salad.  I was SERIOUSLY craving greens.


The mix contained:


  • Arugula
  • Sprouts
  • 1 sliced baked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1 plum tomato
  • Balsamic


Tonight… I will get to bed at a normal time!  🙂 That’s the goal.  Think I can do it?  There’s a lot of good TV saved on the DVR!



  • Kelly June 7, 2010, 8:01 pm

    Bummer, I was looking forward to giving Rock Tape a try if it worked for you. That’s so strange that yours came off and that guys didn’t- but I don’t think you could’ve put it on wrong…? or could you? I guess I’m no expert!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] June 7, 2010, 8:14 pm

    I’m making a salad with sweet taters tonight for dinner too. Do you eat the skin?

    • Caitlin June 7, 2010, 8:17 pm

      yes thats the best part 🙂

  • Sarah for Real June 7, 2010, 8:22 pm

    If it helps any, I think the knee sleeves look less weird than the tape 😉

    I don’t blame you for not putting your bike back together… I’d procrastinate too. In fact, wouldn’t it be easier to move in a few weeks if it were still packed away in the box? (That’s what I would tell myself ;))

  • Evan Thomas June 7, 2010, 8:26 pm

    I love the new blue Chobs

  • Danielle (Runs on Green) June 7, 2010, 8:29 pm

    Ohhh I was just at a marathon and I saw a lot of people wearing that rock tape! People at the end still had it on their legs so maybe you did put it on wrong? Maybe you had lotion on or your legs weren’t hairy enough? Hah, a good excuse not to shave? 😉

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 7, 2010, 8:32 pm

    I didn’t know they sell 0% Chobani plain, I only see the 2%! Unless, they changed colors?

    Rock Tape looks painful!


  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is June 7, 2010, 8:34 pm

    That rock tape is crazy. I need to show my husband. He has had knee probs since his last marathon!

  • Jo June 7, 2010, 8:35 pm

    I can’t help imagining funny tan lines! What a shame the tape didn’t stay on, maybe something to do with lotion on your skin before hand, or the amount of hair the guy had on his legs? Could be something simple like that! Hope you get an early night!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) June 7, 2010, 8:40 pm

    Can you have someone show you how to put it on? I used to have to tape my ankle but it didn’t work right until the PT showed me.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers June 7, 2010, 8:43 pm

    Oh darn, I was really hoping you’d say it worked! I’m looking for some tape that will stay on during a swim.

  • katherine June 7, 2010, 8:45 pm

    Is it possible you pulled the tape a bit too tight? It’s not supposed to pull much on your skin (I use KTTape) so too much tension will cause it to pull off quickly. Hope this helps!

    • Caitlin June 7, 2010, 8:54 pm

      I put it in with my knees at 90 degrees like the video said. Do you put it on with your legs flat?

      • katherine June 7, 2010, 9:26 pm

        I recommend 90* also, because it reduces the pull from one end of the tape to the other. Looks like maybe there’s a video that would provide additional info. Hope you can find a way to make it work!!

  • Cristina June 7, 2010, 9:03 pm

    Haha the squished knees were hilarious… What kind of Chobani was that? The 0% Plain Chobani that I buy comes in a pink container (not baby blue?) Btw congrats on getting out for the run, I know you had said you had lost your “mojo”

  • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Moutaintops June 7, 2010, 9:05 pm

    The video for runner’s knee on the site doesn’t look anything like what you have on your legs. On the site he made a sleeve-like structure that went behind the leg. It looks like you used the pdf instructions, maybe try the video instructions next time.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter June 7, 2010, 9:08 pm

    The sleeve never works for my runner’s knee. I just have to take anti-inflamatory’s for a few days prior to a long run :/

  • Liz June 7, 2010, 9:11 pm

    The tape certainly looked sporty enough! I wonder why it didn’t hold for you? I sure hope you aren’t in some major pain in the mornin’! Maybe you need that extra sleep to aid in any discomfort caused by the sampling of the tape and it’s FAIL.

  • Kaye June 7, 2010, 9:13 pm

    As someone who can (and has) left a half full suitcase on the floor of my room post-vacation, I totally feel you on not rebuilding the bike!
    (P.S.) I went to Hawaii recently and an Ironman race was going on. My fiance was wondering how the athletes travelled with their bikes and I KNEW HOW from reading your blog. I felt like such a smartypants!

    As for the tape, did the guy reapply at any of the transitions?

    • Caitlin June 7, 2010, 9:16 pm


      No the guy didn’t retape. So weird how it didn’t work for me!

  • Claire June 7, 2010, 9:14 pm

    hmm, wish I had some tips for you but I’ve never had any knee problems (knock on wood). That dinner combo sounds great…love sweet potatoes on greens!

