First Off - What is the Assault AirRunner Treadmill?
What makes the AirRunner so good for speed training?
What Makes the Assault AirRunner better than a normal treadmill?
Why do runners get injured so often? Because running on the road and on a normal treadmill can be extremely taxing on the human body. Fortunately, the AirRunner is much gentler on the body in terms of impact force, so you can literally reduce the likelihood of getting injured by covering more miles on a curved treadmill.
So what are the drawbacks of the Assault AirRunner Treadmill?
1) It’s a lot more difficult to hit distance targets – If you like running 5km’s during your training runs, you will either need to get much fitter, or you will need to select a shorter distance. This is because you will expend up to 30% more energy when running any distance on the AirRunner.
3) It’s not as easy to gauge your performance on the AirRunner – This is where electric treadmills pip the AirRunner (and other curved treadmills). Running on a standard electric treadmill at 1% gradient is the closest you can come to running outdoors.
There have been plenty of studies into this. All of them suggest that when you set a standard treadmill to a 1% gradient, the oxygen consumption needed to run at a particular speed matches up with the oxygen consumption needed to run the same speed outdoors.
With the AirRunner, you can use up to 30% more oxygen when running at a given speed. This is great for improving your cardiovascular fitness and your V02 max, but it makes it harder to assess your training performance, especially if you are preparing for an upcoming race.
Is it true that you burn more calories on a curved treadmill?
- Significantly higher relative oxygen uptake across all velocities (32.5% increase)
- Significantly higher heart rates during training (16.8% increase)
- Faster running cadence (2.6% increase)
- Higher rate of perceived exertion (27.2%)
- Less efficient running economy (38.4% variance)
In the end, it’s safe to say that you do burn a lot more calories on a curved treadmill, and this can be up to 30% higher than running the same speed on an electric treadmill.
Testing The Calorie Count On a 5K Run
On the left, you can see the Garmin Forerunner 35’s interpretation of the run.
On the right, you can see my actual performance on the Assault AirRunner. There are a few things to note.
- The calorie count on the Forerunner 35 (462) was actually higher than the calorie count on the AirRunner (405).
- I found the run pretty difficult, and my pace was only 4.55 mins/km. On the road, I can run at 4.00 mins/km quite comfortably. This demonstrates how much tougher it is to run on the AirRunner.
- It isn’t clear to me if you can insert your weight into the AirRunner’s computer console. User weight is hugely important when calculating the total calorie burn, so I need to do some more investigation into this.
Beware of the 20% Rule
- If you usually run at 7mp/h, it would be best to run at 5.6mp/h on the AirRunner if you want to simulate the speed that you are familiar with
- If you usually run 4 miles during your training, it would be better to run 3.2 miles on the AirRunner, if you want to simulate the distance that you usually run
The Assault AirRunner is a well-manufactured curved treadmill that excels at interval training, speed training and short distance endurance training.
The 150 000 mile treadmill belt is extremely reassuring, and it is safe to say that it will outlast just about any electric treadmill available on the market.
If you’re thinking about buying the AirRunner, it all boils down to this.
If you want a device that will help you burn a huge amount of calories in a short period of time, the AirRunner is an excellent choice. You really can push your body to its upper limits on this machine, and you don’t have to worry about mechanical failures.
However, if you are a long distance runner and you want a machine that can simulate outdoor running, you would be better served by a high quality electric treadmill with a solid warranty.