Elliptigo: Recovery Made Simple
In the past 3 weeks I have been in a break period from running. Post marathon I didn't run for 10 days in an effort to allow my body to fully recover. I was told more often that not people underestimate how well recovered they are post race and resume training too soon. I wanted to make sure I didn't push that boundary so I choose to take the entire month of November down. Of course a down month does not mean no activity but rather active recovery. In order to maintain some of my fitness without sacrificing my legs I upped my cross-training. Specifically I pushed the strength training and for cardio I ElliptiGO'd
I may be a spectacle riding the ElliptiGO around in downtown Raleigh but the benefits of it outweigh the stares. If you have ever ridden an indoor elliptical you know that it better simulates the running motion than a bike however the indoor elliptical also shortens the stride length. I always hated riding the elliptical because I always felt super awkward and I don't even have a long stride length to begin with. Riding the ElliptiGO felt much more natural while also being so much more enjoyable. The thought of doing an hour or 2 hour ride on the elliptical at the gym is cringe worthy.
It took me a little bit to get used to but now the ElliptiGO is the most useful tool in my training regime. In the middle of my marathon cycle I at one point pushed a little too hard. The following week I decided needed to be a down week so I reduced my mileage from 80 to 60 and added in 20 miles on the ElliptiGO. Really helped when I upped my mileage the following week to 90-100 miles.
These past few weeks I have been using the ElliptiGO to help me maintain some of my fitness while giving my body a rest. As a low-impact exercise, the body doesn't take a beating but it does get the heart rate up. I had a few rides with some steep hills which were certainly challenging. When I added some runs back in I was feeling pretty refreshed. I even ran a turkey trot 8k maintaining a fairly consistent pace just under 6min/mile. The important thing to remember when taking a training break is that in order to reduce injury in the upcoming cycle and make training gains, you must keep some level of activity going. This shouldn't be super intense or strenuous and shouldn't include long runs. For me that means runs between 2 and 5 miles. You want to be able to let your muscles and joints fully recover during this break period and even slow easy running can be hard on tired legs. That is why putting in miles on the ElliptiGO can be so beneficial during a training break. You get an all-over body workout that gets the heart rate up and maintains your fitness without enduring undue stress.
I know that I personally get a little anxious during breaks because I feel the need to do something. Being able to get some exercise in on the ElliptiGO allows me to settle my compulsion to run. I can ride for as long as I need without dying of boredom. I don't have to sit on an uncomfortable bike seat and I can utilize the muscle more closely related to running. This past season I did a lot of work trying to utilize my glutes better. Getting on the ElliptiGO allowed me to work on just that.
Now whenever I am asked about my thoughts on the EllipitiGO I can definitely say it is worth. I use it to ride to work and run errands in addition to utilizing it for cross training. It helped prevent injuries when I had mini flare ups this past fall. It got me to the line at Indy Monumental healthy and ready to race. I have one more week to go before I resume training and the ElliptiGO will be there to help me transition back. As is in life, training is made better when there is a balance. Train hard, recover hard.