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Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Duke Welcomes Alter-G as New Training Tool
Thursday 04/12/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run on the moon?  The Duke cross country and track programs have moved a step closer to experiencing this sensation by adding a new training tool to their arsenal. The Alter-G, or Anti-Gravity Treadmill, has taken root in Card Gym and is being utilized by many of the members of the distance squad.

"We are very excited to offer our athlete's exclusive use of this high tech training device and they are already seeing positive results," commented Duke's associate head coach Kevin Jermyn. "I believe the Alter G treadmill will help our athletes improve their performance by helping them train at higher levels and decreasing their risk of injury."

Many of the top professional sports teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the New England Patriots have been using an Alter-G for years in addition to most of the top professional track and field programs like the Nike Oregon Project in Portland, OR and the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

The Alter-G is a device that allows athletes to unweight their body by using air in a pressure- controlled chamber to incrementally lift the runner as they train. This unique system allows each runner to train at whatever un-weighted capacity they choose. The rest is like a regular treadmill, allowing the runner to train at speeds up to 5:00 minutes per mile (12mph) and inclines up to 15%.

Duke like many other college programs across the country will use the Alter-G for a multitude of functions. The most simple is to supplement training. Because of the Alter-G's paramount method of unweighting, runner can train at higher volumes with less risk of developing injury. Many of the common fears about impact related setbacks are now less worrisome.

However, allowing gains in training volume is not the only area where the Alter-G is paying dividends. The Alter-G is perhaps the best tool for helping runners return from injury to full volumes of training. It has allowed many of the Duke women to return from soft tissue and bone stress injuries faster than they would have otherwise been able. Being unweighted gives each runner the advantage of incrementally changing the machine to meet the specific specifications of the individual.

"Being able to use the Alter-G to come back from injury has been so helpful," senior captain Esther Vermeer commented. "I am running more miles than I normally would in my progression, and am able to get in better shape faster than I would without it. I can't wait to start using it as supplementation to my training when I get to full volume!"

The addition of the Alter G is made possible through the generosity of former student-athletes and donors to the Duke Varsity Club. For more information about supporting the Track & Field Program through the Varsity Club, contact Deirdre Gordon at dgordon@duaa.duke.edu or (919) 668-1754.

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