3 Rules to remember

1. Any Vibration does not = Vibration Training
2. Light Vibration = Therapy
3. Heavy Vibration = Training

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Vibration Training for Long Distance Runners – The Proof is in the Results

By Di Heap, October, 2007

Vibration Training for Long Distance Runners – The Proof is in the Results

Greg’s Story:

I returned to long distance running nine years ago and quickly found that being forty and after years of not training I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be.  Lots of time spent training plus occasionally using weights to build up strength improved my times and I’ve taken part in 20 half-marathons, one marathon, some 10km and 5km events and fun runs with good results.  I’ve also done some New Zealand Masters events on track at shorter distances achieving gold and silver medals for age group at shorter distances.

I work long hours on shift-work so finding time for running is always a problem and I have not been able to train with a club. I enjoy running and so I run; cross training is not part of my thinking even though I am constantly told it is beneficial. I use weights only when I can’t find an excuse not to.  I’m not a gym member.

The Testing of a Suggestion

In October, 2006 I ran Adidas Auckland Half-Marathon, a challenging course with hills and turns including the Auckland Harbor Bridge, placing 11th in age group with a time of just over 96 minutes.  This year I wanted to improve my result but I knew that I would be hampered by time restraints plus I’m a year older and each year brings slower results unless seriously countered by effort.  Lloyd Shaw of Vibra-Train suggested I use a specific level 5 Sports Model Vibration Training Machine so I started twice weekly sessions.  Very quickly I built up muscle strength in my legs and vastly improved my core strength and balance. I gained some extra size in my quads and I was not happy about this as I believed it would slow me down; endurance runners tend to have a lean body type.  I thought I was wasting my money!

Then in July, I ran a mid-winter half-marathon and was surprised at my stamina.  This run included 1km of beach plus a hill climb and I was not slowed at all.  A few weeks off and I started back into training for this year’s Auckland Half-Marathon (October 28, 2007).  I was still not convinced that Vibration Training was going to help me and for my training I like to just run!  

Static Poses Only  ???

This year everything seemed to get in the way of my training; rain, rain and more rain, too heavy to run in; work shifts that entailed more nights than days; and my family’s needs.  Lloyd Shaw suggested I return to using the level 5 Sports Machine and asked me to commit to regular vibration training, as an experiment.  He was so sure it would help my fitness and my running. I was to follow the regular program with some additional time spent on squat poses. All poses were to be static, no movement on the machines, which seemed to me to go against other exercise ideas I’d read about even with vibration machines.  Positions had to be held perfectly and I would be closely watched over.  Well, I didn’t have a lot to lose as I wasn’t likely to do well with the small amount of run training I was doing so I agreed and got back into the Safety Program, twice weekly over the past two months.

Still skeptical despite my earlier results, after a few weeks I felt stronger when on my day-shift, lunchtime, short runs and I began telling others that this was from vibration training.  In the lead up to the big race I only managed two long (30km) runs.  I didn’t do any weights at all. I would have usually done another 8 long runs of over 16km before a major event.

I started today’s half-marathon confident of finishing and feeling strong but still tired from night shift-work this week and concerned I wouldn’t do well.  I didn’t win the race. I’m not that good, BUT, I got into the top 10 in my age group, finishing 9th out of almost 200 in my age group and 278th of around 6000 overall.

I’ve been trying to achieve this for years!

I finished nearly 2 minutes faster than last year’s Auckland Marathon.  One or two minutes doesn’t sound like much but runners struggle to improve very small amounts of time.  A very important factor is that I was able to keep up a constant pace throughout the event without tiring and finish injury free.

I recommend vibration training to endurance athletes. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s been the factor that helped me, especially as I haven’t been able to put in the normally needed training time.  My thanks to Lloyd and Vibra-Train.