The ‘Consequences’ of Impact-Free ElliptiGO Training for Marathon Runners…

November 2, 2015

PBP ALAN THUMBS UPIn September 2015 we reported on a team of ElliptiGO customers who had conquered the 1,230km Paris Brest Paris (PBP 2015) audax cycling challenge in under 90 hours (article here) on their ElliptiGO bikes.

In October 2015 we followed up two of them (Alan McDonogh and Stuart Blofeld) to find out the results of an unusual ‘experiment’ they had conducted to see if they could make “good use” of the impact-free fitness they had gained while training for and riding in the PBP event.

Their ‘experiment’ had been somewhat unorthodox, even for runners who use the ElliptiGO for a lot of their training, because they had done very little (if any) running in the first 8 months of this year, leading up to the PBP 2015 ride. Instead, they had mainly ridden their ElliptiGOs for their fitness training, before giving themselves only a few weeks to train to run a full marathon (about 5 weeks in Alan’s case – and much less for Stuart).

On the 24th October 2015 both Alan (57) and Stuart (37) ran full marathons, after less than 5 weeks of dedicated marathon running training. While Alan had continued to combine his long ElliptiGO rides with long runs in the short marathon build-up, Stuart had only run a couple of times in that period (choosing to rely almost entirely on his large endurance base from all the ElliptiGO training he’d done for PBP 2015 and hoping it would carry across to his running fitness).

Both runners had interesting outcomes. Alan ran his marathon in 3:00 (and won the Over-50 Veterans category of the Leicester Marathon), while Stuart ran 3:33 in the very hilly Snowdonia Marathon, on the same day. You can read Stuart’s report about this experiment on this link to his blog, if you’d like to get the full details of his training regime for the Snowdonia Marathon. Both runners have best-ever marathon times lying between 2:50 and 3:00 – which puts these recent performances into context (in relation to their general abilities).

Stu at Snodonia FinishWhilst we don’t advocate such heavily skewed cross-training plans for marathon runners who train on the ElliptiGO (and we believe that a more even balance of both running and impact-free training is ideal for a marathon training plan) we have seen a number of similar reports from ElliptiGO customers who train almost exclusively on the ElliptiGO for all their running events (you might recall the case of 68 year old Tom Hilton who carried out a very similar ElliptiGO training ‘experiment’ last year).

And although we recommend a more balanced approach to running training when using the ElliptiGO we do still think these ‘experiments’ certainly validate the fact that the elliptical motion of the ElliptiGO is suitable for replicating many of the conditioning effects of running – without any impact – which is a great way for runners to reduce their injury risk (by simply adding impact-free volume to their marathon training).

A number of studies do exist which already validate the effectiveness of the elliptical motion for training runners without impact (studies such as those referred to in this article). The ElliptiGO certainly combines those same impact-free training benefits of the static elliptical trainer with a highly engaging, high-performance cycling workout (which can be done either indoors or outdoors)…

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