  • kelsey June 7, 2010, 9:16 pm

    From watching the video for Runner’s Knee, it doesn’t really look like you did it the same way that he did? He had strips that went almost all the way around to the back of his knee, and I can’t see anything like that in your picture? Like someone said above, try watching the video!
    I use Rock Tape to tape my ankle (because like you said, it’s MUCH easier because you only need one kind of tape), and I’ve never had any issues with it falling off in the pool. I don’t even give it 30 minutes usually. The only thing i can think of is that with this tape you have to be really careful not to have any stretch on the ends of the tape, or it will peel off really quick.
    Give it another shot! 🙂

    • Caitlin June 7, 2010, 9:23 pm

      Oh I didn’t realize the video was different! I used the brochure
      that came with the sample. Hmmmmmm.

  • Barb June 7, 2010, 9:18 pm

    The Kesio tape works…I just had my first Airrosti treatment for my knee. The tape length is much longer and split over the knee. I felt worlds better…

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! June 7, 2010, 9:21 pm

    Sorry about the rock tape! As a college athlete with some serious injury problems, I swore by Kinesio Tex tape ( It’s awesome, and it worked wonders for my ankles, shoulder, and even broken fingers. Good luck finding something that works better for you!

  • Sarah June 7, 2010, 9:30 pm

    Hi! I have been reading your blog for a while, and I love it! I really like to run, but I’ve been dealing with runner’s knee for some time now, which has kind of put me off from running. Its made me wonder, is running actually good for you if it hurts your body so much? I was wondering what your thoughts are on this. Thanks!

    • Caitlin June 7, 2010, 9:47 pm

      If I couldn’t run without pain, I definitely wouldn’t! But I am pain free as long as I wear my sleeves. Women’s bodies are designed to – unfortunately – cause knee problems. Our hips and quads structure makes Runner’s Knee really common in women.

    • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 7, 2010, 10:29 pm

      Sarah–try biking. I’ve had Runner’s Knee for years and years and my PT said biking not only is good cardio but it builds the muscles we need to keep the knee in line.

  • Sana June 7, 2010, 9:32 pm

    Ugh- putting the bike back together looks super annoying!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 7, 2010, 9:37 pm

    I’ve been craving veggies like MAD lately, so that looks delicious! And sweet potatoes are the best on salads!

  • Angie June 7, 2010, 9:39 pm

    I love your blog too! I wish I had a running partner. Where I live it’s very dangerous to run by myself. I live in the woods,LOL.
    Do have any suggestions? Mace maybe? I used to go to the park or a public place but that was also bad.

    BTW, Do you ever feel scared when you run or bike alone?

    • Caitlin June 7, 2010, 9:48 pm

      You need a running friend! Is there a runner’s club in your area? Or a running store you can put up a sign for a girl your age?

      I never worry about running alone because I run in such a populated area. I would definitely carry Mace if I were you and alone!

      • Angie June 7, 2010, 11:11 pm

        This gave me a great idea about posting a sign at the nearest store where I live. We don’t have a running store or club in these back woods of Oklahoma(that I know of)but maybe I can get something like that started! 😀 Thanks!

        • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 8:29 am

          yes just insists on a phone call first and a public meeting… like a coffee shop (i.e. not a deserted park).

  • Heather ( June 7, 2010, 9:59 pm

    I have never had luck with any kind of tape like that staying on! sorry it didn’t work!

  • ashley June 7, 2010, 10:15 pm

    it looks like you tend to hyper-extend your knees when you’re standing “normally,” which is probably a major factor in your knee pain. a basic description of that is here ( as knee pain fix #5. that’s why in your marathon body pics you appear to be tilting foward with your ears more over your toes than ankles. pay attention to it and quit locking your legs out and your knee pain will probably improve. the ib profen, the icing, the knee sleeves or tape are just treating the symptoms instead of the cause. inflammation isn’t a normal occurence. if you were to manually manipulate your patella (this is done with legs extended, knee slightly bent), there’s probably a fair amount of crepitus. also, quads are probably a bit tight. yoga poses, like fixed firm, would help.

  • Emily Eats and Exercises June 7, 2010, 10:15 pm

    The DVR is totally my downfall when trying to go to bed. Actually when I moved last month I ditched the TV all together – I still watch some of my favorite shows on my laptop, but it has made a HUGE difference in getting me to go to bed!

  • Angela (ohsheglows) June 7, 2010, 10:23 pm

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this, but did you prep the skin area to be taped? Sometimes tapes require that you wash any lotion or oil off the skin first and then dry it well so it has something to grab onto. I am guessing you know this or have already tried this though! 🙂

    • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 8:29 am

      yes, i prepped the area!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 7, 2010, 10:25 pm

    LOVE the addition of sweet potato in your sald….YUM!

