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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to replace one of my 3 weekly runs with an elliptical session to give my feet a break. Advice please.<br><br>
Should I just do the miles according to the machine or ellipticate for the amount of time it would normally take to run? Also has anyone else done this long term and did you feel this was enough preparation for your race?
 

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I elliptocate a lot. Also, a few years back when I broke my jaw, I replaced all of my runs with the elliptical trainer. (I couldn't take the impact of running - every time my foot hit the ground I could feel the impact right up through my jaw.)<br><br>
In my humble opinion... The elliptical trainer is a great CV workout. I get a better sweat on that thing than I do on any other piece of gym equipment that I've tried. BUT... It's not a substitute for running. After my 6 weeks on the elliptical with the jaw, I'd hoped to "hit the road running" again. Didn't happen. Yah, I had the breath - but the legs weren't there. It's just not the same.<br><br>
Is it better than nothing? You bet. Is it the same as running? Nope.
 

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I am actually doing this right now as I was recovering from some tight calves/shins a couple of months ago. I am currently running 2 days, and doing elliptical 1 day to replace my 3rd run day. I also replaced all of my running with elliptical workouts a couple of years ago when recovering from a stress fracture, and while it is certainly not the same as running, I was surprised how little fitness I lost, and how easy it was for me to ramp up miles once I started running again.<br><br>
Not sure what the conversion would be, but I think you would have to put in slightly more time on the elliptical to equal the same effort of running - of course that depends on what resistance you have it set at, but I try to use a lower resistance to mimic a similar cadence to that of running (if that makes sense....)<br><br>
There are certain running muscles that just don't really get a good workout on the ellip, but overall I think it maintains your fitness really well. Aquajogging would probably have been the best replacement for running, but it just is not convenient for me to get to the pool any more than I already do.<br><br>
I think people just have different experiences with this, but mine was pretty positive so when I have the slightest hint of a running injury, I hop on the elliptical!
 

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Also, try to up the level of resistance some..... I think that helpd for a better workout. I prefer to Xtrain on the Stairmill---the one that looks like an escalator.
 

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I agree with the time/heart rate as the metric--maybe you can sub in some treadmill time as a bridge before you tackle the open road, it seems a lot easier on the body but is still running. I like the treadmill because I can stop if I get a pain and not be 3 miles from home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone. I am not stopping running just replacing one with the elliptical. I will do two road runs each week including my long runs which are at the 14 mile mark now.<br><br>
I am just hoping this won't make my runs worse than they already are.
 

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What do you mean "worse"? If you have a serious foot problem, the 14 mile runs are just going to kill it, even if that's all you do all week.
 

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Kate - I would talk to Tonya over at the "The Finish line run and race reports". She does almost all of her training on both the TM and elliptical with great success. I am sure she could give you some great advice on the elliptical.<br><br>
I would say go with time and HR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have arthritis in both feet, my feet hurt. Sometimes it is really bad, other times not so much. So worse means more painful or difficult to keep up with my training.
 

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I believe you can be fine using the elliptical! Don't worry and listen to your body. BUt, I would definitely use resistance....also, what if each week you did something different in place of that one run. So, one week the stairclimber, one week the stairmill, one week the elliptical.... like that?
 

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But be careful with upping the resistance TOO much; that may spell knee problems if you don't pay attention and just keep going harder on the resistance thinking it's a better workout that way - I'm still a bigger proponent of moderate resistance with higher cadence (I work this way on the bike as well).
 

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<br>
Yes, Sorry I forgot she had the 921 at the end of her name.
 

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Can you water-run? It really is the best running-replacement. It does still train your muscles for running. After a winter of pool running, I had my best 5K ever in a tri(early season). No impact on the feet, same muscles, etc. It IS a little boring, but you can do "speed" intervals, etc in the pool to keep it mixed up a bit, AND you can critique people's swimming strokes since your head will be out of the water! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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I agree with teacherjen ... see if you can't do some aqua-jogging ... it's worked for several of my Montreal KR friends, like DR, and she's fast!<br><br>
Sally<br><br>
p.s. Elliptical is hard on my knees ...
 

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Kate 60 - Using the elliptical will not necessarily stop the problem with your feet. I have osteoarthritis in both big toes...the toes don't bend normally at this point. I am still able to run and do the elliptical but not without pain in my feet depending on how much time I spend on either. I can do 45 - 50 minutes on the elliptical at a moderate resistance before my feet start to hurt. My point is that the elliptical may not be the answer to your problem.<br><br>
I also have rheumatoid arthritis but I do not think that effects my feet.
 

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I was watching people run on the treadmills at the Y this morning, it's interesting to watch the deck when people land on it, it will actually deflect quicte a bit, maybe 1/2 an inch. While I'm sure the treadmill can cause some new problems, I suspect the shock absorbsion is better than the road. Also, as a new treadmill runner, I found it useful in learning to be efficient, perhaps it's a different type of running but I'm gaining a new respect for the treadmill in recovering from injury.
 
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