How will Counterpace work best for me?

Can you step to a beat? A strong natural sense of rhythm can make guided counterpulsation much easier for beginners, but almost anyone can learn to step accurately to a metronome or musical beat. 

Guided Counterpulsation can work for anyone, particularly if you're flexible and open minded in exploring how it works best for you. The following table provides an overview of some of the most readily accessible opportunities to leverage Counterpace guidance across a variety of activities at different ages.

It's easiest to learn in the gym on a treadmill or elliptical.  We recommend that you master walking in sync on the treadmill, if one is available, as a first step. 

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. The more physically fit you are, the more incline will be required to get a great workout with heart rate equal to step rate. The same is true for running, However, running in sync typically becomes more challenging as we grow older, for reasons described below.

Counterpace RUNNING is easiest when you’re young

Counterpace guidance requires that your step rate (SR) match your heart rate heart (HR). The younger you are, 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. 

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).  

 Casual runs at very low heart rates can be particularly difficult, or in some cases, impractical. 

Stay safe

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.

Additional considerations

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.)

If you’re looking for a product solely 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.