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Old 02-24-08, 05:08 PM   #1
Hardheadmandca
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Elliptical training instead of running?

What do you all think about using an elliptical machine as a replacement for running? I am still having some knee pain when I run.

I had a meniscus clean-up in November, and it's a lot better, but not ready for real running still - that's the main reason I'm interested in the Chi running seminar.

If I were to use a basic training plan posted below, would I need to increase the time, or keep it the same?

Or, am I just kidding myself?

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Old 02-24-08, 05:23 PM   #2
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No No No No!!!

I would say NO...while it may be good to work it into your routine to simply keep cardio going it will in no way improve running.....Just as actually doing a TTwill improve your TT ya gotta run baby,,,,I say do fewer miles at a higher intensity....Sprint more, track work longer rest time recovery between running. If you knees are that bad just do less more work harder...Much research has demonstrated that Higher INTENSITY but shorter time is beneficial.
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Old 02-24-08, 05:27 PM   #3
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No comparison between the two.

Could you run on a treadmill? Treadmill with a 2-3 degree incline is supposed to more closely mimic actuall road-running resistance levels.
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Old 02-24-08, 05:46 PM   #4
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I'll try a treadmill again, but last time I tried I was till getting pain in my knees from the pounding. I feel I need to do something now though, that's why I was considering the elliptical.

I am also going to take a Chi Running class next weekend.
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Old 02-24-08, 07:08 PM   #5
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yeah sorry the eliptical is cardio but it doesnt work your running muscles at all,
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Old 02-24-08, 08:24 PM   #6
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The elliptical will help you with your cardio, but really will not help you with your running at all. It might help your endurance with the run, because of the cardio, but they are no where close to the same thing as far as work outs go. I thought the same thing, and after a month off of running, ok maybe 2 months, using elliptical in its place, I was not able to run as far or as fast as before the time off.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:32 PM   #7
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I say do fewer miles at a higher intensity....Sprint more, track work longer rest time recovery between running.
Many debates on both sides of this subject but my $0.02 is this is pretty bad advice for someone recovering from an injury/surgery. Running is already high-impact and higher intensity will just dial it up. You won't get any benefit at all if you're nursing a new injury.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:55 PM   #8
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Minor hijack, but not really I suppose since you mentioned it in your original post. What can you tell me about this Chi running? I've heard it's running's version of Total Immersion.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:56 PM   #9
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i would not run on you knee. I was dealing with an injury not to long ago and my coach had me do the elliptical until i felt better. I would rest your injury as much as possible, the elliptical will keep your cardo up while you recover.
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Old 02-24-08, 10:20 PM   #10
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Many debates on both sides of this subject but my $0.02 is this is pretty bad advice for someone recovering from an injury/surgery. Running is already high-impact and higher intensity will just dial it up. You won't get any benefit at all if you're nursing a new injury.
I tend to agree with you. What do you think of the advice found here:
http://askatricoach.wordpress.com/20...tical-machine/

Specifically, "[t]hird, YES, hit that elliptical! I just had an athlete complete the Timberman 70.3 race (with a sub-2hr 1/2 marathon) after 6 weeks of elliptical only training (he had aggravated his achilles tendon). There is absolutely ZERO merit to the argument that your legs need the pounding of the road to truly be ready for race day (if that were the case, you’d see elite athleletes stomping around or beating their shins to strengthen them…odds are you haven’t seen this!). We are looking to stimulate your legs in a manner similar to running - elliptical and pool running are both close enough - and to get your heart rate up."
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Old 02-24-08, 10:29 PM   #11
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Minor hijack, but not really I suppose since you mentioned it in your original post. What can you tell me about this Chi running? I've heard it's running's version of Total Immersion.
Check out http://www.chirunning.com/shop/home.php - he has a very good book, and, I've heard, an excellent DVD on the method. They also have a group of certified trainers spreading the word. ;-)

It is similar to "pose running" and forefoot running - check out the information at the Newton Shoe Company here - http://www.newtonrunning.com/run_better.php - and is essentially a controlled fall. You keep your body straight, lean from your ankles, and control your fall - the steeper the lean, the faster the pace. It really is effortless.

