>Cross Training>Elliptical vs Fast Walking?
Cross Training running with Elliptical or Fast Walking for a new runner?
I am following a walk/run program and making progress. I am brand new to running, haven't run in 27 years since cross country in High School. Very out of shape. I was wondering on my non run days what would be a good cross training exercise to help improve my running.Fast Walking or Elliptical ?
I am not at the stage yet where I can run for 30 minutes straight at a comfortable level 2 heartbeat pace that I can consistently do. Right now if I try to run for 30 minutes after 30 minutes of jogging my heart rate is at 160 - 165 bps at around 5 mph pace and it is over training for me. If I slow it down to like 3.5 - 4.0 mph Fast walking pace I can do that comfortable for 30 minutes with my heart rate staying the whole time in zone 2 around 117 Beats Per Second.
I also was experimenting with the elliptical on my off days as a nice supplement to do on my non run/walking days since it is close to running but easier. I can keep my heart rate more in a level 2 zone easier on the elliptical, 115-120 bps and don't get as sore afterwards.
I been following a run /walk program where I run at a 5-6 mph pace for a couple minutes, walk a minute, run again for 2 minutes at a 5-6 mph pace. I do this for 30 minutes 3 times a week. so far I will be starting week 3 today. on my non run days I been supplementing it with either the elliptical machine or doing some Fast Walking on a slight incline for 30 minutes.
Would fast walking be overtraining or elliptical better or would fast walking mimic running more and thus translate more over to improving my running ?
I think you do both. I like walking more for recovery vs improving running fitness (aerobic development) but right now I would lean a bit more toward elliptical as it is more likely to get your HR a bit higher in your aerobic range. I see no need to stay under 117 with your average HR. I am all in on conservative but this may be a bit too conservative. I think I would put that ceiling more at 135-140. For every 3 cross training days do 2 elliptical and 1 walk mixing in some inclines on walks.
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I agree with the recommendation to do some of both. The elliptical is good for getting your heart rate up and providing some aerobic training but it’s not a natural movement like walking is.
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Yeah I do favor the elliptical more too, I recover easier from it then fast walking. Fast walking will make my shins/ calves , feet, ribs, and back sore like running but not as bad. Elliptical I don't feel sore at all next day. So If I am very sore from running elliptical might be the better recovery option. I can also raise my heart rate easier too on the elliptical without it taking such a tole on the body the next day. So I can train on elliptical easier on recovery days with a decent heart rate without it breaking my body down the next day.
.,. I am recovering better though each week though from run/walk sessions. Getting less sore afterwards then I did when first started.
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When I've had to build back running fitness, I use both. The elliptical is super good at building aerobic capacity without impact loads on lower body. Walking contributes little to aerobic capacity, but does help increase fitness of legs.
You can mix and match based on what's most likely to help with your journey at any particular time -- but in reading your posts, the sense I have is that aerobic fitness (elliptical) would help you most right now.
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low/no impact of the elliptical is nice but feels so awkward unnatural for me....even with all the options/adjustables. .
walking uphill is an option too, on the treadmill.
as for not being able to run 30mins, or having heart rate increase too high...
can always break it up into 3x10mins with 1-5mins rest inbetween etc...
good luck. you'll get there.
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I won't disagree with any of the good advice the others have given. But, I will add a thought from my own experience.
I recently returned to running after a long layoff. During my long layoff I rode my stationary bike daily. I likewise rode that bike on my "days off" in my walk/run phase, and I continue to ride that bike during my "days off" from running. I see those bike days as continued cardio fitness AND rest for my running muscles, bones, etc. Rest is an important part of the process.
My return to running has progressed much faster than I thought possible this spring. I attribute that to the fact that my cardio was already pretty darn good from all the bike riding and I was very careful about the slow and steady buildup of the stresses of walk/running.
Regardless of the path you choose, stay with it, and good luck!
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If you have access to a treadmill with an incline, treadmill hiking is also a good option for cross training. It will work up a sweat and build muscles used in running like your calves.
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Yep, I think fast walking is underestimated and the thing is that you can do it even if you haven’t changed into your training gear. Fast walk to the shop or fast walk anywhere that is a short distance when you would normally take the car. Yes the elliptical is great for getting the HR up and really helped me when I’ve had to ease up during a marathon cycle because of some niggle....the good thing about the elliptical is that you can simulate intervals/faster workouts via HR and still not lose out on the cardio.
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