The Best Elliptical For Runners

Serious runners tend to be very particular about their workouts, which is why many scoff at the idea of using an elliptical machine as part of their regular routine.  But ellipticals can actually be very effective in helping to recover from injury, providing a whole body workout and allowing you to boost your running speed and increase endurance by adding resistance.  With this in mind, it may be helpful to consider the best ellipticals for runners.

While all ellipticals combine the motions of cross-country skiing, running and stair climbing, not every elliptical will be able to provide the kind of workout that serious runners want.  When it comes to getting the most out of your elliptical, quality certainly matters.  You’ll want a good, sturdy machine that doesn’t contain too many plastic parts so that it can stand up to rugged use.  Also, though you can get ellipticals in either front, center or rear drive, runners usually opt for rear drive models that allow for a more natural positioning of the body.

Beyond durability and design, there are other qualities to look for in the best ellipticals for runners.  Primary among these is resistance.  Runners like to have at least 20 levels of resistance so that they can vary their workout to mimic different types of terrain.  Another feature that adds to resistance is a flywheel of at least 25 pounds.  This can give you the maximum challenge while continuing to perform smoothly.  With adjustable resistance you can allow for low impact workouts if you are rehabbing an injury or higher settings to help you firm, tone and strengthen muscles.

Stride is also extremely important when it comes to getting a healthy workout.  The best ellipticals for runners can adjust to accommodate different users or simply to give an individual user some variation in his routine.  Again, this can help to mimic workouts on different types of terrain or using different speeds in order to engage various groups of muscles and boost your workout.  Some machines combine stride variations with incline settings, allowing you to mimic the feel of running uphill or at full speed.

While ellipticals typically focus on the lower body, most also allow for working out the arms by including moving arm bars.  This can be an important feature for runners, who prefer an elliptical that allows them to achieve the same kind of synchronized, swinging arm movement that you use naturally while running.  Not only is this more comfortable, it allows for a full body workout, which is important to serious runners.  In most cases, runners tend to look for handlebars that synchronize naturally with pedal movement for a more unified workout.

Aside from these main features, other things to look for in the best ellipticals for runners include a wireless heart rate monitor to allow you to track pulse readings.  Some machines even have the ability to automatically adjust routines in order to help you achieve maximum heart rate.  At the same time, wireless capabilities can help you keep track of your data so that you can stay on top of your results and some even feature video workouts that can help you feel as if you are out on the road.

Though choosing an elliptical is a very personal thing, these tips can give you an idea of what to look for so that you can determine the best ellipticals for your training needs.  That way, whether you are a weekend jogger or a serious competitive runner, you can be sure to get the most out of your elliptical workout and help improve your endurance.

Tips to Recover From A Long Run

Long distance running is a great form of exercise yet also physically demanding. Whether you run for fun, are training for a marathon, or want to relieve stress, it all takes a toll on the body. There are many ways to help you recover from a long run, from hydrating properly to getting enough sleep. Here a few effective tips to keep you in top running shape!


The first ten to fifteen minutes after a long run are key to replenishing your body with liquids. Certain drinks that have electrolyte's such as Gatorade are effective as they balance out your pH level, move nutrients into your cells and move waste out of your body. It is important to aim between 16-20 oz. of fluid to replace the loss from sweating.


Food is an extremely important role in long distance running and it is key to fill your body with the correct amount of nutrients to help the recovery process.

Chocolate milk, yogurt, banana's, granola, and peanut butter are all effective  foods when it comes to post run fuel. Eating a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Having the right amount of carbohydrates and protein ignites the recovery process. They fill your body with high nutritional value without craving the bad sugary foods!

Take a Nap

Getting enough sleep is key to the body's recovery process when running long distance. Your body needs to rest and sleep is one of best ways to accomplish this. After a long run your body is tired and needs to recuperate. 20-30 minutes for short-term alertness are recommended for napping. In addition, a way to help recover your feet specifically during the nap would be to use nighttime foot orthotics . Orthotics will help feet with any plantar fascitis issues and ensure you are on your way to happier and healthier feet.

Napping in general will improve your performance without feeling more tired and will not interfere with your nighttime sleep. If you are tired and are longing to shut your eyes for a few minutes, listen to your body and take a nap.


Stretching after a long run should begin within 25-30 minutes post run. Focusing on major muscle groups such as hamstrings, calves, hips, and quads, are key to refueling and recovering. Not much time is needed to stretch as 10-15 minutes are all you need to help the soreness and stiffness of your long run.

A foam roller is another tool that is extremely helpful for long runs. It helps alleviate knots, small injuries, and any tightness you might be experiencing. Loosening up the muscles will help your body recover in a natural and healthy way.


Those are my tips on how to recover from a long run. Hydrating and sleep are great ways to get back on the path, but following all of the tips will be beneficial to bringing you up to your most optimal athletic running levels. Running is physically demanding and can take a toll on the body.

Have your own tips, have some to add, or disagree with my tips on recovering from a long run? Simply use the comments section below and we can discuss the best techniques for not only running properly, but also for preparing your body to heal up and do it again! 🙂