A serious cross-training tool if you can fit it into your schedule
“Whether you are injured, looking to cross-train or just add more training with less pounding – this green beast could help you out.”
Never heard of Elliptigo? Well in a nutshell picture an elliptical type cross-training machine you’d find at the gym that you can ride around like a bike. Interested already? Yep, very cool idea and especially for runners. The Elliptigo mimics the running stride very closely and the stride length can be adjusted (unlike many gym machines).
I saw an Elliptigo for the first time when my east coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia) friend (Elliptigo Luke) started posting pics and video of himself striding around Halifax in one. I was intrigued by the idea then (a few years ago).
When I found there was an opportunity to try, test and review a machine with Elliptigo Canada and former elite runner Mike Dyon (3-time winner of Ottawa marathon) I jumped. I soon found a big box at my door.
In 2013 US elite runner Meb Keflezighi joined a group of elite runners who were set to incorporate the Elliptigo into their training. Being familiar with injury and trying to seriously prepare for the 2014 Boston marathon – Meb used the Elliptigo to train. In April 2014, Meb won the famous Boston marathon. The buzz about the Elliptigo got louder.
I Canada I found out that Sheila Reid a young up and coming Canadian runner was spinning around and trying out an Elliptigo as well. From her tweets – she was enjoying it!
- Hotdogging for the crowd on my steed. The ElliptiGO has been an awesome cross-training tool for me.
- Subway floods throwing a wrench in your commute? I’m blowing by stations on my @elliptigo like it ain’t a thang.
- Loving the combination of funny/ confused/ curious looks I’m getting on the ElliptiGO.
I had a chance to ask Sheila a few questions about her experiences and how she incorporated the Elliptigo into her training. Here are her answers:
Who would you recommend the Elliptigo to?
I will let each of you who read this check all the specific details on the options and specs of the Elliptigo – there is lots of information on their website. My Elliptigo was green, had 8 gears and took only a few minutes to assemble. It seemed even less complicated than a bike.
I found the Elliptigo relatively easy to master and was up and moving around quickly. Shorts, sneakers and a bike helmet and I was off. I had bike paths close to home and was off trying out the green machine.
The workout felt easier than running, somewhat like working out on an elliptical machine at the gym and a bit more difficult than biking. The ride is smooth, it is easy to turn and the 8 gears on the version I had gave me some options for hills and getting a good rhythm. After a few rides I found I could get the Elliptigo up to close to bike speeds (20-25+ km/hr) without too much of an effort and could pass slower bikers (usually turned their heads too).
What you will notice when first starting is unlike a bike, when tired or want to relax a bit, you cannot relax on your seat…..no seat.
The workout is a good one and the legs feel it but without being beat up and the arms too are worked out as you rock the Elliptigo a bit when riding.
I would recommend this to someone who wants to add miles, cross-train or avoid injury/deal with one. You should have space to store it (larger in length than a bike) and place it in easy spot to access and get out.
You will need time to get used to (easy to master) but more in terms of how to get good workout and glide along – I found even after a good number of rides I was still not 100% comfortable but got up to a few 30-40km rides.
Variety is the spice of life and the Elliptigo may very well work for you. Look at your budget (price of good road bike), schedule, your routine, the storage space you have and what you want to use it for.
Run on my friends!