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow June 7, 2010, 10:31 pm

    Kuddos for getting up and running doll! You’ve had a crazy long schedule and lots of stress finding a place and all sorts of jazz. 🙂

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 7, 2010, 10:32 pm

    I’ve been wondering about this tape. My PT used to to tape me with normal tape an it definitely helped. Still, he taped so tight I could never do major bending with it on. I’m sad it didn’t stay on!

  • Jenny June 7, 2010, 11:17 pm

    I love having cravings for veggies! Yum!

  • Faith ( June 7, 2010, 11:19 pm

    And I thought I was the only one out there who liked sweet potato on my salads! Very nice.

  • Faith ( June 7, 2010, 11:28 pm

    This comment is unrelated to this specific post but I can’t access your Operation Beautiful blog in China! Have you heard of “Dollhouse” jeans? These are the only jeans I have had for a year and a half of living abroad and the waistline says “you are beautiful” on the inside! How lovely is that?

    • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 8:30 am

      OB is blocked in China??? Really??? I feel kind of flattered that I’m censored…

      Yes! I love those jeans 🙂

  • ida June 7, 2010, 11:32 pm

    I love rock tape, but i can never put it on myself as well as my PT puts it on me. there is some trick to it that i can’t figure out either. you have to pull the tape really tight, and rub it a lot to activate the glue. there are some good videos on on how to use it.

    • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 8:30 am

      maybe I didn’t rub enough….

      • jessica June 8, 2010, 10:00 am


  • runnerforever June 7, 2010, 11:57 pm

    Sorry the tape did not work, it looks like it would be a hit or miss thing.

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople June 8, 2010, 12:02 am

    I haven’t ever used tape like that before. I have been using some athletic tape on my ankles where my shoes like to chafe me.

    I haven’t been able to find one that is sweatproof though. The strips always end up in a completely different spot than where I placed them!

  • Heather (heather's dish) June 8, 2010, 12:10 am

    bummer about the tape coming off! i would see about getting a physical or occupational therapist to show you how to do it correctly…someone who uses it consistently. i have a good friend who’s a therapist and she uses kinesio tape on every single patient with muscular imbalances!

  • Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt June 8, 2010, 12:10 am

    Your smooshed knees made me giggle. I’ve found that knee sleeves bother me so I’m interested to see if you figure out the tape!

  • Helen June 8, 2010, 2:04 am

    Oh no how dissapointing. Maybe you did put it on wrong as it worked for that man but then again, I’m sure it’s not that difficult and I’m sure you followed the instructions. It’s a bit strange! Maybe stick with the arm sleeves.
    Your dinner looks lovely, so fresh. I agree with your reply above, the skins on baked/roasted potatoes are definitely the best bit!!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit June 8, 2010, 3:09 am

    I hope you get that tape figured out! It seems like your sleeves were working fine for you though.
    Your salad looks so good!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs June 8, 2010, 3:16 am

    I’ve never even heard of rock tape before, I don’t get how it would work :s

  • Laura@keepingslimandgettingstylish June 8, 2010, 6:23 am

    Hi Caitlin, I’m so glad you had a link there to your post about your knee. I’m training for my first half marathon and last week my knee was in real pain. I’ve been to a phyiso and its also runners knee. I’m so encouraged by reading your posts that you can get through it and still run. I had a few teary eyed moments last week but I’m feeling so much more positive now. I’m going to order some in soles and I have also ordered a knee brace too. Fingers crossed I’ll be back out running soon! Can I ask – do you wear your insoles in running shoes that already have support for pronation or do you wear them in just standard trainers? x

    • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 8:32 am

      girl i feel you! stay strong, rest, and do whatever your PT tells you and you’ll be fine. it’s hard but I went onto run two more marathons, long trail races, and a marathon. You can do it pain-free!

      My insoles are in regular shoes.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) June 8, 2010, 6:34 am

    Hmm maybe like a few others said that there was lotion on your knees…
    It looks pretty cool though, haha.
    Woot! for you for disasembling the bike 🙂

  • Christina June 8, 2010, 8:08 am

    Did you clean the areas where you stuck the tape with rubbing alcohol first? Allow the alcohol to dry completely before adhering the tape.

    • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 8:32 am

      ahhh! that’s a good idea. i’ll try that too next time.

  • Sarah June 8, 2010, 8:10 am

    You can do it! Your body needs sleep (or that’s what it sounds like), and you can watch those shows later:-).

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) June 8, 2010, 8:37 am

    Hmm…that’s strange that the tape didn’t work for you. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the fact that he was male (i.e., hair on legs which tape can grab onto) vs. being female? I don’t know, that’s probably silly. 😉

    I’m recovering from runners knee as well, and I’m still on the search for a good knee sleeve or tape!

