As we get closer to the Vermont City Marathon and the miles are piling up from week to week, the aches and pains are piling up as well. Hopefully, most of you are experiencing the usual feelings of stiffness and soreness that you would expect after your long runs or after a speed workout— the kind of soreness you have come to expect when training for a marathon; nothing that will prevent you from completing the next workout. As long as you take care of your body by doing all of the right things, you can keep these minor aches and pains from becoming an injury that could bring your training to a grinding halt.
But what if you are beginning to feel like you are on the edge of an injury? What if you have already gotten to the point where you are injured and the pain is making it almost impossible to run? You know you probably should not continue to run; but if you take time off now and rest to let that injury heal, you know you will begin to lose the fitness you have worked so hard to build over the past few months. And if you take too much time off, you may not even be able to finish the marathon.
Running Through the Pain
This is where the AlterG treadmill can benefit you. The AlterG treadmill is a revolutionary treadmill that can reduce your body weight while you run so that you can minimize the impact forces of running and reduce the strain on an injury. The AlterG can allow you to continue running without making your injury worse and possibly allowing it to heal at the same time.
How is the AlterG different from water running? Water running is completely different than real running. When you run in the water, you have to move your legs through the resistance of the water which is very different from the way you run on land. When you run on land, there is no resistance when you pick your foot up off of the ground and move it forward. The workout comes from the impact of striking the ground and from pushing off of the ground. With water running, there is no impact stress at all, and the mechanics of how you move your legs through the water is completely different from how you move over land.
The AlterG is no different from normal running other than its ability to reduce the impact stress of running. It allows you to reduce your body weight down to 20% of your body weight in 1% increments. For a minor injury, you can run at 85% of you body weight, which can reduce the stress of running just enough to keep the injury from getting worse but also allowing you to get in a workout so you will be able to stay on track with your training. For a more severe injury, you can reduce your body weight down to 60%, which will not give you quite the same fitness benefit as running at your normal body weight, but it is better than not running at all. At the very least, running at a reduced body weight will prevent a loss of fitness and allow you a greater opportunity to make it to the finish line without risking a more severe injury.
At OnTrack, we schedule your first AlterG appointment with a physical therapist first to evaluate your injury to be sure that running on the AlterG is appropriate for you. We evaluate the injury to see what other interventions can be used to help your injury improve and integrate the AlterG into your program to maximize your potential to make it to the starting line of your race in the best possible shape and with as little pain as possible. To learn more about the AlterG and what it can do, visit AlterG | Anti-Gravity Treadmill | Bionic Leg.