“Runners never give up running, we just change the rules”: Octane Fitness’ Zero Runner Review

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.

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Want to connect with Octane Fitness and the Zero Runner? Check them out on social media:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/octanefitness
Twitter: http://twitter.com/octanefitness (#FueledByZero)
Instagram: http://instagram.com/octane_fitness

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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.

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Filed under FitFluential, product review, running tips

Post-Marathon Return to Running & Everyday Random Stuff

So I’m a true believer in the post-marathon depression now, or just post-marathon sadness. These past two weeks without running have been some of the toughest for me. I’ve taken running hiatus’ before, but typically thats because of injury so its been different. But since I’m healthy, and only not running because I was allowing my body to recover after 26.2, needless to say my body was itching to hit the pavement. I also spent about 90% of my day the past two weeks neurotically planning future races and planning my future running goals. Needless to say, I’m not good at all at recovery and am a running addict.

One of my favorite shirts.

One of my favorite shirts.

What have I been doing the past two weeks? Basically crosstraining. I took off most of the week following the marathon from any activity and to let the soreness go away. Then I slowly started using the bike and elliptical and this week incorporated strength training including my first leg day! Squats, lunges, single leg squats galore and my legs were happy (although more sore than usual the day after). I also had time to do more arm strengthening which was something I missed out on often during marathon training.

But then on Saturday I became whole again after this happened..

Running!

Running!

4.5 mile run! Almost two weeks after running 26.2 I laced up my Asics Gel Pursues again and ran over the bridge for 4.5 miles of pure happiness. I do enjoy crosstraining but nothing compares to the way running makes me feel… its almost like there a billion more endorphins released during running than anything else. I really appreciated running and how lucky I am to be able to do it. Plus I don’t mind cold weather running so the brisk temperatures don’t really bother me. Once you get in a mile or so, its all good!

Asics Gel Pursue

Asics Gel Pursue

I of course had to run in all my marathon gear from head to toe, including my marathon gloves and jacket. I feel so proud running in that gear! Oh and I happened to find the finishline photo from my very first half marathon and also the one from the NYC Marathon this year. I think I have a signature finshline pose ;)

NYC Half 2012 and NYC Marathon 2014

NYC Half 2012 and NYC Marathon 2014

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In addition to running here’s some random things that have been going on lately:

1. Karl and I had a tasting for a wedding caterer and it was amazing. I think we found our caterer!
2. Christmas decorations are starting to go up around the city and I have to say I love it. I also have been doing some shopping of my own, my apartment is going to be loaded with decorations!
3. I just ordered my Christmas cards from Shutterfly. So excited to see how they came out.
4. I only have one more bag of Stroopwafels from Amsterdam and I’m sad.
5. I am in love with Pinkberry Chocolate Hazelnut and love that they deliver to my house. Brooklyn rocks.
6. I got a gingerbread house kit this year. This will be the first gingerbread house I’ve ever made!
7. I saw Interstellar this weekend and it.was.amazing! Go see it.
8. The Goldbergs is a great show, reminds me of my childhood even though I grew up in the 90s. Similarly simple life.

The Christmas decorations are going up in Brooklyn!

The Christmas decorations are going up in Brooklyn!

Chocolate Hazelnut from Pinkberry

Chocolate Hazelnut from Pinkberry

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How do you handle post-race or post-marathon sadness?
What are some of your favorite things right now?

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Filed under 2014 NYC Marathon, crosstraining

Bloggers Day Out: #FitBlogNYC 2014 with Fitness Magazine

A few weeks ago, I spent the day with a group of awesome bloggers, cool companies, and Fitness Magazine at an event you may have seen on your social media called FitBlogNYC. I attended this last year and had an amazing time, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go again this year. The event was a ton of fun and it was great to catch up with so many amazing ladies I haven’t seen in a while! We got the chance to chat and catch up, learn great information from the panelists, and explore a great group of companies who sponsored the event!

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Gabby and Kasandra

Gabby and Kasandra

We were welcomed to the event by Betty Wong, the Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief who is amazing herself! In addition to Betty there were many panelists discussing a variety of topics throughout the day. They included:

Holly Rilinger @HollyRilinger
Marcy Goolsby, MD, from the Hospital for Special Surgery
Carla Hall @CarlaHall

And other bloggers who talked about making a business out of blogging and their brands:

Lisa Elaine Held @lisaelaineh
Bianca Jade @Mizzfit_Bianca
Anne Mauney, RD @fANNEtasticfood
Laura Sykora @laurasykora

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Carla Hall

Carla Hall

 All of the panelists were incredibly knowledgable and it was amazing hearing there perspective on different topics. I wish I could share with you everything they discussed, but here are some highlights from the morning including their advice and tips.

Holly Rilinger: Use resistance training to build lean muscle. Try to minimize the amount of rest you take in between sets to maximize your time when you are trying to fit in a workout in a short period of time. You burn more calories after workouts when you do strength training vs cardio. No workout is “one size fits all.” A poor diet is a number one factor as to why people can’t lose weight. Wake up everyday with your passion and it will help drive you.

Marcy Goolsby: Delayed onset muscle weakness can be treated with ice, staying mobile, and compression. Signs of overtraining include performance drop offs (tired, fatigue, not sleeping well, elevated heart rate), perceived exertion with exercise changes, decreased immune system, and a woman’s period stopping. Don’t mix a restricted diet with high intensity workouts.

Carla Hall: Be honest with yourself and the universe will help you meet your goals. To turn your passions into a career, go work with people who are already working in that area. A little bit of fat in your cooking is okay. Use silken tofu and a little heavy cream for creamy soups.

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After the morning with those amazing panelists, we were served a delicious lunch and were given the chance to explore the booths set up by all the companies who sponsored the event. The sponsors were fun and I loved learning about some products I didn’t know about. For example, Eddie Bauer has some amazing outerwear for runners that is stylish with good performance. We got to take home one of their long sleeve tops which is now one of my favorites.

Other sponsors included: Balance Bar, Dermalogica, Hoka One One, Luna Bar, Oster, Tonalin, Pure Protein, Tria, and of course Eddie Bauer. We got to try out and talk to them about their products. I tried some delicious bars and learned about skincare and how to take care of my combination skin. There was so much to see!

Sponsors

Sponsors

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 Afterwards we heard from the blogger panelist and learned about making your blog into a business. Those girls worked hard but have accomplished so much.. its so impressive! And after the blogger panel spoke, Hoka One One sponsored a group run. Unfortunately I couldn’t run because it was an off day for me from marathon training (this event was pre-NYC Marathon), but it seemed like a lot of fun!

After the event we headed to the goodbye table where there was a sea of beautiful pink bags waiting for us.  We got to choose a cool pair of shoes from Reebok and each received one of those big bags, which were super heavy and loaded with a ton of amazing goodies from some other great sponsors. Here’s a peek into all the fun stuff..

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FitBlogNYC goodies

FitBlogNYC goodies

FitBlogNYC was an really fun day and I learned a lot from the panelists and the companies who attended. I want to send a big THANK YOU to Fitness Magazine for hosting this event and for having me there. It was such fun!

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What are your favorite new finds?
Have you ever been to a blogger event? 

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Filed under blogging, City life, FitBlogNYC, product review