IS COUNTERPACE FOR ME?
If you’re looking for a product soley to help you run outdoors, and your heart rate and step rate are far apart at your preferred running paces, then you should probably NOT purchase the Counterpace system. On the other hand, if your run stride frequency is close to your natural heart rate at that pace, or if you’d like to improve your exercise efficiency and experience on a treadmill, aerobic exercise equipment, hiking, or recovery during interval training, then Counterpace guidance is for you.
* Tempo pace = moderate to high intensity (e.g. training run of 5K distance at 10K race pace)
** Steep incline may be required for physically fit individuals.
*** Pedal-based steppers allow control of both resistance and step distance, enabling easy counterpulsation. Stair-based steppers provide only low-level resistance control so are not compatible with Counterpace Guidance.
Counterpace running is easiest when you’re young
Counterpace guidance requires that your step rate (SR) match your heart rate heart (HR). The younger the runner, the more rapidly HR rises towards a natural SR with only modest effort. When a person reaches an age at which their HR no longer rises high enough to meet their natural stride frequency, they’ll need to learn to take less frequent, longer steps to leverage Counterpace guidance. Lengthening stride allows a person to maintain speed at a lower SR - doing so safely with proper run ergonomics is critical but can be difficult, especially at very low step rates.
Learn to step in sync with your heart at tempo pace
We recommend you learn Counterpace Guidance during moderate to high intensity runs of a mile or longer. This type of effort raises HR most effectively towards natural step rates
(e.g. 155 - 190 steps per minute).
Counterpace guidance is easiest to learn on a treadmill
A treadmill’s incline control allows you to increase or decrease your HR towards your natural step rate at a variety of speeds. Walking in sync on a treadmill is easy at almost any age, but running becomes more difficult because maximum HR drops as we grow older.
Because your SR determined by your HR during natural counterpulsation, speed must be modified by changing your stride length. A low HR and SR requires longer stride and careful attention to healthy step ergonomics is required to run safely. (Changing stride length safely) Professional coaching may be helpful.
Counterpace guidance works well with clear time goals
Runners with clear and challenging competitive running times as goals have been delighted with the improvements in speed and endurance provided by Counterpace Guidance (e.g. break a 3 hour marathon, 5 minute mile, etc.)
Counterpace guidance can work for anyone
Guided Counterpulsation can work for anyone - but you may need to be flexible in how you use it. Start in the gym on a treadmill or elliptical. We recommend that you master walking in sync as a first step.
Can you step to a beat?
A strong sense of rhythm can make guided counterpulsation much easier for beginners. Almost anyone can learn to step accurately to a metronome or musical beat, but it can be much easier to learn for some than others.