I Ran on the Moon – My Anti-Gravity Running Experience

18 Aug

Okay, so while I didn’t *technically* run on the moon, I did get to experience anti-gravity running on an Alter G treadmill. There isn’t a whole lot in life that leaves me truly speechless, but after getting off this treadmill, all I could do was smile. I felt like I was back in the game…even if that feeling was only temporary.

The pants you wear feel like a wetsuit!


A couple of evenings ago, after a long conversation with my husband, I conceded to start cutting back on my outdoor runs. At almost 29 weeks pregnant, I am thankful for the time that I have been able to run outside, but it is just getting to hard. My options? The treadmill at the gym (which my husband found to be an acceptable alternative since the gym at least has air conditioner) or only walking outside. For me, walking is an almost painful activity. While not physically painful, the slow pace is mentally painful. I so badly want to be at full stride and going FAST!

Getting the instructions! It even goes in REVERSE!


“Fast” is something I have not felt in MONTHS…until last night. To be able to supplement my body weight and remember what my body felt like at my pre-pregnancy weight was AMAZING. The pressure on my ankles, calves, and knees was totally gone. The best part was the ease in pelvic pressure from the baby belly. I can’t even begin to tell you how this has improved my attitude about running through the rest of my pregnancy. To have that brief reminder of how easily my body moved only months ago was just the encouragement I need and will certainly motivate me to work hard post-baby to get my training body back. The Alter G anti-gravity treadmill is officially a game changer for me.

I am RUNNING and it feels so GOOD!


Before my anti-gravity experience, I literally could not fathom how my running idols elite runners like Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe were able to run, no TRAIN, throughout their pregnancies. (You know, other than the fact that they are super humans.) After hearing that they used this equipment, I can definitely see how it helps elites train through pregnancies and recover from all types of injuries.

The advantages of the Alter G extend WAY beyond just helping this mama-to-be runner prolong her running routine. In addition to all of the medical applications of the anti-gravity treadmill, the Alter G is having a MAJOR impact in the sports industry.

According to their website, the Alter G can help with the following:
• lower body injury and surgery rehabilitation
• aerobic conditioning
• weight control and reduction
• sport specific conditioning programs
• neurological retraining
• overspeed training
• interval training
• lateral movement training
• backwards running drills up to 10mp in reverse
• hill training at up to 15% incline

This is the face of one HAPPY (and very pregnant) runner!


The biggest benefit for me personally is that it helps maximize fitness retention during sports rehabilitation, or, in my case, during pregnancy. Using the Alter G, I will be able to match the aerobic intensity of my previous workouts while lowering the impact on my body by using a combination of adjustable variables (weight – 100% to 20% supplementation, speed – up to 18mph, and incline – up to 15%). I have been so worried that all of the training I had done before getting pregnant would be GONE. Running on the Alter G as close to my delivery date as I can will only help me get back to my normal running routine (and marathon training!) as fast as possible.

As of yesterday, I had resigned myself to walking…but not anymore. My attitude and happiness towards running have been restored and I am completely positive about adding this new tool to my workouts. There is a new plan in effect as of right now!

Monday: 30-minute Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Tuesday: Happy’s Running Club
Wednesday: Yoga, slow bike ride, or rest
Thursday: 30-minute Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Friday: Walk around the neighborhood
Saturday: Walk around the neighborhood
Sunday: Rest

This is a schedule I think I can live with. I will still be running three times per week (HALLELUJAH!) and walking once or twice.

Over the years I have learned that running is more than the physical. The mental and emotional benefits that I get from running outweigh any amount of fat burned or inches lost. I am a firm believer that running keeps me sane and grounded. And thanks to the Alter G, I can look and FEEL like this after running again…

Four thumbs up from me and Baby Key!

Now I just need about $50,000 so I can get one of these at home. Any takers??? No? Okay, well…any suggestions…bake sale? Garage sale? 🙂
Have YOU ever tried an anti-gravity treadmill? Are you interested in them?

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20 Responses to “I Ran on the Moon – My Anti-Gravity Running Experience”

  1. Jennie August 18, 2011 at 11:01 AM #

    Sounds awesome! I’ve never tried it but I’m adding it to my list of things to do one day 🙂

    • katieRUNSthis August 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM #

      Seriously…it was crazy cool! It almost felt like you were on some ride at Disney World! It was the neatest feeling. Plus, it was fun. And fun always helps break up the monotony of work outs! You can check out their website and see where they have one near you!

  2. rivershughey August 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM #

    I’ve definitely decided to include it in my weekly workouts! I agree…it’s the best I’ve felt running in a while, considering all this humidity that bogs us all down. I’m so glad I got to experience this with you!

    Now we just need to plan our bake sale…haha…

  3. hauterunningmama August 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM #

    I want to try the alter-g! Looks AWESOME!! Yay for getting to continue to run!!

