This week, the LEVER Running team is thrilled to bring to our readers a story that makes us really proud that we can make a change in people’s lives. Over the past year, Katie Klapproth, a 31-year-old “Low-3 Marathoner” hailing from Cinicinnati, Ohio has discovered that her LEVER LV1 has not only given her a pathway to physically sustainable health and training, but perhaps more importantly she’s noticed a peace of mind, a sense of freedom, in knowing that her LEVER is always there to welcome her on off days (not the unplanned kind).
Katie’s story began in her childhood as a competitive gymnast. In 2012 she ruptured her Achilles’ tendon on the mat (ouch!) and being the motivated athlete she is, her rehab led her straight into running. She started with the 5k, then a 10k, and by the time she finished her first half-marathon...her “Why only do something halfway?” mentality told her she was destined to be a marathoner.
Fast forward to early 2017, seven (!) marathons later, Katie suffered a sacral stress fracture. Four months later, a pelvic stress fracture. Desperate for answers, a bone scan revealed that at the young age of 27, Katie had developed osteoporosis. Katie had suffered from an eating disorder beginning in 2014, and it took her two years before she began seeking help. The photo on the left, provided to us by Katie, shows her during that unhealthy time. Though she had overcome her disordered eating by the time she raced the Boston Marathon in 2016, the longer-term damage had been done.
Rather than throw in the towel, Katie doubled down. She wanted to keep training. Knowing her bones needed mechanical loading to get stronger, but much less than the enormous load of normal running which caused her stress fractures, Katie worked with professionals to train exclusively on an AlterG starting at 20% of her body weight. For two years, Katie made the 30+ minute drive to the AlterG as she progressed from 20% to 80% of her body weight and was able to sustain training cycles. “The drive was long and the AlterG could be glitchy” so in January of 2020 Katie started looking for home-friendly options, and that’s how she found LEVER Running!
The LEVER LV1 allowed Katie to continue safely progressing towards running with 100% of her body weight. It’s been a big game-changer, says Katie, “Using LEVER has made me feel free, when [other BWS systems] have made me feel trapped.” The most incredible thing is that her most recent bone scan, done six months later in June of 2020, showed that her bone density is now in normal ranges.
These days (photo to the right), Katie has been training with her LV1 twice a week for recovery runs, unloading 5-10% of her weight and increasing her pace a bit (which is a great idea, check out our blog about it!), as well as any time she’s feeling a flare-up or even just fatigued. “I use LEVER to ensure I’m getting quality over quantity in my training, and it really just puts my mind at ease to be able to train even if I don’t feel 100% to run outside.” So who would Katie recommend LEVER to? She says, “Honestly, I would recommend LEVER to anyone at any level. From a beginner to elite runners, it’s a great training tool.”
Well Katie, thanks for your shining endorsement of us and we can’t wait to cheer you along as you tackle your goals of getting back to racing, getting that marathon OTQ, and hey, maybe even making the Olympic team, because “Why only do something halfway?”
You can follow Katie too! Check her out on Instagram at @katiemichelle2015 and help us cheer her on!