Doh, cheesy title. But it just fits so well!
Last night while it was dumping buckets of peanut M&M sized rain drops and gusting 30mph winds at Kezar, I decided it was the perfect time to head inside for a date with Mr.G. I’d heard so much about this character, instant weight loss, running faster than you’d ever run before, enabling those injured to train before 100% recovery, a miracle worker in all respects.
So I headed to M2 for my tempo workout on the Alter-G. I slipped on the snazzy (think early ’90’s style) compression shorts and stared at the machine. Hmm, where is the ON button? Once located, I knew NOT to get on the machine while turning on. This was learned the hard way from my friend last week. Oops? Okay, so it’s on, it looks ready to go. I get in. I pull the thing up, zip the shorts into the top. Now, lock in place right? Won’t lock. At this point, I feel like a total fool. I should probably also mention that there is a seriously intense 80 minute spin class with at least 25 participants going on just to my left. M2 was even riding. So he motions some gestures to me while spinning away – pull up! I figure out that I have to pull the sides up to my waist height for it to lock in place. Finally, I’m ready to go.
I start with a warm-up and test the weight setting at 85%. At an 8 min. mile for about 2 minutes, my heart rate didn’t break 120. That would be the same as like walking up a mild hill, slowly. Or speed walking flat. So I add a little weight, also testing to feel what it’s like when you add lbs. to your run instantly. Oy! It was like gravity itself was somehow bearing down on me. Do. Not. Like.
After a 1 mile warmup, I settled in at 95% of my body weight and an 8 minute mile. I figured I’d pick the speed up every .5 miles, given that the first .5 might need some pace tweaking. I quickly picked it up to a 7:24 min/mile and was only in zone 2. Same as my 9:30 easy recovery run! Wow, let’s crank it up even more. So I kept going up. 7min/mile. 6:50 min/mile, 6:40min/mile, 6:30min/mile! All at intervals of .5 miles. Let’s get one thing straight – I can run a 6:30. For sure. Just only for 1/4 of a mile, total.So I was pretty jazzed to feel like I was flying, literally, at a fast clip, while my body and especially my heart, didn’t work all too hard to do so. Because you’re literally zipped in, it forces you to stay in a single position on the treadmill. It also makes you fairly conscious of how much bouncing you might do with your natural stride. It felt a little different at first, you definitely have to get used to it, but once comfortable, I didn’t have any issues with being zipped in place. I kind of liked that it reminded me not to bounce or move around, forcing my stride to stay efficient.
Total workout – 4.5 miles. 1 mile warmup at 8min/mile, mile 2 at 6:55, mile 3 at 6:40, mile 4 at 6:30 and a .5 mile cooldown – at 8min/mile. Body weight – 95%.
So why would I want to do this repeatedly? Aside from the awesomeness of running faster than I can in the presence of my dear friend gravity, there are other benefits. The first thing I kept thinking was damn, what if I lost 6 lbs? Dang! I would be starved, emaciated, hungry, but freaking fast – if I could stand up that is. Of course, I won’t object to any experts out there letting me know that 6 lbs of weight loss isn’t crazy for me. (Note, I am not skinny, I am fit. Rather my bottom half is fit, my top 1/2 is skinny. Meaty legs if you will).
Anyhoo, the bigger, more important benefits of this rather fancy treadmill include the ability to get in a speed or tempo workout without the extra impact that normally comes with the territory. It’s like teaching my legs to move fast enough without frying my heart and muscles in the process. Another bonus is that my legs felt good this morning. While I wouldn’t say fresh, I mean I have been running or cycling every day for several days, they certainly didn’t feel fatigued or sore from a prior night of speed or tempo work. So yes, love at first run Mr. G. I am a big fan of you!
Now I can even get one for myself at only $27,000. Too bad it doesn’t fit in my apartment. I’ll settle for the one just down the street at M2 for now.