We live in a fascinating world, my friends. By no other explanation than 9 parts science and 1 part magic I was running 6:03 minute miles with only moderate effort. You too, can be BQ-ing (with an hour to spare), if only your race was set on an Anti Gravity Treadmill or the moon.
By the grace of ClassPass and FinishLine PT I took myself on a wild ride Wednesday morning in the world-class AntiGravity Treadmill.
AntiGravity Treadmills are known for their gentleness to the joints and is a favored speed-building tool for those who have access to it. It’s great for runners coming back from an injury and anyone trying to lose weight. It’s also the coolest thing ever.
Here’s how what you need to know
You must wear shorts. The tighter and shorter the better, IMO.
This has to be the weirdest exercise uniform ever, and reminds me of a hybrid between a peplum skirt and a scuba wetsuit so bear with me. You totally have to wear shorts (probably shorter than the uniform short) to crawl into the scuba peplum get-up. The peplum part of the puzzle has a zipper around it. You then jump onto the big hole in the middle of the treadmill which I can only sufficiently describe as a skirt. You then attach the zipper from the peplum to the zipper you’ll find on the treadmill skirt. Pretty sexy outfit so far, right?
Once you’re zipped and ready, you’ll turn on the machine. Here’s the fun part. You can balance the treadmill to simulate % of your weight. So, right now you’re 100% of what you weigh. On the AGT you can bump it down to feel like 90%, 70%, 80%, so on and so forth, of your weight. My trainer set me at 70% which felt pretty breezy.
Start slow, but not too slow.
I am by no means a fast runner no matter how you cut it. When running at a comfortable speed on a treadmill, I usually stick to 6.0-6.3.
However when I started on the AGT, I was set on a 2.0 for a good few minutes. You can’t just jump into the running pace, it’ll freak you out. The first couple minutes you’re literally wobbling. Give yourself 3 minutes to work up to a 3.0/3.5 walking before taking it up. You’ll have plenty of time to make up for it.
Push your limit
This is the total flip side of the above, but totally necessary. Once you reach cruising altitude, try to make sure it’s at least 1.0 above what you usually run. It’ll be scary at first because we’re creatures of habit and what we don’t know isn’t real to us — but just do it. The best part about the treadmill is you can slow down at the touch of a button. I didn’t get to 10.0 till the very last mile, but I’m really glad I did.
You will be hot
Aside from this machine costing as much as a fancy car, the reason I would never “invest” in one is because I’m not sure how much time you can really spend in there. And I chose to say “in there” rather than “on there” because you really are IN something. By the 30th minute you start to sweat a lot through the lower half of your body. It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant and I was really excited to peel that scuba suit off.
My ride on the AntiGravity Treadmill was not only a really fun story to tell at parties (cool, Anna, sounds really cool), but it was also a great way for me to face the barriers I unconsciously put on myself.
I know I can run a sub-ten minute mile consistently for at least 13 miles because I have the race times to prove it. I also know I can run quick sprints a few minutes at a time because I have the Mile High Run Club classes to prove it. But the combination — running fast and consistently was not something I had ever shown myself I could do. And yeah, yeah, yeah – if you heard me talking about my AGT experience IRL this week I would’ve said “it was fake” — but it felt really real to me.
Now I know I’m not going to bust out a 15-minute 5k tomorrow, or ever (maybe), but I do have this really good gut feeling that I can totally push my pace next time I’m surging in a race.
Even though that treadmill made it seem like I was running on the moon – that treadmill was on planet earth. So I ran a 6 minute mile on planet earth and nobody can take that away from me.