Cardio (Sweatastic)

Taking Impact out of the Equation: A Review of the Octane Fitness Zero Runner

On Thursday evening, I was fortunate enough to attend an event held by Octane Fitness to discuss one of their new machines: the Zero Runner. It always makes me so happy to be in a place with a) other fitness bloggers and b) people who are passionate about active lifestyles and what they do. The energy is infectious and makes me SO pumped to go and try new workouts and products! This was no exception πŸ™‚

Before the presentation started, I scoped out the machines sitting proudly at the front of the room and wondered- how is this different from an elliptical? Because at first glance it really looks quite similar.

Then, as if reading my mind, the representatives from Octane Fitness opened with the answer to that very question, and quickly pulled me on board with this new piece of equipment. So I’ll start with the comparison.

First, the Zero Runner has “joints” built in at both the hips and the knees. So unlike the elliptical, which has a swinging motion at the hips, the zero runner allows you to move through all 4 phases of the runners gait: initiation, pull-through, lift, and extension. The fact that you can bend at the knee on the machine makes all the difference- because it allows you to truly mimic what running is really like. The zero runner is also battery operated, which means that there is no intrinsic setting that will “help” you with your workout- AND, as a bonus, the machine is SO quiet! You’d barely know someone was using a machine at all.

The whole point of the zero runner is to come as close to outdoor running as humanly possible so that training indoors can translate to training outdoors. It makes sense to also compare the zero runner to a treadmill, and nothing speaks more clearly to this than the following diagram:

Not only does zero runner eliminate the harsh impact imposed by the treadmill, but it also allows a better engagement of the hamstrings and glutes. This diagram also shows you how stride on the zero runner can better translate to outdoor running stride. (And, for anyone interested, you CAN get runner’s high on the zero runner- the question was asked!).

We had two phenomenal speakers at the event, who each offered different perspectives on how and why the zero runner made a difference in their lives. The first was Larry Schmidt, an avid long time runner who has completed 84 marathons, and upwards of 20 ultra-marathons- three of which were over 100 miles….no big deal, ya know. He’s also completed several ironman races, continues to run with his children, and hopes to one day run with his grandchildren once they are old enough.

Larry stressed the importance of low impact for elite athlete training. After years of stressful high impact workouts, he’s seen the consequences on joints of this type of lifestyle. His once 7 minute miles dropped to 16 minute miles when the pain from osteoarthritis of his hips became to great. It wasn’t until he tried the zero runner that he felt like he could run again- it was his game changer. He’s done a whole 33 miles on this machine in 5 hours! I don’t think I could ever do 33 miles of anything….. but I digress.

In terms of using Zero runner for training, it can be used in combination with outdoor running for race prep and also as good active recovery for the day or two after a race when your muscles are completely fatigued. This will help flush out the lactic acid and allow for a faster recovery.

Next, we heard from Olympian Carrie Tollefson and her experience with the zero runner. She grew up in a long standing tradition of working harder and running longer as a means of training for better running times and beating out the competition. Unfortunately, this type of training also has its long term consequences of injury. After three pelvic hernias and several episodes of plantar fasciitis, Carrie eventually could no longer stay competitive. More recently, there’s been a push for cross training as a means of not only improving times, but also to delay injury and fatigue. Incorporating stretch, strength, and low impact exercise can allow athletes to add years onto their fitness repertoire. Carrie talked about how she wished she had an opportunity like this at the peak of her career.

I saved my favorite feature of the Zero Runner for last: the Smartlink App. When you download Smartlink to your phone or computer, it can connect wirelessly to the console and display all of your workout stats. The app can design specific workouts for you that focus on your goals, and also has cross training videos you can follow to get variation. The best part? It also evaluates your individual stride and allows you to make modifications to improve your running form. That personal feedback is SO valuable when training for a big race! Form is critical to both endurance and injury prevention.

I obviously had to try out the Zero Runner for myself!

Obviously, I had to test out the zero runner for myself. I also had the chance to see Adina again from Krasey Beauty! It’s always fun to see and meet other Fit Fluential ambassadors πŸ™‚

I’m also going to take a moment to mention some of the amazing products we received at the presentation. I’m SO excited to try them all out!

The VivoFit: I’ve wanted an activity tracker for a while now, and I’m looking forward to finally getting on board! People talk about how monitoring steps is a real motivator to get you to be more active, and I think this will help me at the end of a long day when I’m tired and better at talking myself out of a workout.

The Contigo Coffee Mug: It’s sleek and beautiful! It worked out that I was in need of a new portable coffee mug for my 4:30am wake up calls. It has an auto lock feature that prevents spilling or leaking when you’re not taking a sip. It also keeps beverages nice and hot! I can’t wait to use it this week.

The Travel Foam Roller: I’ve always liked using foam rollers, but never did so without an instructor telling me to. Now that I have my own, I can do so much more at home! Maybe I’ll post a foam roller cool down on the blog. This foam roller is especially great because it’s smaller- making it perfect for my tiny nyc apartment.

I wanted to end with a HUGE thank you to Octane Fitness for hosting such a wonderful event!! The Zero Runner seems like a great way to train and adds something new and innovative to the fitness world. If you’re looking for a new machine at home- this would be a great one to try!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Octane Fitness.

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