3 Elliptical Workouts For Runners

3 Elliptical Workouts For Runners
Sometimes, runners can get laser-focused on improving their running to the point where they neglect their cross-training needs. Not only does cross-training help prevent burnout when it comes to running, but by adding different types of workouts, runners can avoid many common overuse injuries.

One type of workout we like to advocate here at Treadmill Reviews is the use of an elliptical. There is a lot of crossover between the demands of doing an elliptical workout when compared to running without many of the downsides, such as ellipticals being a low-impact activity, while running is high-impact.

If you are still on the fence about whether you should add elliptical workouts to your workout schedule, maybe our reasons and the workouts we have created will change your mind.

Why Should Runners Bother Using Ellipticals

There are plenty of benefits for runners who use an elliptical to supplement their current workout routine, from targeting different muscles to maintaining stamina and endurance during injury recovery.

Pack In A Great Cardio Workout With A Different Emphasis

Contrary to what some runners may think, running does not engage all of your leg muscles as completely as might be believed. Instead, the muscles that are less activated by running can become a weak point and lead to potential running injuries in the future.

By using an elliptical a couple of times a week, you can target the muscles in your lower body that are not as utilized when you run. Even better, using an elliptical shouldn’t impair your endurance, as it is a comparable cardio workout.

Ramp Up The Intensity While Staying Low-Impact

When running, turning up the intensity of your run means your body will take more impact. As running is a high-impact activity anyway, the increase of impact can wear your body down and lead to overuse injuries like stress fractures, joint inflammation, and more.

Rather than run the risk of developing a painful running injury, you can switch off from running and use an elliptical for cross-training. That way, no matter how intense the workout becomes or how high you turn up the resistance, your elliptical cardio workout will remain low-impact, while high-intensity.

Engage In Effective Recovery On An Elliptical

Running injuries are common among newer runners as well as intermediate and veteran runners who have overtrained. These injuries can make it inadvisable to run sometimes for weeks or months during your recovery, as the impact of running can make a healing injury worse.

You don’t have to sit still for weeks on end just because you can’t run. Once you are cleared to do so, you can use the elliptical with minimal worries of re-injuring yourself. The smooth, gliding motion of an elliptical can help to prevent irritation and keeps your cardio workouts low-impact, which allows your body to continue to heal as you maintain your fitness.

No Special Extra Equipment Needed For Cross-Training Runners

Aside from purchasing an elliptical—or simply using the ellipticals at your gym—there is no other equipment you need to start working out. Much like how runners only really need a good pair of shoes, you can easily step onto an elliptical and exercise. This ease contrasts sharply with other high-intensity, low-impact recovery activities like swimming, which can be a lot of hassle.

Try These 3 Elliptical Workouts For Runners

Instead of stepping on an elliptical and just working at the starting resistance level, there are workouts you can try to make your elliptical workout help improve your running.

Resistance Workout

An elliptical resistant workout for runners can help improve your overall endurance without taking a toll on your body the way that running would. Depending on the elliptical, you may be able to pair incline with your resistance elliptical workout. However, the workout below is going to assume that your elliptical cannot incline.

  • Warm-up for 5 minutes at level 2 resistance
  • For 5 minutes, turn your resistance up to level 6 and try to maintain between 65-75 RPM
  • For 10 minutes, turn your resistance up to level 12 and keep maintaining between 65-75 RPM
  • For 5 minutes, turn your resistance up to level 16, maintaining between 70-75 RPM
  • Cool-down for 5 minutes at level 2 resistance

HIIT Elliptical Workout

High-intensity interval training on an elliptical is a great way to build up your lower body strength and overall endurance without the same risks of HIIT running.

  • Warm-up for 5 minutes at level 2 resistance
  • Alternate between 1 minute of level 15 resistance and 2.5 minutes of level 2 resistance for one interval. Keep alternating until you have completed 5-8 intervals.
  • Cool-down for 5 minutes at level 1 resistance

Elliptical Tempo Workout For Runners

A runner’s tempo workout is paced just below their race pace, holding at about 30 seconds slower, though some individuals stick to a minute slower per mile than their regular race pace. This kind of workout can be applied to your elliptical workout, allowing you to work at the cardio exertion level without the impact.

  • Warm-up for 5 minutes at level 3 resistance
  • For 25 minutes, crank the resistance up to level 8 and try to keep between 85-90 RPM
  • Cool-down for 5 minutes at level 1 resistance

If you don’t currently have an elliptical or the one you have isn’t up to vigorous exercise, you might want to check out the best ellipticals for a new machine to add to your home gym.

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