Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm Getting Schooled... Part 3 of 5 (AlterG)

On May 11th, I had another appointment with Coach Wadsworth.  The main objective this day was to have him give me a stride analysis.  I really won't go into the gory details of it because it went pretty well, and what I'm about to talk about is a lot more interesting.  However, he made the observation that my left foot wasn't kicking back as high as my right, nor did it appear to be going through the full range of motion.  The cause most likely is my left leg is weaker and less flexible than my right, so I will be doing some exercises/plyometrics he prescribed.

The secondary purpose of my session with Nathan was to give his AlterG treadmill a test drive, er run.  I can vividly remember the first time I ever laid eyes on an AlterG.  It was in an issue of Runner's World which I used to have time to read cover to cover before I started blogging.  Now I mainly skim through it.  Anyhow, I thought it was a bad-ass piece of machinery that only Olympians had access to.  They are still pretty rare.

Somebody reading this may have never heard of, or know what an AlterG treadmill is.  Well, you're about to.  AlterG is short for Anti Gravity.  They are made in California with a price tag of $75,000.  They can be used for rehabilitation or performance training.  In some cases, they can just be used for a fun and unique experience.   The purpose of it is to allow you go on a crash diet and become up to 80% lighter than your current body weight while you otherwise use it like a regular treadmill.  It works by pressurizing an almost airtight tent that envelopes the lower part of the mill including you.  The resulting air pressure tries to push you out of the hole in the top thereby making you lighter.  Using the touch screen, it goes up to 18mph with a 0-15% incline.  It will even go 10 mph in reverse.  Other than that, a picture says 1000 words.

My maiden AlterG experience.  I'm actually running a near effortless 10 mph (6 minute mile)
in this photo while at 50% of my body weight.

The AlterG is controlled by a touch screen.  Like an iPod app on steroids.  I think those beverage
holders could easily hold a couple 40 ouncers.

I had it up to 12mph (5:00 pace) while at 40% of my body weight.  I'm sure I could have gone faster, but I wasn't used to the sensation and I felt a little off balance, so I played it safe.  The lighter I got, the more it felt like I was running on my tiptoes.  I wish I was wearing a HR monitor.  I've never tried that pace on a regular treadmill, and not sure I want to.  My PR in the mile is roughly 5:52, and I remember that being a lot more painful.

Aren't you glad you don't have to look at another picture of me.  Here's
a picture of my coach holding the special AlterG shorts I had to squeeze into.
Notice the industrial white zipper that runs around the waist. 

Even though my first run on the AlterG was more for fun and to get a feel for it (and to brag about it on my blog), someday I will probably try to work it into my routine.  Now that I got this experience off my bucket list, it's back to training.  In my next post, I'll go over the custom 10k training plan Coach Wadsworth created just for little old me.

Go To:
Part 1 of 5 (My New Coach)

Part 4 of 5 (10k Training Plan)

Part 5 of 5 (Coaching Costs)


Robin said...

Wow that looks like an interesting experience!

Coy Martinez said...

I've always wanted to try one of those babies out. I'm not sure if we have one in town or not. But they would be cool as heck to run in though! You look pretty happy in that pic! :)

NY Wolve said...

I need to get a stride analysis. i read somewhere that the forward lean should be 8-10 degrees, and to lean with your ankles. I know I am almost straight upright, and at my height and weight, a lot of energy is getting wasted. And, because of my injury history, I am sure my flexion is all off. So curious if you think it is worthwhile and helpful!

And Alter G look really cool. Never run on one, but keeping my eyes out for one for next rehab stint.

Terzah said...

Thanks goodness for the AlterG! That's all I can say....

It sounds like you were allowed to go lower than I was. The physiologists at BCSM all advised against going lower than 70% (I still found being that light pretty fun).

Being Robinson said...

okay, i seriously gotta hire this dude. i. am. jealous.

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Anonymous said...

Never heard of the AlterG, very interesting! Looks like quite the experience...Blessings my friend!

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