CINCINNATI — Just in time for the Flying Pig Marathon, there’s a contraption helping runners lighten their training load, almost like running on the moon.
“It's similar -- reduced gravity – absolutely,” says Rocky Tekulve, Mercy Health athletic trainer.
It’s called the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, and it offers the closest thing to out-of-this-world running here on earth.
"It works on a concept called differential air technology -- meaning pressure in the bag is different from pressure outside the bag, so it gives you an imperceptible lifting kind of force,” says Tekulve.
Tekulve says if you weigh 100 pounds and you work out at 50 percent of your body weight in the AlterG, you're landing with 50 pounds of force on your legs -- compared to way more outside the chamber.
That's why it's so helpful for rehabbing post injury or for prepping for something like the Flying Pig.
Jaqueline Sanders knows long-distance training sessions can take a toll. It’s one reason she reserves time for this different kind of run.
“The AlterG is really good for recovery miles,” says Sanders. “It's really good when your body is tired from the impact of running, but you still want to get that leg turnover.”
And the cardiovascular work.
The key is wearing the special pants that allow you to zip yourself in and create an airtight environment.
“We want to regulate how much weight is off the body,” says Tekulve.
If air escapes, they can't do that.
And it's the weight reduction that allows the AlterG to reduce stress on knees and hips while getting in the reps.
When you run a mile, each foot hits the ground 750 times, says Tekulve.
That's a big load the AlterG can lighten.
Mercy Health has machines at three locations. For info you can call 513-233-4360.