The nice thing is that you land on your fore foot, when done correctly, using the natural shock absorption structure of your arch, and severely lessen the pounding on the knee.
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Old 02-25-08, 08:50 AM   #12
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Guilty of assisting minor hijack - I've had pretty good results with ChiRunning elminating a nagging injury. I'm self-taught though and I'm doing something wrong that's creating a new leg pain. Kudos to you for investing in their seminar. It's not cheap but I think I'm going to have to that too before I trade one injury for another.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:58 PM   #13
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Joolied, that's good to hear. I really hope it works, or it is power walking for me and no hope of ever getting on a podium - not that there was much chance of that really. ;-)
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Old 02-27-08, 04:12 PM   #14
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I learned this past week that it doesn't cross over worth a damn. I can cycle for hours at good intensity, and go pretty damn hard for over an hour on the elliptical. Two (kinda) fast miles of running damn near killed me.
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Old 02-27-08, 04:35 PM   #15
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Well, that's disheartening news! ;-)

Well, it's all I can do running wise in the near term, so at least its increasing my cardio levels.

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I learned this past week that it doesn't cross over worth a damn. I can cycle for hours at good intensity, and go pretty damn hard for over an hour on the elliptical. Two (kinda) fast miles of running damn near killed me.
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Old 02-27-08, 04:59 PM   #16
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Well, that's disheartening news! ;-)

Well, it's all I can do running wise in the near term, so at least its increasing my cardio levels.
I ran my fastest 10k after three months of nothing but cycling.
I'm not much of a runner, think 10 minute miles, but after riding 5-6 days a week with a lot of intensity for three months, I was able to run a 53:30 10k. I couldn't walk right for a week becuase my leg muscles were so sore form doing soemthing different but my cardio pulled me through the run.
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Old 03-29-08, 01:34 AM   #17
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Elipses help, but don't translate perfectly - your foot isn't pushing off, coming up and snapping forward completing the stride. So the muscles for those actions aren't used.
If you can't run, you can't run. But to get ready to get back to running, you can work out your running-specific muscles in the meantime. Example: my muscles on the front of my shin can hurt a lot when I get back to running (from just cycling). I'll do lots of ankle lifts on a little machine in the weight room to get those muscles back in shape.
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Old 03-29-08, 08:42 AM   #18
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The best thing you can do is pool running. They sell a kit that is pretty inexpensive at sports authority or online that consists of a bouyancy belt, shoes and weights. This is supposed to be the best substitute for running and has zero impact. The eliptical helped me when I couldnt ride a bike for about a month because it mimics a pedal stroke, but the only thing it will help you with as far as running goes is to keep your aerobic endurance up but it uses different muscles.
Anyway good luck recovering I just had my meniscus cleaned up yesterday and hoping for a speedy recovery at least to the bike if nothing else.
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Old 04-01-08, 01:33 PM   #19
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Sorry to read about your injury. I am finally back on the road after 5 months of pt. Pool running and swimming were lifesavers and I think I'm stronger now.

Take a look at this: http://www.pfitzinger.com/labreports/water.shtml
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Old 04-01-08, 07:26 PM   #20
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Thanks for that link aqua4her.
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Old 04-02-08, 09:32 AM   #21
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My two cents (which is all it's worth) . . .

I'm a big guy -- I started triathlons a few years to lose weight -- and running has always been difficult for me because of joint pain from my weight and lack of running experience. I convinced myself that I could train for the running with long sessions of the elliptical trainer I have at home. It didn't really work. In my triathlons, on the run, while my lungs were fine, my joints were killing me. My knees and ankles hurt so bad I could hardly walk.

I put up some Internet posts on forums like this explaining my dilemma, and asking about training for running by not running, and I got roundly mocked. Eventually I started running on a treadmill, just a minute or two longer each time. And slowly I built up some tolerance. Now I can run without pain. I'm still not fast, but no pain.

So, in my limited personal experience, while the eliptical trainer increased my cardivascular fitness, it didn't get me where I needed to be. Although I undertsand that world-class runners and triathletes don't go around pounding their shins into the ground for "training," that is probably because they run all the time anyway. I think there is some merit to the idea that beginners -- whether beginning in earnest, or beginning back from a hiatus or an injury (or, more specifically, beginners who are fat guys like me) -- might have to build up a fundamental level of tolerance in the joints through some level of pounding that comes from actual running.

None of which is to say that I would recommend pounding on a recently-injured joint, but I'm no doctor (or runner).
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Old 04-06-08, 06:36 PM   #22
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Hi, new member.

I have similar problems with my knee (dislocated knee cap, torn ligaments, etc) so I also invested in an elliptical trainer (Horizon E1200). I have used the elliptical twice a day, 30 minutes per session. I recently decided that I wanted to do a triathlon, and felt pretty confident that I could run, considering that I was kicking butt on the elliptical...... didn't work out that way :-)

Long story short, the elliptical can not and does not take the place of running. In fact, I got really used to exercising on the elliptical and found myself having to constantly vary the intensity just to break into a sweat (some cardio workouts, some power with high resistance, etc).

I think it has helped with my cardio though.... but not a substitute for running.
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