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Archive for August, 2009

Hilary Lorenz on the Alter-G

Hilary Lorenz on the Alter-G

I just had the best workout of my life. Many of us fantasize about having more training time, having the cool gadgets that the pros have and planning how we be  faster, stronger and more competitive.  Yesterday in  NYC one of  my dreams  came true; the ability to train on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill, just like Paula Radcliffe, who owns two of the $75,000 machines, Dathan Ritzenhein and  Kara Goucher.

Prior to finding Barry Heyden, Former Director of Fitness and Conditioning for the New York Mets and founder of Full Spectrum New York, I thought the Alter-G treadmills were only for the pros and if there were any available it would be wildly expensive. I did find one other machine at New York Hospital for Special Surgery’s Performance lab.It turns out the Barry spearheaded the development of  the hospitals Performance Center and the training for the Alter-G. Any individual can work out at the hospital but it is expensive, $350 for the initial consultation and $100 an hour. I do not see myself running on theirs any time soon. However Barry is making his very accessible to a wide range of people where you can buy a 10 hour package for only $450. At $45 an hour that is the same a a cheap Chinatown massage and less than one hour with the dog walker. Save all that mental health therapy money you have been spending because your injured  and invest it in training on this thing. You can run even with a stress fracture or in Radcliffe’s case after bunion surgery.

Blossom on the Alter-G trainer

Blossom on the Alter-G trainer

My reason  for training on this is to get my fitness back faster after breaking my foot 12 weeks ago.  I had been pool running but felt myself getting slower and slower. My return to land running is  difficult and I hate running on a treadmill. But the G-trainer is built around a Woodway Treadmill which makes  gym treadmills feel like caveman tools. It feels fantastic both forward and backward.

I also want to do overspeed training. The G-trainer is the perfect tool for overspeed training. As the individual decreases their weight they’re able to increase their speed beyond what they could normally do at full weight. They are able to run at a faster turnover rate increasing their body’s familiarity with higher speeds. The muscle memory from these increased speed sessions increases the overall speed potential of the individual when at full body weight. The G-Trainer’s broad variable range for weight, speed, and incline allows people to customize their workout session to their specific needs. After warming up I was able to run a 5:20 mile pace, something I have never done on land. It felt like I was running really fast on the track. I was light on my feet yet felt the full extension of my legs and the balls of my feet hitting the ground and pawing back. I had such a nice back kick that I could feel my foot coming to my butt. It was fast but always in total control.

I can’t say enough good things about this treadmill and Barry who is a super nice guy and truly a brilliant and gifted trainer. He gave me a few  $50 vouchers that I can give out to friends so if you are in NYC and want to try this for free let me know. My plan is to train at Barry’s  2-3 days a week though the end of year to increase endurance, then use it for stamina training  in preparation for the Boston Marathon in April.

If you make an appointment with Barry directly tell him Hilary sent you and if you want a free voucher let me know I will be in Central Park this Saturday morning.

Happy running.

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I hoped that at week 1o of my stress fracture healing  I would be able to run the New York Road Runners Team Championships. I knew it would not be a great race but an okay race. I began my rehab running back on July 14 and it is now August 8th. One week ago I did my first continuous 30 minutes of running and on Monday I ran 4 x 1 mile. But no way am I ready.

I began cross training the morning after breaking my third metatarsal all the way through. I deep water ran 5 days a week, rode my bike everywhere  and began swimming lessons. I  swim with a masters team 3x a week and do strength training. I work out about 2+ hours a day in an attempt to keep fit and to make it easier when I started running again. My runs began over three weeks ago with a 5 minute walk and a 1 minute run x 5. progressing until I was running 30 continuous minutes. I have done this 7 days a week for over three weeks.  So it should feel easy right?

The reality is my body feels like a rigid piece of metal. My upper body feels like it moves independent of my lower body. My trunk does not seem to connect with my legs and each step  takes effort and thought. My form is crap. My first real test  was the 4 x 1 mile. I waited until dark because it was  hot and humid. I jogged over to the 6th street track which is 1.06 miles away. My pace  on the track was 7:29, 7:28, 7:24, 7:59. I do not know what happened on that last one but it was such a big jump that I stopped there. I had thought about doing 5.  I  noticed my shadow as I ran and it appeared that I might have a  limp. My last two 30 minutes continuous runs averaged 8:15 pace. I would like that to be my marathon pace! To put things in perspective my 10k pace is 7:20 and my 4 mile pace 7:00.

Back in May running a fast cross country pace  felt very free and loose. I love that feeling of running up and down the steep dirt hills. But today’s run over the Williamsburg Bridge I had to focus on each step. Honestly, I  wanted to stop. My foot did not hurt, but my body  did not feel like it could  move. Going up the steepest sections I felt depressed when my garmin read 9:55 pace. Hopefully it was a malfunction or I pulled it together because my average at the end of the 3.5 mile run was 8:40. The pace is not bad for an easy  run, but  it was not easy, and that is frustrating. It is not taxing on my aerobic system and I barely sweat, but moving my legs feels very mechanical and labored. I came home and did 30 minutes of yoga which reinforces to me how much stronger  my muscles are;  now if I could just figure out how to make them move again. I know it takes time and I am happy I can run continuously. But for those of you with stress fractures, just know it can feel like you are learning to run all over again.

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