Progress helps Half Marathon Pacer

I was down to act as a pacer at the Cambridge Half Marathon. Unfortunately I’d picked up a calf injury and Adam Moffatt (Director of the Half Marathon) put me in touch with ‘Progress’. They were really helpful.

I had a number of tests and was recommended a series of stretching exercises. I was also able to use the ‘Alter G’ anti-gravity treadmill. The whole approach was to enable me to train within the limits of which I was capable rather than to stop altogether.

The ‘Alter G’ anti-gravity trainer was a real benefit. It enabled me to put in extra training sessions as the icy weather in January disrupted my outdoor sessions. The machine is basically a treadmill but it has a skirt that you zip yourself into, rather like the skirt on a hovercraft. The machine weighs you and it is then possible for you to set the machine so that you’re running with, say 75%, of your body weight. The skirt lifts you up to reduce the weight going through your joints. In all other respects it is like a conventional tread mill. It enabled me to run hard for a session on a day when I would previously have avoided running. With the ‘Alter G’ anti-gravity treadmill I could run and get the cardio-vascular benefits of that, as well as some leg and joint strengthening, without injuring myself. I don’t know the real impact this has had on my running yet because the ice and snow has interfered, but it’s starting to feel better.

Neil Costello