One of the things I’m most grateful for this Thanksgiving is the multitude of new opportunities Lean Girls Club has had to work with different brands, partners, and companies. It’s been really cool to see the blog grow this past year and be considered a fitness tastemaker, preview new innovations and trends, and have my opinions heard.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to preview the new Zero Runner from Octane Fitness. The Zero Runner is not an elliptical or a treadmill, which does the work for you; The Zero-Runner is a no-impact running machine that replicate your actual gait using two bionic legs. The hip and knee “joints” on the machine, are strategically placed to guide your actual joints and facilitate your natural stride. No treadmill belts, no moving belt, and no fixed path.

The Technogym I featured previously gives you the illusion of running a particular course outdoors. The Zero-Runner allows you to mimic the actual movement of running outdoors while indoors and helps you run faster, increase efficiency, and minimize injuries.

I was able to hear from two Zero Runner ambassadors, Olympian Carrie Tollefson (who said she would have gone for another US Olympic team had she had access to the Zero Runner ten years ago) and self-proclaimed addictive runner Larry Schmidt.

Larry’s story in particular moved me. Larry re-discovered running at the age of 34 when he found himself 40 pounds overweight, and six inches wider in the waist. He had a life epiphany and realized he wasn’t living the way God wanted him to, nor being a good steward and honoring his body, or even using the back yard God had gifted him. So he vowed to get his health back on track. It took him two years to lose the 40 pounds, but Larry rediscovered his love of running (he ran in college). As he began to lose weight, he found himself running faster and wanted know how close he could get to his college race times as a 37 year old.

Since then, Larry has finished 83 marathons, 16 ultra marathons (three of them being 100 mile races – CUH-RAZY!), six Ironman triathalons, and even qualified for the Iron Man World Championships in Kona after only two years of training. His list of accomplishments are astonishing. But in 2008, Larry discovered he had hip osteo-arthirtis and founds himself needing a hip replacement.

In Larry’s words, “if you’re a runner, it’s not a matter of if you’ll have an injury but when.”

I’ve witnessed countless friends injure themselves from overuse, rehabilitate, and even struggle with not being able to run ever again. Knowing how much running has changed and improved my life, I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to do the one thing I absolutely love to do, run. I’ve been extremely blessed not ever having to deal with any serious injuries, but I know it’s a matter of time.

As Larry also says, “it’s about how you manage…manage your impact, manage your risk, and manage your injury.”

I was able to try the Zero-Runner. The first 30 seconds I was tickled by how new everything felt. It was a little strange at first to not have instant shock and feed back from the ground, but I felt like I could be on for hours.

The Zero Runner is battery-operated, thus cordless, and really quiet considering it’s a “cardio” machine. Perfect for while you catch up on your latest reality show guilt-pleasure. Is it realistic for me to own at home? No. I live in NYC and the machine would take up too much space, even if it does roll away. Aside from that, it’s quite the investment at $3299 but I hope my local gym will get it for everyone to use. If it were to be available at the gym, I would use it over the traditional treadmill.

I can’t speak for the Zero Runner and whether it really does prevent injuries in the long run, but these strong testimonials from Carrie and Larry urging us to take better care of our joints and prevent injuries was enough for me. I want to be able to run for a long time, and if cross-training (which the machine can also help you with by incorporating different exercises like lateral and hamstring training, plyometics, and core work) and using the Zero-Runner helps, I’m going to try it. I’m going to do all that I can to preserve and manage my body efficiently.

Sincerest thanks to Octane Fitness for inviting me to the Zero Runner preview and allowing me to try their awesome machine. To learn more about the Zero Runner, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #FueledByZero. Find your nearest Zero Runner to check it out for yourself. I’d love to hear what you think.

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


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