When I saw the RunBike on this morning, it took a good two minutes before I stopped laughing/choking on my coffee. I was speechless, but once I recovered from my initial “WHY!?!” response, some more serious questions came to mind.
1) How on earth do you run uphill while strapped into that thing?
2) How long is a RunBike, and how do you get into it? Do you drop in from the top? Limbo in?
3) Is it street-legal? And do you follow biking laws, where you act like a vehicle and obey traffic laws, or do you obey pedestrian rules like a runner?
4) How many bones would you break if you fell while strapped into one of these contraptions?
5) How much Bodyglide do you think the average RunBike user goes through? That harness system must chafe horrifically in hot weather.
None of my questions are answered on the RunBike site, but at least they explain the reasoning behind the fever-dream design:
Why do we need low impact running? Many runners have learned that they cannot tolerate the pounding associated with their favorite exercise. For some this means switching to less attractive exercise alternatives and venues. Ultimately this can mean less effective exercise, or even, less exercise.
The RunBike was developed to enable more people to run more miles for more years in their lives. The basis of the objective lies in two accepted realities. The first is the myriad aches, pains, and injuries associated with conventional habitual running. The second is the burgeoning body of research pointing to the medical benefits of exercise.
Major annoyance of mine, but “accepted reality” is not fact. There’s a great deal of study and debate around what running does to your joints, but it’s not 100% guaranteed that running will hurt your knees. In addition, before you drop $1,000 on the scariest bike/human hybrid I’ve ever seen, it’s worth noting there are alternatives first. Cross-training and physical therapy are your first line of defense, and while the evidence is scant, there’s plenty of anecdotal stories about people benefiting from minimalist footwear and barefoot running as a way to decrease joint pressure. The point is, even if running is hurting your joints, you don’t need a RunBike to fix it.
However, this isn’t the first piece of workout equipment pitched at runners that would make you do a double (or triple) take if you saw it on the street!
And my personal favorite…
It’s amazing how many different ways you can sell the same concept: low-impact, high results! The truth is that for the amount of money you’ll drop on these, you could just as easily get a decent bicycle; that would give you a quality, low-impact workout … but you wouldn’t look nearly as goofy!