Running on an AlterG Treadmill (AntiGravity Treadmill)

Since posting on Instagram about running on the antigravity treadmill, better known as the AlterG treadmill, many people have asked me to write about my AlterG treadmill experience.

The AlterG is a great tool that I am fortunate to access.  You can see a full list of AlterG treadmills near you or in your area.  If you’re Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey local, the one I’ve been using is RunningCo. Of Haddonfield.

Running on an AlterG Treadmill (AntiGravity Treadmill)

AlterG Treadmill is not paying me, or sponsoring this post is anyway.

Like many runners, I like to run outside when I have the time. I’m no stranger to the AlterG treadmill and have used it recovering from a few injuries. Injury recovery is probably the most well-known reason to use an antigravity treadmill, but it’s not the reason I’m using it now.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy, and running outside is not always an option unless I want to run in midday at 90 degrees.  Since I don’t, my choices are to run on a regular treadmill, run on the AlterG treadmill, or don’t run. Because I also don’t know what each day will 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 AlterG treadmill.  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 AlterG treadmill to run while recovering from an injury.  There are a few great articles and case studies of how elite runners have trained on the AlterG treadmills during recovery.   It’s widely chosen as a rehabilitating tool by many physical therapists. Many professional runners also use the AlterG treadmill 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 antigravity treadmill for runners:

  • AlterG Treadmills are great for physical therapy following an injury to a lower extremity (like the feet or legs)
  • AlterG Treadmills can help prolong your running career by building leg strength without the full impact on your body.
  • Antigravity treadmills create less stress on joints and muscles.
  • Antigravity treadmills maintain and develop cardiovascular fitness while injured or away from sports.
  • AlterG treadmills can improve mobility strength and safety.
  • On an AlterG treadmill, you can run longer and recover faster with less pain.
  • AlterG treadmills can help progress gradually and easily adjust your workout intensity.
  • On an AlterG treadmill, you can safely change your running form without becoming more injury-prone.
  • AlterG treadmills are safe for those with neurological conditions and neurologic patients.
  • The Antigravity Treadmill is a safe way to lose weight and exercise for those who need something with less impact.
  • AlterG treadmills allow you to walk or run on injuries with less pain (or none)

So What Exactly Happens on the AntiGravity Treadmill?

You put on a pair of specialty pants, step into the AlterG treadmill and allow the air pressure to calibrate to your body weight.  The machine calibrates to a precise unweighting measurement. You can adjust to how much weight you would like to run there.  You can run anywhere from 20% body weight to 100%.

Right now, I feel between 80 percent 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) prefer to Netflix and run.

So Why Have I Chosen to use the AlterG Treadmill 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 run consistently.

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 prefer to run inside anyway.  It just makes the most sense right now to use the AlterG treadmill and not overly stress my body. I can train without pain and reduce impact. No pain and less impact is always the goal. We know running is a high impact sport, so there is no point to stress the body.

In case 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)…

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Questions for you:

Have you ever used an AlterG treadmill?

What are your tips for getting workouts in while busy?  (I could use some!)