Since posting on Instagram about running on the anti-gravity treadmill, better known as the Alter-G, many people have asked to write about my experience on there!
The Alter-G is a great tool that I am fortunate to have access too. You can see a full list of Alter-Gs near you or in your area. If you’re Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey local, the one I’ve been using is it at RunningCo. Of Haddonfield.
Alter G is not paying me or sponsoring this post is anyway.
Like many runners, when I have the time I like to run outside. I’m no stranger to the Alter-G and have used it recovering from a few injuries. Injury recovery is probably the most well-known reason to use it, but it’s not the reason I’m using it now.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy for a few weeks and running outside is not always an option unless I want to run in midday in 90 degrees. Since I don’t, my choices are run on a regular treadmill, run on the Alter-G or don’t run. Because I also don’t know what each day is going to bring, my training could also be all over the place. One week, I could have time for 70 miles. The next week, only 20. Drastic changes in mileage would create an injury. So, I settled on running on the Alter-G. I’ll still get a workout in and retain muscle memory. However, I won’t put as much stress as my body.
As I mentioned, many people use the Alter-G to run while recovering from an injury. There are a few great articles and case studies of how elite runners have trained on the Alter-G during recovery. Many professional runners also use the Alter-G to keep stress off their bodies, so they are less injury prone.
You can run anywhere between 20% body weight and 100% body weight.
Here are just a few benefits with the anti-gravity treadmill for runners:
- Physical therapy following an injury to a lower extremity (like the feet or legs)
- Prolong your running career by building leg strength without the full impact on your body
- Maintain and develop cardiovascular fitness while injured or away from sports.
- Run longer and recover faster with less pain
- Gradually progress and easily adjust the intensity of your workout
- Change your running form without becoming more injury prone.
So What Exactly Happens?
You put on a pair of specialty pants, step into the Alter-G and allow it to calibrate to your body weight. From there you can adjust to how much weight you would like to run at. You can run anywhere from 20% body weight to 100%.
Right now, I feel between 60-70% is a good number for me. After the machine calibrates, you just run. You can do anything that you do on a normal treadmill including hills or speed. I have seen several local elite runners do workouts on it and some people (like myself) just prefer to Netflix and run.
So Why Have I Chosen to Go This Route This Summer?
It’s not a secret I’m injury prone. Due to my form, I stress my metatarsals more than the average person. When my training becomes inconsistent, I get injured. As I mentioned, since I am busy this summer, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to consistently run.
That isn’t because I don’t want to run but because I don’t have the time. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been out of the house from 6 am-7 pm. Sometimes I have a couple of empty hours in the middle of the day, but at that point, it’s 90+ degrees. I would prefer to run inside anyways. Thinking out loud, it just makes the most sense right now to use the Alter-G and not overly stress my body.
Incase you missed Monday’s training log, I posted a short video about going through the process. (And yes, I do make random comments like that frequently)…
Questions for you:
Have you ever used an Alter G treadmill?
What are your tips for getting workouts in while busy? (I could use some!)