Behind the Scenes

How the K1 Helped Me Recover From My Knee Injury by Stoko CEO Zack Eberwein

How the K1 Helped Me Recover From My Knee Injury by Stoko CEO Zack Eberwein
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Once upon a time, there was a knee injury. Then there was a revolutionary knee brace—and they all lived (and ran) happily ever after.

Scott and I started this company after I tore the ligaments in my knee for the third time while doing Grouse Mountain's Multi-Grind Challenge back in 2016. Because I chose not to wear a knee brace that day, I ended up having to back out of my goal to complete the challenge, despite being in what I thought was the best shape of my life.

My rehabilitation went well initially, but startup life eventually got the better of me. As work picked up, my recovery slowly subsided and I gained a substantial amount of weight. The irony was that as we started building up our brand around bringing top-level athletes back into action, I couldn’t participate because of my poor fitness levels. I decided I had to get back into shape and put an end to my knee problems.


Getting back to the grind after my injury

I began with intermittent fasting with a six-hour eating window and running stairs with pushups and situps between sets, at least once a day. This started with five sets of five floors and took me roughly 15 minutes on day one. Then I added one set per day until reaching 20. Eventually, I could run the 20 sets (approximately 3 km) with far more pushups and situps in 22 minutes. I returned to the Grouse Grind when it opened this year and have climbed it more than 25 times since then. My best time so far is around 38 minutes.

“I returned to the Grouse Grind when it opened this year and have climbed it more than 25 times since then. My best time so far is around 38 minutes.”


On August 25, I went camping for a few days. During my time out, I decided to give distance running a go for the first time since my injury. I ran 8.6 km in 53 minutes at a 6'09" per km pace. I was pretty pleased, to say the least, so I kept going and ran 11 km and 8 km. The day after that, I ran another 8 km, improving my speed to 5'27". Back home on August 28, I pushed myself to run a half-marathon in 1 hour and 47 minutes, improving my pace again to 5'06" and adding a couple of bonus kilometres for a total of 23 km.

When I told Scott how well my training was going, he suggested trying for a full marathon. We thought it would be a good challenge to prepare for it in under four weeks—mainly because “Marathon in a Month” sounded cool. September 19 was the date we set in stone, and I began to up my training and push my limits even further in preparation.

On a rainy Vancouver morning on September 19, I ran my first marathon and achieved my goal of Marathon in a Month with a time of 3 hours and 28 minutes. The whole Stoko team showed up to support me. And so did my K1s—I could never have done it without them.


My K1s helped me fully recover

I’ve always been a go big or go home kind of person. So when I went for my first run 25 days ago, of course it made sense to attempt a marathon less than a month later. At Stoko, our purpose is to empower athletic potential. We invented our supportive apparel to help athletes protect their knees, push their limits, and perform at their best. I have no doubt that wearing the K1 made all of that possible for me.

—Zack Eberwein, Stoko Co-founder and CEO