Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Injured Running: My AlterG Experience




Yesterday I had another session with my sports chiro and after had the opportunity to try out the AlterG treadmill. It was a fun and interesting experience and something that would be a great addition to any runner’s training.
AlterG

What is the AlterG?
The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® creates a powerful lifting force using Advanced Differential Air Pressure Technology (ADAPT) that allows for ultra-low impact ambulation. It allows decrease body weight by as much as 80%. Running can be done without impedance from water or belts.” (Source) 

How was the run?
The first step is the cute and super tight fitting neoprene shorts…
Then the strange feeling of being lifted as the treadmill calibrates and fills with air!

Time to run…
I started out slow, playing around with weight bearing as the machine allows for 0-80% weight decrease. I found my happy medium at 60% of my body weight, allowing for a god focus on form but minimal impact on my leg. It was a great way to focus on foot strike, stride and body lean.

Then came speed play! The treadmill goes up to 18 mph! With my lack of speed work lately I was excited to run some intervals at 6-6:30 pace again pain free and easily could have run faster. The decreased impact allows for improved speed training and intervals. The treadmill also goes in reverse for backwards run training and lateral training. Incline also goes from 0-15% allowing hill work.

I ran about 3 miles, thinking little of the workout I just completed until I started walking. After a short cool down and being back to 100% body weight I stepped off and wow, my legs were heavy! The only downfall is the decreased arm swing due to the bubble of air around your waist. It is less affected as you run but still slightly changed from normal.

The AlterG is a great tool for injured runners to continue to train with less weight bearing as you heal, still allowing for speed intervals and hill work which are frequently the last workouts to return after an injury. It also helps with focus on form. Living in a place where winter can mean a lot of treadmill running, this would be a great tool to ad in to break up training session in winter.  


In the past I have run on the underwater treadmill an done pool running during injury but I think this was the better option. No water involved and much easier to simulate “normal” running conditions. Have you even tried the AlterG? What is your go to running workout when injured?

24 comments:

  1. now THAT looks serious! Good for you <3 How exciting to run fast AND without pain!!

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    1. This would be perfect for you during rehab! Wonder if there is one near you at all?

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  2. That is so cool! I tried water running when I had a stress fracture but never really got into it. I stuck with the eliptical.

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    1. I felt the same about water running, I'd do it since I was even limited with the eliptical but was not a huge fan.

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  3. That looks SO COOL! I am recovering from a car accident and I wish that I had that machine!

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    1. It would be great for you, I wish I had this for past injuries.

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  4. Oh wow Jen! That looks so cool! I've never heard of the AlterG! What an awesome concept especially for injured runners! Thanks for sharing! And I hope the leg is getting much better!

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    1. It is great, I think I may even run on it non injured

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  5. I've heard good things about the Alter-G, but appreciate your detailed description. I pool run when injured. Actually, I like it a lot for speed work. But if I had access to one of these, I'd give it a try!

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    1. Pool running is good but the pool schedule is tough at times, this is a great transition.

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  6. Very cool! I've done pool running but this looks much better.

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    1. It is better, no water involved and closer to real running

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  7. I have seen pictures of these before but never new the name, or exactly what they they did. Now I know. Wow is all I can say.
    I too have done pool running too, but I had access to this (if I ever go injured - touch wood), I would so want to use this.

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  8. That is so cool! What a great alternative to pool running!

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    1. It is a great alternative especially when you don't want the hassle of a pool!

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  9. What a cool option- I would love to try one someday!

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    1. It was great, you should try it perfect for training even when not injured!

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  10. I've heard of this, but no I have never tried it.
    Pretty cool, this is the best info I have read about them, I only knew a little before. Kinda cool! Hope it works for you, and you can become injury free soon!!!

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    1. It is really cool :) Thanks, I think I am close..

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  11. Replies
    1. I thought they only existed for the pros, so it was great to find on local for real people :)

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  12. Hi, my name is Megan Chen and I work at AlterG. Thanks for your awesome review! I just wanted let you know that you could attain normal/proper arm swing by lowering the cockpit. Looking at your pictures, the bag is placed a little high. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at mchen@alter-g.com!

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    1. Thanks Megan, this is good to know since I pan to incorporate this into my winter training. I was set up by someone so I will tell them about lowering too :)

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