Not sure how this injury prone masters body waited so long to take its first spin on an Alter-G treadmill. Somehow made it to 48! But, my achilles has been cranky since mid-July. I’ve been rehabbing like a mofo, can aggressively hike over 2 hours without pain, and even jump rope 6x 30s double-leg, 3x20 secs each side single leg without consequence. But, even 3x1 min runs were setting that pesky bugger back. So I figured it was time to somehow bridge the gap between walking, jumping, and running. Enter: the awesome PT Sarah Gustafson (best glasses ever!). She said I was ready to give the Alter-G a try.
The day before my appointment, Sasha Gollish sent me the following Alter-G advice:
1) Wear tight shorts or knickers - nothing like the bunch of loose shorts in the neoprene shorts.
2) Forget wearing underwear - for similar reasons above. The undies seams can lead to serious chafing in the nether regions!
3) Be prepared to feel like you’re participating in Gwenyth Paltrow’s vagina steaming. Like really gets insanely hot in neoprene shorts. I mean you’re basically running in a wetsuit.
4) It feels like you’re being strung up by a wedgie, but this is good since the goal is to not run at full weight. But try to run naturally; the tendency is to over stride, land on your toes, and pull through, which is hard on the hammy’s.
5) Relax. I found I tensed up in my shoulders because of the apparatus around my waist. Caused some back ache the first time I used it.
6) Also avoid farting - it’s kind of like farting in a hot shower. It can be very stinky!!!
After my successful trial today, I can say basically Sasha nailed it.
Putting on the neoprene tutu wasn’t too difficult. Once the support bag was inflated, the wedgie action was extreme (I started at only 65% body weight). I would emphasize that the wedgie is a FRONT wedgie. Got pretty up close and personal. Not sure how dudes make the Alter-G happen!
But I did 20 minutes at 65% weight, and it felt glorious to move my legs front/back in a normal running cadence for that long. On schedule to do a 3-week progression to full body weight running, every other day on this baby.
10/4 update: finished my 5th session, up to 80% for 30 minutes, and all systems go. The great thing I have noticed is that my left calf definitely feels a little tired/weird at the end, but no pain and by the next session I am 100%. Really a great way to apply just the appropriate stress to healing tissue. Praise be for technology!