Elliptical Running

Elliptical | HappyFitMama.comSince I’ve been unable to do my usual running mileage for the past 2.5 months, I’ve been finding ways to mix up my workouts. More yoga, time on my bike trainer, strength training and the elliptical. Elliptical running isn’t technically the same as road running but I’ll take what I can get right now. Injured runner’s can’t be choosers, right?

The elliptical is one of the closest pieces of equipment that mimics running. With no impact on your joints, it’s a great tool to use if injured or giving your body a break from running a few days a week. A study from the UW – LaCrosse found that “heart rate and oxygen consumption on an elliptical trainer were virtually identical to running, but impact force was less.”

The elliptical, like any piece of cardio equipment, can be a little b-o-r-i-n-g. Last week I came up with this elliptical sprint workout. The resistance and spm (strides per minute) change often to keep interest and make the time fly.

Elliptical Sprint Workout  HappyFitMama.com - Copy*w/u = warm upย  *bwd = pedal backwardย  *fwd spt = forward sprintย  *c/d = cool down

I’m hoping that spending some time “sprinting” on the elliptical will mean maintaining some level of my running fitness during time off from higher mileage. That would truly be marvelous (thanks Katie for hosting!).

Elliptical – love it, can’t stand it, or tolerate it?

Do you feel like you get similar benefits from the elliptical as running?

51 comments on “Elliptical Running

  1. I used to love the elliptical but I haven’t used one in ages. I used to love all gym cardio machines but now I can’t stand any of them and get so bored so quickly! I guess I used to just sit there and kind of workout while I was really watching TV ๐Ÿ™‚
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..On TeachingMy Profile

  2. Ah the elliptical! I honestly am only ever on it when I’m injured. It’s definitely the place to be when trying to mimic running but, ugh!! I’m happy to say I haven’t been on one in a LONG time but I’m going to keep your workout just in case…
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown: Hell WeekMy Profile

    1. As soon as I’m back at 100%, I most likely won’t even look at an elliptical. It’s one of those “if injured” tools that I pull out. Thanks for saving the workout but I hope you never have to use it!

  3. When I was in college, I tore it up on the elliptical! Many, many hours were spent, churning away, especially during finals. I’d take my notes and study while I worked out. Nowadays the elliptical is perfect for a low-impact, recovery session, although I’m more likely to jump in the pool!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..State of the RunionMy Profile

  4. I like the elliptical. It’s a fabulous way to burn some calories fast and you get that endorphin rush very similar to running. Great job!!!!
    Jen recently posted..My WeekendMy Profile

  5. I used to love the elliptical and hate running. Now I am not the biggest fan of the elliptical. It kind of hurts my back. Interval anything is great for keeping me focused. It’s why I love speed work and hill repeats ๐Ÿ™‚
    Tara Newman recently posted..Reverse Bucket ListMy Profile

  6. Lately I’ve been using the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT) at the gym. Love it! A great workout in a short amount of time. And I think it’s more challenging than the traditional elliptical. Personally I think the AMT keeps your mind engaged, too – because of switching stride, speed, etc. But maybe it’s me and I’m uncoordinated ๐Ÿ™‚
    Nicole recently posted..Garbanzo Bean Vegetable SoupMy Profile

  7. I like using the elliptical when I’m feeling like an injury is sneaking up on me and I need something with less impact. I think when you work hard on it…like this workout…you can still get the benefits that you did from running!! Way to make it work for you!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  8. I like the elliptical. It’s a great calorie burner and makes me sweat! Also, it’s hard for me to run everyday because of my jacked up shins, so the elliptical helps {when I actually go to the gym} to break up running outside or on the treadmill.
    Maureen recently posted..RidiculousMy Profile

  9. I occasionally like the elliptical but my feet go to sleep on it in less than 10 minutes for some reason. So, I usually only last about 15 minutes and then switch to a different type of machine. I do feel I get a good workout and work some leg/glute muscles harder than I would with a traditional treadmill workout.

    1. My toes do that too sometimes. I find if I concentrate more on pushing with my whole foot rather than the toes it helps. That and wiggling my toes every once in awhile.

  10. I feel like the elliptical can be what you make of it. You can make it super easy and not get much out of it OR you can step up your game a bit, add in some sprints, etc., and get a quality workout from it. You can also make it super boring OR switch it up with intervals or some sort of entertainment like TV or a magazine. I really enjoy it to mix things up and still get cardio in if I need to be more gentle to my knees and hips.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Food Never Tasted So GoodMy Profile

    1. Love the stairmill! Unfortunately I don’t have access to one of those with my work gym. It’s hard to get my HR up on the elliptical that’s why I have to do the sprints.

  11. Hi! I just came across your blog in the Facebook event for the Move Nourish Believe Challenge and I wanted to stop by and check it out! I’m glad I found this elliptical workout because I did something to my leg and can’t run right now. I’m definitely going to try this tomorrow! I look forward to following along with your blog and I can’t wait for the challenge to start ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ashley recently posted..WIAW: Valentine’s Day CrackMy Profile

  12. I have been taking advantage of the elliptical this winter to supplement my running, and I hate to say it, but I’m in love. I feel like I can push a lot harder thanks to the lower impact than I can on a treadmill. I still switch between both (and the stair stepper) when I can’t run or ski outside, but I definitely have developed a soft spot for that machine!
    Martha recently posted..Sweet Potato Latkes … aka Sweet Potatoes for those who “hate” sweet potatoesMy Profile

  13. Just what I’ve been searching for. I have to say, that this page is great. There’s nothing more valuable than good info these days, after all we do live in the information age. Thanks for the info, it’s really helpful.

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