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.
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?