Since long runs are out of my current picture, I’ve been seeking alternate ways of getting in a similar workout without knee pain. Because, well, as I build my running endurance back up, it’s one thing to have to cut it short because of the actual injury — it’s another to have to call it because I’m huffing and puffing too hard.
The elliptical seems to be the only thing that works me even a little bit like running in the cardio department, as long as I push hard. The only issue is that I find it really hard to keep my pace and effort high and steady for a long period of time. It’s not like the treadmill where you set your pace and you either keep up or fly off the back, you know? If you drop the pace a bit, nobody knows it but you.
That’s why I’ve found it really helpful to have a minute-by-minute workout set up for the elliptical — I can focus on maintaining a certain level of effort for a minute at a time! Just don’t ask me to do it for, like, 30.
I have a few go-to workouts for this purpose, and what’s great is they also work for the stationary bike or treadmill (just substitute pace for resistance). The workout below is designed for an elliptical machine that allows you to modify both the resistance and the incline. Feel free to change it up by increasing/decreasing the length of the intervals or by starting with a lower incline/higher resistance.
Do you follow a workout plan or follow your gut on the elliptical? —Kristen