Last week, on behalf of FitFluential, I attended an event hosted by Octane Fitness to discuss and test out their newest innovative piece of fitness equipment for runners–The Zero Runner. As someone who has been through some frustrating injuries, when I heard about the Zero Runner I knew I had to try it out for myself. A way to run without the impact, and a way to simulate running even if you can’t hit the roads? Sounds too good to be true… but it isn’t anymore because of Octane Fitness! This machine is truly innovative, unique, and has the runner in mind, because athletes have been involved in its creation from start to finish.
So what do runners need? Three things: to be more efficient, run faster and longer, and avoid injury. And the Zero Runner is the answer to achieving all three.
Before the event began I saw some of my blogger friends (and chatted about upcoming races!) and scouted out the Zero Runner, which at first glance looks similar to an elliptical but with some specific differences that make it the first of its kind. After a little bit of time, the people at Octane Fitness began the presentation and began to teach us all about this amazing device.
The Zero Runner machine is shorter in length and you work within a different plane of movement than an elliptical. However, the most notable difference is that the Zero Runner replicates real running motion without any impact to the joints through its bionic legs which feature innovative hip and knee joints; it is a running simulator. This is the key, because the mobility at the hips and knees allows you to replicate a real running motion involving initiation, pull-through, lift and extension.
Treadmills create constant pressure throughout the body and running on a moving belt doesn’t match how your body reacts when you run on pavement. It also forces you to change your gait to match the treadmill belt. But the Zero Runner reduces impact on your joints, activates the glutes and hamstrings (which you use when you run outside, too), allows you to control each and every stride, and creates a more perfect running form because YOU are the motor! You control how fast you run, how big your stride is, and your running form. The more time you spend on the machine the more comfortable you’ll feel. The Zero Runner is cordless (YES, really!) also battery operated so its practically silent when its in motion, unlike a treadmill or elliptical which can sometimes be annoyingly loud! And you can watch TV on a normal volume when you’re getting in your miles
As a runner, I was thrilled to hear that workouts on the Zero Runner does translate to outdoor running. So 5 miles on the Zero Runner is comparable to 5 miles on the pavement, just without all the pounding the body takes that can lead to overuse injuries (i.e. look at my stress fracture history!).
Plus, technology is on your side with the Zero Runners as it has an app called the Smartlink App that traces the health of your stride and gait throughout your run so you can monitor your stride length, gait, and really take the time to concentrate on your form. It wirelessly connects the console to your phone or computer. This can translate into improved form during races and road workouts and better overall form as a runner! Also, it can provide you with crosstraining videos (CROSS CiRCUIT) for a whole body workout! I love this part of the Zero Runner because basically you can use it to help stick to your runing AND crosstraining exercises as part of your big race training plans!
So who is the Zero Runner for?
-Everyone! Regular exercisers, aspiring runners, active running enthusiasts, elites, injured runners and aging runners… Anyone can benefit from using this in a variety of ways.
How can you use the Zero Runner to meet your running goals?
-To build endurance
-To reduce impact via combination runs, i.e. run outside for a few miles then run on the Zero Runner for the rest of your miles. I love this, and especially since winter is coming its nice to have the option for an indoor run.
-Active Recovery: Allows a runner to move lactic acid from the muscles as a light, more effective recovery workout.
-Race Preparation: Helps to decrease repetitive stress to prevent injuries
-Crosstraining with Cross Circuit: You can use the Zero Runner for more than just simulating running. It also has a program for strengthening and flexibility for better overall performance and a seriously awesome whole body workout. You won’t need all those fitness videos anymore, just the Zero Runner!
After we got the run-down of the exciting Zero Runner, we had the chance to hear from two amazing speakers who have been involved with helping spread the news about amazing machine (and they use it themselves!). First, we heard from Larry Schmidt, a funny person and life-long runner who has completed 84 marathons, 20 ultra marathons (including three 100 mile races… what?!!! I just can’t imagine), and several Ironman’s including Kona. Now an older adult, Larry recently had a hip replacement and was unable to run without pain until he found the Zero Runner! Now, he runs miles on it without any pain. And by miles I mean A LOT of miles… for example, he ran a 33 mile run in about 5 hours on the Zero Runner.
Larry uses a combination of road workouts and Zero Runner workouts as he continue to train for marathons, and typically does so side by side with his wife who is also a runner. Larry stressed the importance of joint protection while building endurance, and using the Zero Runner to help the body develop muscle memory for good running form which can then be translated during pavement running. Larry also had some amazing advice/insights…
“Running becomes a way of life.”
“Runners never give up running, we just change the rules.”
“You can’t escape injuries as a runner because of all the pounding, but you can help to manage your impact and reduce your risk.”
After hearing from Larry, up next was Olympian Carrie Tollefson who discussed her experience as a runner and in using the Zero Runner. She stressed that “more doesn’t always mean better.” The Zero Runner, she said, can help you enjoy your crosstraining during training, because the Zero Runner makes you feel like a runner whereas the bike and elliptical usually do not. The Zero Runner can help you to stay healthy while supplementing miles, in addition to incorporating strength training, stretching, and low impact exercise to help you extend the life of your running career.
After the presentations, I of course wanted to try out this awesome piece of equipment that I’d had my eye on the whole night. So I hopped on and got to running. At first, it felt a little awkward just because its a new machine I haven’t tried before. But once I was on it for a minute or so I got into a rhythm and figured out how to shift my body weight. Once I got that down I was set and really felt like I was running.. but on air, it was amazing! If there wasn’t a line of people who wanted to try it out, I would have stayed on the Zero Runner for a few miles at least. This is on my Christmas list this year.. I let Santa know
I think this is an amazing machine for runners or for active people. It can help you stay active for longer and is a really fun way to get in your workout. Plus I love that you can get in your cardio but then use the app for a crosstraining workout. Really, its the best of both worlds and I’m happy to recommend it!
I want to send a big THANK YOU to Octane Fitness for hosting such a fun and exciting event! And to all the other companies who contributed to our awesome swag bags: Garmin VivoFit, Travel Foam Roller, Contigo Coffee Mug, FRS, JavaPro, It’s About Time, Koss Headphones, Naked Tea, and Flat Outs.
Want to connect with Octane Fitness and the Zero Runner? Check them out on social media:
Would you try the Zero Runner?
What feature seems most exciting to you?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Octane Fitness.