  4. Britni (@brobic8) August 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM #

    Wow- that looks so awesome! I had to google “Alter-G treadmill” because I had never heard of it! You look and sound SO much happier now that you’ve found a way to continue your running regimen!! YAY!

  5. Susan August 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

    SUPER AWESOME!! and even more awesome that you are still kicking it like a hard core runner (cause you are)!!

    I forget how far along you are until you mention it, sometimes, and then I’m completely amazed and thrilled that you are still going strong with all of it! (I’ve never done the pregnant thing so my single girl brain doesn’t keep up all that well) You look amazing and I hope you feel it inside and out!

  6. Katie A. August 18, 2011 at 12:11 PM #

    I’ve never even heard of one until you tweeted about it yesterday. Now I’m curious as to whether anywhere around me has one. I think it’d be awesome to try!

  7. Mary-Katherine Brooks Fleming August 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM #

    You are amazing and such an inspiration!!!! You’re doing great! I’m having the same frustrations with outdoors runs, will see if my gym has a machine like this. Awesome!

  8. DubyaWife (@DubyaWife) August 18, 2011 at 1:52 PM #

    Sounds like so much fun and I’d love to give it a try.

    How about we all pool our money and we can share it? 😉

  9. Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled August 18, 2011 at 2:31 PM #

    That looks amazing! I plan to get pregnant right after my marathon on December and want to keep running throughout. This would be great for the last few months.
    You look so happy! Yeah!

  10. Kate @ NaturaStride August 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM #

    This is so cool! Have never heard of the anti-gravity treadmill – so awesome. You look so happy!

  11. Jordan Trump (@trumpdabeast) August 18, 2011 at 3:06 PM #

    That is so awesome!!! I had heard of these, but did not think they were accessible to us “normal people”. That’s great that you are able to run on one! It sounds like this is going to be a huge help for you in your running, and I know how much you love running and going FAST. So happy for you that you get to enjoy the full benefit of running even while pregnant!

    • katieRUNSthis August 18, 2011 at 3:10 PM #

      About a year ago, they weren’t available to us “normal people”. I read about this thing for what seemed like forever, desperate to try one and just see how it feels. This gym in my town *just* got one and I got to try it out. It is kind of a weird sensation at first and you do have to wear these goofy looking (and goofy feeling) pants, but the sensation of running again is SO worth it.

      I can’t tell you how many people I think this thing could help..pregnant runners, the elderly, overweight people, people recovering from injuries, etc. Seriously, SO many people could benefit from this. I think there are only 2 other Alter G treadmills in my city and they are both at hospitals. The only way you can have access to them is through going through an official physical therapy program.

  12. Allison Johnson August 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM #

    I’ve been using the Alter G at my gym for almost two weeks now. LOVE IT!!!! I have a severely strained calf muscle and running was not possible anymore without the anti-gravity factor. I started around 40% of my body weight and have slowly worked myself up to 70% as of today–Pain free!! Hopefully one more week, and I’ll be ready to get back to the pavement! What a blessing this machine has been. Glad you enjoyed your experience as well. I will likely incorporate Alter G into my speed sessions to avoid further injury.

  13. Jamie August 18, 2011 at 5:16 PM #

    Oh my gosh! Do they have one of those at your gym or is it someplace special?! I am pretty sure I’ll never get the chance to use one, but I will jump on it if I ever get the chance!

  14. Nicole August 18, 2011 at 6:59 PM #

    That sounds amazing!! I am newly pregnant and while I have been keeping up with my running, my pace has slowed right down. I haven’t even gained any weight but my body shape is different so I am sure in a few months I will fully understand what you mean by the pressure on all your joints and pelvis.

    Where did you find this Alter G treadmill? I imagine a running session on one isn’t cheap either!

  15. AJ August 18, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

    I doubt any gym in my region, let alone city has one of these. 🙂 I would have LOVED to have had this while I was pregnant! (Okay I would really love to try it now because it just looks so COOL!)

  16. Candice @ I Have Run August 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM #

    I want to run on one of those so bad! It looks incredible. I don’t want to be injured or out of commission though, so I guess I shouldn’t want it so bad.

    Glad you enjoyed the run!!

  17. Jessica August 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM #

    I have never heard of such of a treadmill so I was curious when I saw your blog title. It looks like a lot of fun!

  18. Mikaila September 2, 2011 at 5:14 PM #

    Hey Katie,

    Glad to hear you loved your AlterG experience! And I am really impressed with your awesome following of readers/runners. As I was reading the comments it occurred to me that it might be helpful to answer the question about how you can all get access to an AlterG.

    Ladies – if anyone wants to try an AlterG, it’s entirely possible as we now have several hundred units throughout the U.S.. Just go to our home page (alter-g.com) and use the zip code locator to find a facility near you. Many places will even let you come in and give it a free test drive. Some places even offer AlterG memberships if you’re interested in using the AlterG regularly. Hope this helps!

    Mikaila
    (AlterG)

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