Last fall, Team USA Minnesota acquired an Ellitigo, an elliptical machine on wheels. However, by the time it found a home in my garage last fall, it was too cold and icy to bring it out. Now that spring has finally hit Minnesota, I broke out the Ellitigo to do some cross-training around the lakes this past Sunday.
The Elliptigo is awesome, because I can be outside while cross-training. “Um, what about biking?” you may ask. Biking is fine, but I always prefer using an elliptical machine over a bike when I cross-train, because it more closely mimics a running stride. With an elliptical, I can maintain running fitness and form without the pounding. And now, with the elliptigo, I can take my favorite cross-training activity outside. My teammates and I get a lot of stares and questions, because the Elliptigos are a fairly new site around here, but it is worth the attention.
If you’re like, “What’s this cross-training business?” let me back up a step. I define cross-training as an activity that improves physical fitness, but without the pounding on the body. My body can take a lot of pounding. Over the years I’ve worked my way up to being able to run 75 miles a week. However, each time I take a step, my legs absorb a whole lotta weight. One way I try and prevent injury is to supplement my running with going on the elliptical, biking, cross-country skiing, rowing, and swimming at least once a week. If I am feeling tight, tired, sore, or am in pain, I’ll start to replce some of my running miles with cross-training time. For example, my hamstring has been bothering me a lot recently, so this week I probably ran 40 miles and cross-trained for 40 miles. I learned the value of cross-training early from Ben Zhao, my high school coach, and it has greatly helped me avoid and recover from injuries.