For several years now, we’ve been using the Octane Fitness ZeroRunner. For winter training (I hate running in the cold), it’s been really nice. For a long time, we had it in the garage so it would still be a little chilly on cold mornings. Now we have it up inside in our workout room: even better.
There are a couple of cons with running on the ZeroRunner. To begin, at least on our version, the timing feature doesn’t seem to be very accurate. You will be showing a particular average mile rate for a whole mile and then all of a sudden get to the end of a mile and find that the duration is longer. For example, I’ll start out the run doing a 7:30 pace and for the life of me can’t get below an 8:00 pace. When I keep running, the average gets a bit closer but never seems to match up. I can be running consistently in the low sixes or even fives and still barely make a sub 7:30.
Another piece, at least on my model, is that it doesn’t connect to my smart watch/phone directly to record the data of the run since I’m on android (they do seem to have an iPhone app). I can, apparently, have it connect the heart rate monitor it comes with to my Under Armor Map My Run app. However, I just get heart rate information and not mileage.
Cons aside, there are several pros for me. A very important feature is that the ZeroRunner is virtually no impact on my knees. Since I’m trying to avoid knee scopes, the follow-up appointments where they syringe liquid out of my knee with corresponding excruciating pain, the sudden loss of knee control due to the lateral releases, and all the wear and tear on my knees, the smooth running of ZeroRunner is excellent!!
For actual preparation for running, here is what I’ve found. In preparation for a half marathon, I did the majority of my training on the ZeroRunner. I basically got up to about 7 miles daily on it before my race. I found that during the actual race, I was fine up until about 9 miles where I started feeling a bit tired. So, in that race, I pulled us in the first 9 miles and then Christine pulled in the last portion of the race (where she was finally warmed up and ready to run). By the way, I also set a PR for the race for a half.
For the pros, I fully recommend the ZeroRunner. Yes, the timing feature can be a little frustrating. However, you really have a good preparation for your races without the wear and tear on hitting the pavement.