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General Triathlon

Elliptical Training to help Running and Biking?

asked almost 6 years ago | Report

Hi all, I'm training for my second duathlon (the first one was pretty rough) and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for how I could use my elliptical to best assist my running and biking. I'm still running on an indoor track (sometimes outside when the whether is good enough) and using my bike on rollers through the winter, but I want to use the elliptical to help my endurance.

The elliptical I'll be using can increase the incline and stride length. I have heard that for treadmill training, you should up the incline a few degrees; does anyone know if it's the same for ellipticals? Any thoughts on whether I should up the resistance or the cadence, or if I should switch it up between workouts?

I know that treadmills are inherently more effective for running training, but I also know myself, and I'm a lot more likely to actually train on an elliptical.

Any tips for training on an elliptical for my duathlons would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)

3 answers

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  • Will it help? sure. Will it help as much as actually running or cycling? no. Elliptical will help build your aerobic base, but while the movements are similar, it's a little less sports specific. I suggest using the elliptical for times that you cannot do the other two. As for the incline on the TM- most agree that about 1-1.5% grade on the TM gives you a similar intensity as running on the flat, outdoors. I guess due to the lack of wind resistance.

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • I generally tell people to avoid the elliptical as it sort of mimics non ideal running form.

    The only real way I see an elliptical helping improve your running is if you use it as a form of active recovery. As said already, the best way to improve your running, is to run!

    Also, be careful on an indoor track. Too much turning in the same direction can potentially mess up your ankle/knees/illiotibial band, hips, etc. Try to perhaps get on the treadmill more to get off of the corners. I was injured for a while with an IT issue that I attribute to too much track running during the winter!

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

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  • I had to use an elliptical a lot during my recovery from hip surgery, but now I'm stronger than ever.

    Most advice is to not use an elliptical unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. My opinion is that if you're choosing between doing NOTHING and an elliptical, the elliptical wins. If you have a choice of doing the elliptical or running however, it will hands down be running unless there are worried about injury etc.

    Use it for cross training, but not as a replacement for run mileage.

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

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