My favorite Active Release, Graston Technique and chiropractic expert, Karson Mui picked up an AlterG the other day and I got a chance to test it out! Though I’m not currently injured or looking to rehab it was really nice learning how it works and getting used to it, should I need to use it in the future.
I only adjusted the settings down to 70% body weight right off the bat and honestly didn’t feel a huge difference. Having only run a treadmill a few times in my life, I still felt weird just trying to figure out my stride. I’m going to guess that frequent treadmill users might recognize a bigger difference from the gravity reduction, rather than the treadmill itself. That being said, the sensation of the neoprene half leggings and being zipped into a skirt does feel a bit odd, but once you get moving it becomes comfortable. One more thing that is weird is the inability to fully see your legs as you run, not that my head is down the whole time or anything, but it was hard to tell if my stride was a wonky as it felt.
Working the Specs
Once I kind of figured out how to run again I started messing with the settings. I had started out with the display on time so I had no clue what pace I was running, upon switching I realized I was at an 8:30 pace and started cranking it down. (Again, not a treadmill runner, mph means nothing to me) I worked it down to 6:30 pace and set the incline to 4% before I really started going down on the gravity. I worked it down 45% of body weight and really started to feel weird! After just 55% though, the difference became very noticeable. (the lowest setting is 20%) Dr. Mui came in to check out my thoughts, so I figured it was a good time to bring the pace down some more and show off. haha
Still Putting in Work
I maxed out the AlterG they have at 5:00/mile or 12MPH and had the body weight at about 50% at that point. Even with the incline at 3%, running 5 min miles I could still carry on a conversation without panting for breath. My legs are not used to that kind of turnover for a sustained period, but I kept the pace deep below 6 min miles as I messed with the incline and gravity for another couple miles and still didn’t feel too dead. By putting the weight back up to 70% and incline set to 3% I had to do some work to stay at 5K pace (5:18) but it still felt easier than running 6:30’s at 70% did when I first started out. I brought the body weight back up to 80% and had the speed set to about marathon pace, 5:55-6:00/mile, it felt just about the same as running 6:30-40 on pavement. Amazing what less gravity can do for effort!
My Legs Feel Weird!
In conclusion I have one major piece of advice, don’t try to run outside again right away! It felt so weird trying to move, I wanted to just fly, but felt like I couldn’t stay upright when I tried to run. The sensation did go away pretty quickly though as I went right to my run group afterwards and didn’t notice after half a mile. The AlterG at Mui’s is in a basement and having just installed it, they didn’t have any fans or anything in place yet so it did get really hot. Especially hot inside the legging parts if you know what I mean, like, really hot, haha. Other than that, I will be psyched to try it out again when I’m trying to come back from injury or keep my running up with some injuries, or if I just want the fun of running 5 min miles with little effort! I’m sure they’ll have it all set with fans etc too and I heard rumor of a TV even, so go check it out if you’re in need of what the AlterG can do! Also, Mui is the best in the area for just about any other pains you might have, I have many friends that swear by his services. They also have orthopedic massage, physical therapy, and acupuncture experts in the office.
I thought it would be fun to review since I write about everything else pertaining to running in my life. So there you have it, the highlight of my running last week! Other than that, I’m back into full time training now as I’ve signed up for another spring marathon in a few weeks! Eek! Don’t know what I was thinking, but I’m trying to be smart about it now that I’ve signed up. I know another PR is unlikely, but I’m trying to get my fitness back as soon as safely possible so I can at least get a solid sub 3 hour time out of it, should the other factors work in my favor.