When I called my mom on Monday, her first question to me was, “Are you still running that half marathon thing?”
“Yes Mom. I ran it yesterday.”
“Well you better stop running now. Otherwise you’re going to break your knee again.”
I can understand her concern. After all, she’s watched me go through two knee surgeries and countless injuries for my love of sports and fitness and yes, running. She’s watched (and heard me whine) about the pain and frustration of rehab.
But what she doesn’t understand is that running and fitness has nestled its way into my body, heart and soul. And it’s not something that I would easily give up.
No. Runners don’t stop running. We adapt and change and find a way through so that we can continue to do that thing that we love and that gives us joy. It’s been a long time since I’ve said this but yes, running gives me joy.
Instead of running 5 days a week, I run 3 days a week, and I don’t run on back-to-back days because I know that the impact is something that my body doesn’t always like.
For my body, running more increases the risk of injury like crazy. I supplement my running with yoga and strength training so that I can build a better body and so that I can be a better athlete.
Believe me, there are days when I really wish that I could run to my heart’s content. Now, there’s a new tool available that can help people like me and you run longer and better.
Last Thursday, I attended an event with Octane Fitness and they introduced us to their new cross trainer – the Zero Runner. It is designed to replicate the motion and biomechanics of running but with zero impact so that you can reduce the pounding and stress on your body while still getting the sport-specific training of a run.
“No one told me how much injury would be a part of your life as a runner.” – Larry Schmidt
We had a chance to hear from Olympian Carrie Tollefson and Larry Schmidt, a longtime runner, and their stories resonated with everyone in the room. As lifelong, passionate runners, both love to run but have been hampered by injuries which ultimately led Carrie to stop competing and Larry to receive a hip replacement.
Carrie was very clear in saying that more mileage doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better for you. Both noted that if a tool like this had been available to them years ago, they probably could have mitigated some of their injuries and managed the impact of running better instead of breaking down.
The ultimate testimonial? When Larry first tried the Zero Runner, it was the first time in seven years that he could run without pain.
The Zero Runner is definitely unique and looks kind of like a funny elliptical machine. When you’re on it, it looks like you’re running on air. It allows for full range of motion so that you can use the same muscles you’d use if running outside.
One of the coolest things is that the Zero Runner teaches you about your gait and your running form. It tracks everything from gait length to height. And you can see how your gait changes as you run further and longer.
By perfecting your form on the Zero Runner, you develop the muscle memory that you need when you take your workouts outdoors and it helps you run more efficiently.
Here are some other cool features of the Zero Runner:
- Bionic legs. The machine has a knee and hip joint which allows the Zero Runner to more closely replicate your own running motion and biomechanics.
- You are the motor. The machine follows your motion naturally and become an extension of you.
- Wide range of motion. You can use it to do a dynamic warm-up, simulate a a hill workout by leaning forward, or incorporate strength training by lunging forward.
- No noise! It’s not a loud machine since it’s powered by you. Since you act as the motor, there are no cords.
- Lots of stats. The SmartLink app wireless connects to the console (or mobile device) and displays all your workout stats and can design a customized plan for you. It also allows you to monitor your stride.
- One size fits all.
- It’s about the same width as a treadmill but shorter in length.
The Zero Runner is meant for a wide range of people, everyone from aspiring or beginning runners to regular exercisers to active and competitive runners to injured runners and aging runners.
You can incorporate the Zero Runner into your routine a couple of different ways:
- Build endurance.
- Reduce impact as you prep for races with combo runs such as 15 miles outside and 4 miles inside.
- Active recovery. You’re still training running muscles while working out without impact.
- Cross-training. You can incorporate strength and flexibility training (even yoga) into your workout. The Zero Runner comes with resistance bands and seven connection points at the front and back of the machine. You can use the SmartLink app to customize a workout to target your weak links.
I admit. I was somewhat skeptical of the Zero Runner at first. But after seeing it in action and hearing from Carrie and Larry, I see how this machine could really change how we approach training and running.
How do you manage the impact of running? Would you try the Zero Runner?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Octane Fitness.