The secret weapon behind 63-year-old Queenslander’s two running world records in 2016
At age 63, Brisbane local, John Shaw, has already set an incredible two world records in 2016, having revolutionised his running training with the Bionic Runner.
Brisbane, July 2016 – Running a world record at any age is a phenomenal achievement. Running a world record at 63 is perhaps even more so. Brisbane local, John Shaw, however, is now coming to terms with setting not one, but two world records in 2016 – and he only returned to running three short years ago, back when he celebrated his 60th birthday.
Now ranked #2 in the world for his age group (60-64), John’s road to success has not always been easy. Indeed, the outcome may have been very different had he not discovered the Bionic Runner, which also calls Queensland home.
Launched via a successful crowd funding campaign just one year ago, the Australian-born Bionic Runner is the world’s first – and only – non-impact fitness trainer to replicate the motion of running. As a cross-trainer, it has already taken the global running community by storm, changing the way in which athletes both train and view injury prevention. And whilst the majority of seasoned runners have sought out the Bionic Runner to help them run through injuries – and prevent their recurrence – for others, like John, the decision to train on a Bionic Runner has been all about pushing harder – and faster – than ever before.
Two world records in 2016
Earlier this year, saddled with a recurring calf injury, John decided to run a half marathon with just five week’s training – something that would have been impossible – or at the very least short sighted – without the help of the Bionic Runner.
“The Bionic Runner was my saviour during this dark period,” he recalls. “I put in 2-2.5 hour runs on the Bionic Runner every other day to maintain my aerobic fitness, but when race day came, I didn’t set a goal time, I just decided to try my best.”
Unbelievably, John ran 1.21.16 on an undulating course, with a 70 second PB. Fast forward just two weeks, and John joined team mates Ron Peters, Peter Reeves and Ian Cameron on the tarmac to attempt to beat a 4 x 1500m relay record that had stood for 20 years.
“On a hot summer’s morning we broke not one, but three records: the world record by 27 seconds; the Australian by 1:07 and the state by 3:01,” John recalls. “The regular hard workouts during my injury downtime made me a strong runner,” he adds. “With a stronger core, hips, glutes, quads and hamstrings I could push myself harder than I had ever done before.”
Of course, John hasn’t stopped there, going on to set a single-age world record for his time of 2.45.23 in the recent Gold Coast Marathon on July 3rd 2016. “Whilst training for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon I completed a 45-minute session on the Bionic Runner twice a week during light 80-110km training weeks, and once a week during heavier 110-160km training weeks,” says John. “Over time, this made me stronger in the hips and increased my cadence.”
A game-changer for serious runners
The Bionic Runner is the only non-impact fitness trainer to mimic the natural gait and timing of running. “Unlike an elliptical trainer, the Bionic Runner has a unique patent-pending 60% swing and 40% stance phase timing, which guides the foot along the path of a mid-foot running gait,” explains Steve Cranitch, founder of Run4, the company behind the Bionic Runner. “Basically, you not only look and feel as if you’re running, you engage the same muscles as you would pounding the pavement, too, which sets the Bionic Runner apart from any other cross trainer in the market.”
Thanks to its non-impact closed kinetic chain, training with the Bionic Runner also eliminates the risk of injury from impact fatigue and joint over extension – the two most common causes of joint, tendon and muscle-related strain injuries.
For runners like John, who ran a three-minute PB in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Bionic Runner represents a game changer when it comes to training – allowing him to pro-actively prevent injury, or continue training through injury, when it occurs.
Significantly for John, the Bionic Runner also represents a secret weapon when it comes to recovery. With just a few short weeks until his next challenge – the Marathon at the World Masters’ Games in Perth – John needs to get back into training immediately.
“The BR has been a saviour in recovery,” he says. “My lower legs “rejoice” when they are on the Bionic Runner as they get to have a holiday while the rest of my body gets back to the business of running.
Running Trainer Pty Ltd
PO Box 52
CEO: Steve Cranitch
More information can be found at: www.run4.com. The Bionic Runner is available to purchase from run4.com