Can I use the Alter-G treadmill to add miles and speed while lowering overall tissue stress after recovering from an injury? That’s a great question and that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
I recently got a question from a runner and this is a guy that had a fracture, he signed up for a consultation call over webcam and then signed up for four weeks of coaching as he was returning to running to make sure that he didn’t make the fracture worse as he was actually getting back to activity.
When we were on the call, he said that his main question was that he really wanted to figure out what the additional things were that he could do to make everything stronger and regain his fitness in preparation for his marathon without making his recovering fracture worse. That is the name of the game.
If you sit and wait for your fracture to completely heal before you as in training, your fitness will take a complete and total nosedive and you are going to pay for it big time when you try to return. In fact, it actually may increase your risk of getting another overtraining injury when you actually do start ramping up because you start from such a weaker, stiffer, more disabled place. You don’t want to do that.
So, this is a great question. He asked me specifically, “Once I start running outside, can I use the Alter-G to add miles and speed while lowering overall tissue stress”, And the short answer is yes, That is a fantastic idea because if you think about this, returning to running and rebuilding your running fitness after you’ve had something like a fracture in your foot, requires you to do everything you can to strengthen everything, loosen everything, get your running form back without crossing over your threshold for re injury.
The stressful way to run is to run really fast outside. A less stressful way to run is to run slowly outside, and even less stressful way to run is to run on something that decreases the force of gravity by lowering your weight like an Alter-G treadmill. I don’t own any stock in the company. I don’t own an Alter-G treadmill. I don’t get paid for referrals or anything else but it is a tool I often recommend to injured runners to add some early return to activity without actually crossing over their threshold for healing.
If you think about that, as this guy did when we were on the call, he was thoughtful about this and was like “Okay, how do I eliminate problems? How do I make sure I don’t get injured again?” and one of the questions he had is about the Alter-G because he’s using it right now to run ahead of schedule. And in his case, when he’s running outside, if he takes any portion of his workouts that he knows are stressful like a long run or a speed session and instead of doing them on the track or on the road, he does them in the Alter-G treadmill at a lower percentage of weight or percentage of gravity. Then he’s going to be able to add more time on his feet, more distance in his logbook at lower stress and that is the name of the game.
You have to think about those things in terms of how do you run more, how do you decrease the stress to the tissue while you’re running so that you can run further, train more, get faster and get ready for your next race in spite of the injury.
If you haven’t checked it out, you should check out the running injury quiz. You can get that a docontherun.com/runninginjuryquiz is I believe what it is we’ll put a link in the show notes. But if you liked this episode, you found it helpful, lease like it, please subscribe, and I’ll see you in the next training.