  • LeeAnn June 8, 2010, 11:25 am

    In my office we use kinesiotaping-which is similar to the rock tape. We spray the area with rubbing alcohol and wipe it down before taping. It will not stick if there is any lotion on your legs. And we make the guys shave the area we are taping first because it hurts SO BAD to take it off hair 🙂

  • Devon June 8, 2010, 2:19 pm

    I use KT Tape and it stays on for DAYS. Seriously, I’ll shower and everything with it on and it sticks. It’s helped me out a lot with my runner’s knee and IT band issues.

  • Marci June 8, 2010, 3:48 pm

    I tweeted to you yesterday, but I use KT Tape or Original Kinesio Tape. Both stay on for days too. I watched a video on Runner’s World for Original Kinesio, and the KT Tape website has its own videos. KT Tape has pre-measured pieces of tape, and Original Kinesio is one long tape that you cut as needed. I have used for mainly shins but there are videos for every body part.

    • Caitlin June 8, 2010, 3:50 pm

      if the knee sleeves werent so awesome i would definitely check it out!

      • Marci June 8, 2010, 3:51 pm

        Totally understand! If you found something that works, don’t change it!

  • Abbie July 16, 2010, 6:18 pm

    I have been reading up about using KT tape and was wondering if you had ever tried it. Im thinking about using it now because i tore a tendon in my shoulder and want to get back on my bike but am having pains after only a few miles

  • Myranda May 2, 2012, 2:51 pm

    You may of put it on wrong. I work with a chiropractor and we use it on many patients! Especially the teenagers who are in many different sports and a few of them had it last for almost a week!

  • Fiona July 25, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Sorry the Rocktape didn’t work for you.
    Some hints . If you have any form of lotion on your legs it won’t stick also you have to rub it more than ridgid tape to activate the glue, it’s heat activated. I’ve also seen people use hair dryers to do this. If you are using it in a cold area you need to rub it more.? Also I have found you need to make sure that at least a inch at either end is un-stretched. If it is stretch at the ends are not anchored enough it will pull off. The pics look like your application was a little short to allow for this.
    I just peeled some off my back that had been there for 6 days. And it usually last 3-4 days on my knees

  • MadHungarian December 9, 2012, 2:53 pm

    I just started using Rock Tape for my knee. I play soccer, and I’ve played 90 minute matches where I cover 10K and through all the sweat, contact, and tackles, it hasn’t started coming off on me yet. One trick that I was told when I bought it at Roadrunn Sports was to make sure you snip each corner so there are no 90 degree corners as they tend to lift up. So, I always snip ever corner and I have yet to have a problem with it lifting off.

  • danielle March 3, 2013, 7:41 pm

    I just started using Rock Tape for my swimmers knee and i have absolutely no problems with it so far. One major tip is to shave and wash area very thoroughly. Any oil, lotion, or perspiration will make the tape peel off. I use this right after I shower and shave and I go swimming 3x a week, go to the gym 4-5x a week and take at least 7-10 showers during that time and the tape will stay in place on average of 6 days. Also, as MadHungarian said above, make sure you leave 1-2 inches of the ends unstretched so it adheres better. If you still have a problem, opt for the H2O RockTape which is 2x stickier.

  • Tiffany Booth March 20, 2013, 12:58 am

    I didn’t read through all the posts about the rock tape so sorry if this was already addressed but 1) watch the different videos on the website They are under 2 minutes long. The key, besides clean, dry legs is that you do not stretch the two end pieces. You only stretch the middle part. The two ends need to stay unstretched so they don’t pull off the skin as you move. You basically apply it like you would a band-aid. See if this helps :).

  • Francisco Siqueiros July 11, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Hi, I recommend you check this golden rules video
    Can be helpful.

  • Ginger August 7, 2013, 7:00 pm

    It helps to round the edges with scissors when cutting the rocktape. Also make sure there is no lotion on your legs. I have used Rocktape many times (even during a Mud Run) and it has always stayed. I have taped my patients for swimming events and it has stayed on as well. I say find a Rocktape Doc near you and have them properly show you how to apply it.

  • Anna April 16, 2014, 8:05 pm

    Hi! So about that Rock Tape I use that stuff all the time, meaning I need to just buy stock in that company lol. Anywho try alcohol prep pads around the area you are taping. Make sure to rub the tape after applying. Mine stays on up to two weeks yes the edges will peel just trim it! I wore it in the pool go 3 hours an the worst that happened was it discolored the tape, but it stayed on for a good week after. I do waterpolo and cross fit and I won’t use any other tape 🙂

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