Adding elliptical workouts to my training

Adding elliptical workouts to my training

First elliptical training done. 15 minutes, 2,8 kilometers. Small workout, but I only did it as a warming-up for my Vinyasa Flow yoga practice. Kind of alternative for the Sun Salutations. Although, I did a couple of those as well.

I’ve wanted to do some elliptical training for a while. That’s why Sara and I picked up the cross-trainer a couple of weeks ago. It gives me the option to make more kilometers with less impact for my ankles.

RELATED: My first serious cross training


Twentse Smokkel Trail

In my build up to my first ultra run, I’m slowly running more and more kilometers and my long runs are becoming seriously long. A week ago I ran my first 25 kilometer training run. Coming Sunday I will run the 27,5 kilometer long Twentse Smokkel Trail. Stamina-wise I am fine. But my ankles….

After my 25k training run I felt them for a week. Not seriously painful, but a nagging feeling. I had the same after the Viking Steam Trail, which was 24 kilometers long.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem resting my ankles after a long run. I have to. It’s the only way I can keep on running, but I do like to keep my legs going. As cycling isn’t really my thing, the elliptical could be an option.


Resting my ankles after a long run, is the only way I can keep on running.

Double load

As I told you, I’m fine running in the mountains, it’s running on flat trails that cause my ankles problems. Living in the Netherlands, we have a lot of that.

The closer I get to the 50 kilometers ultra I want to run, the more kilometers I want to run. In my ideal schedule, I even do double loads. Running 25 kilometers two days in a row. But with my ankles…. So maybe I can swop 10 kilometers running for 10 kilometers on the elliptical and run directly 15 kilometers after that. And do that two days in a row.

Yesterday I came across an interesting article in Trailrunner Magazine by David Roche with the title Yes, The Elliptical Can Create Champions. Here’s How. Roche writes about Parker Valby and Natasha Wodak. The first a college student, the second a Canadian marathon runner. Parker finished 2nd at the NCAA 5K championships, Wodak, age 40, broke the Canadian record in the marathon, running a 2:23:12.



So what has that to do with the elliptical? Parker was recovering from a stress fracture (small breaks in the heel bone) and could run only twice a week. For the rest she worked out on the cross-trainer. Wodak has to give her body more rest than most athletes, so she supplements running with workouts on the elliptical.

If it works for these athletes, why wouldn’t it work for me? And maybe for you as well. I’ll keep you posted.

Today's training

Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Eka Pada Bakasana practice
1 hour and 7 minutes

Running with Sara, day 26.
4.82 kilometers in 36 minutes and 22 seconds



John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

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