Elliptical Equivalent (Read 1833 times)


    I have a calf strain and my PT is having me do the Elliptical instead of running - how long should I use the elliptical if I want to simulate a training run. Do I use the elliptical for the same amount of time as what my run would have been ? Same distance as what my run would have been ??
      I can't offer any scientific equivalents of elliptical vs running, but I'm currently in the same boat as you (rehabbing a foot.) I approach my elliptical "runs" pretty much as I do a real run, although I acknowledge that the stride is different and I'm not getting the same transfer from mid-foot to heel. I set my pace to my approximate running pace (usually 15-20 sec faster per mile), choose my level (for me, currently 14), and I select one of two settings - either "random", to mix it up, or "Kilamanjaro" on the hill profile if I want a steady burn. Also - I do not use the arm handles (waste of effort, and it reduces the leg action.) I simply keep my hands resting lighty on the stationary grips in front of me or, better yet, when the resistance increases a bit, I take my hands away and use only my legs to get as much "real" running motion as possible. I do the same mileage (or time, depending on the workout goal) as I would on an actual road run. I don't know if that's accurate, and I don't wear a HRM. I'd say if you're worried about equivalent effort, consider going by HR. Bottom line - I can't wait to get back out on the road!! Anecdotal personal experience - no data to compare. I hope it helps in some way.

      "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" - Steven Wright

        When I get banished to the elliptical due to injury or whatever (not that it happens much) I find I need to put the difficulty lower than what I think I can push through in order to get in a decent workout and get my HR up. I find I tire out too fast if it's set too hard. I remember hearing once that you should try to keep your cadence quite fast in order to mimick running the best (170-180 rpms). I would use it as long as your runs, but maybe start off a little on the shorter end at first. Ellipticals do work different muscles, and it would suck to burn yourself out after only one workout. I also use ellipticals for time because the one's I've used can't possibly be accurate in distance. Anywaym good luck with it! Stick it through and constantly remind yourself that the suffering is for the worthy cause of rehab and making you a stronger, more effective runner!
          My issue with ellipticals is getting my HR up. An easy run gets me to at least 130 for HR. ON elliptical I find I have to go crazy fast with a decent amount of resistance to even get into the 120s. I find my legs fatigue from the resistance. So, if you can get your HR comparable to running, my opinion is you need to do double the amount of time to consider a comparable crossover effect. For biking one uses a 3:1 ratio or 60 min of biking equals 20 minutes of running. Not fair, But, nothing can replace running and its specificity and impact.

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!