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The One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon is just one month away, so (hopefully) you are building your mileage in preparation for your 13.1 mile journey.    This is a critical juncture in your training, as the ever-increasing mileage can derail many a runner with injuries.  What can you do to minimize this risk?

If you are an experienced runner, you may already be familiar with the 10% rule of mileage.  This rules suggests that you never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%.  But before you blindly follow this rule, let’s personalize it to you individually.  Looking back over your running career, have you been injury-prone?  Or are you one of the lucky ones who can sail through changing mileage and intensity with no negative consequences?  If you are injury prone, then please consider that even a 10% increase may be too much for you.  Some marathon training programs report greater success using a 3-5% rule of mileage.  Following this slower mileage increase, they report a 90%+ success rate getting participants injury-free to the starting line.   

Another training technique which you might consider is adding “drop back” weeks to your plan.  While building up your mileage, every 3 weeks you “drop back” in mileage by 25-50% (for one week).  This affords you a deeper recovery and further protection from injury.  Increasing numbers of elite athletes are incorporating this into their training plan –  “dropping back” in both distance and intensity every 3 weeks.  

A third tool which distance runners employ is to cross train – supplementing their running with low impact activities (such as swimming, cycling, elliptical training and rowing).  This protects your joints and keeps you moving.  But……. for us die-hard runners, it is just not the same as running.  Also, if your goal is performance – getting faster and placing in your age group – then the best way to race faster is to actually train faster (and this faster training is running, not moving on an elliptical).  So is cross-training not a viable option for us avid runners?  Actually, because of the advent of a brand new machine, it is.  

This brand new machine, called the Octane Fitness Zero Runner, debuted in 2014.  This revolutionary machine from allows you to actually run, but in a no-impact suspended position.  This is not “kind of like running”, but is actually running.  How would an avid distance runner use this?

Continue to run outdoors, but supplement your mileage indoors in a safe and injury-free environment.  This is particularly invaluable during the period of mileage buildups.  Or if you are beginning to feel a twinge in the knee or the foot – drop your outdoor mileage and compensate for it indoors on the Zero Runner.  Or, during the snow and ice of winter, the benefits of indoor running are readily apparent.    

Take a look at this video clip (below) to see how similar the biomechanics are when comparing a runner on a treadmill to a runner on the Zero Runner.  

 

If you would like a chance to try this out, BGI Fitness has a Zero Runner at both our North and Greenwood store locations.  In addition, we will have Zero Runners available for a test-run during packet pick-up at the Mini Marathon Expo, April 30th and May 1st, at the  Indiana Convention Center.