How to Simulate Running on an Elliptical?

Elliptical trainers are stationary cardio fitness types of equipment that monitor your fitness using a variety of measures. The distance meter in an elliptical training machine, usually situated on the console with LEDs, helps exercisers translate their exercise into miles, like distance runners.

How to Simulate Running on an Elliptical

Consider the miles you complete within 30 minutes of the elliptical workout against the miles you can cover in 30 minutes of running with the best running shoes to gauge the intensity that one exercise has more than the other. It is also possible to check and adjust the intensity. In addition, most gyms are equipped with ellipticals, making them an excellent alternative for cross-training.


  • How to Stimulate Running on Elliptical Machine
  • Workout to Stimulate Running on Elliptical Machine
      • Workout No. 01: (Easy Ones)
      • Workout No. 02: (Medium)
      • Workout No. 03 (Hard)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Final Thoughts

How to Stimulate Running on Elliptical Machine

The goal of cross-training is to change the routine of your workout and experiment with something new. This article will help you change how you train using an elliptical device. Ellipticals can be an excellent alternative for anyone who runs. 

They are great for recovering from an injury or aren't feeling like running on any given day. An elliptical can be the perfect way to mix things around. We'll show you how you can make the most of your elliptical machine, regardless of how you utilize it.

Workout to Stimulate Running on Elliptical Machine

Start by keeping the resistance at a low level and try to achieve 90 RPM (revolutions per minute) or as close to it as possible for basic elliptical workouts that could be used to warm up. Do not worry about it if you cannot perform 90 RPM at this point. 

And you can gradually increase it. (It's crucial to keep in mind that 90 RPM is 180 steps in a minute. That is a fantastic running speed.) If you're looking to perform an interval exercise maintain a moderate resistance and target 90 RPM. 

Workout No. 01: (Easy Ones)

Exercises with the elliptical must be completed at 65 to 75 percent of the maximum heart rate. For an elliptical machine, it is recommended to run at a speed of 90 rpm can be compared to a stride speed of 90 rpm on a regular easy run. You are reducing the amount of resistance and the slope of the elliptical to keep an incline of 90 rpm for more comfortable elliptical workouts and breaks between intervals. 

It is important to note that some ellipticals track stride rates, including both legs, meaning that the striding speed would be 180. Suppose you're healthy and not using the elliptical for supplementing your mileage. In that case, simple elliptical workouts can be utilized to recover between intense activities or for general maintenance. In general, attempt to keep your running pace during a typical day with your elliptical.

RelatedCan You Use an Elliptical Without Power?

Workout No. 02: (Medium)

The heart rate goal of a moderate exercise elliptical is 87-92 percent of the maximum heart rate. This is how a challenging running tempo or a comfortable hard effort appears. Maintain a speed of 90-rpm and increase the resistance or incline to increase the heart rate and action to the appropriate levels. 

Medium elliptical exercises are perfect for runners who are susceptible to injury and want to exercise more vigorously but aren't able to do it without risking injury. They are also beneficial for injured runners for "maintenance" days.

1st Exercise

  • 10 minutes with w/u
  • 6 x 5 minutes of hard work
  • 3 minutes of easy
  • C/D in 5 minutes easy

2nd Exercise

  • 10 minutes of easy with w/u
  • 1, 2.3, 4.5, 6 5 3, 2. 1 minute of hard work with 2 minutes quick in between each
  • 5 minutes simple C/D

3rd Exercise

  • 10 minutes w/u
  • 1-minute medium, 1 minute hard, 1-minute medium, 1 minute hard, 1-minute medium, 1 minute hard
  • 1-minute simple (x6)
  • Quick and easy c/d in just 5 minutes

RelatedHow Do I Choose an Elliptical for Home Use?

Workout No. 03 (Hard)

Exercises on the elliptical machines must be performed at between 95 and 100 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is a type of exercise known as a V2max or speed workout. To reach the desired intensity, you should keep the speed at 90 RPM and raise the resistance. 

If you're injured and want to keep your fitness up and work for a long time to get back into shape quickly, intense effort is ideal. It is recommended to only do one or two of these rigorous exercises every week, just like intensive running sessions. Although the physical impact is lower, you must recover.

1st Exercise

  • 10 minutes at a leisurely pace followed by 20 minutes at a moderate pace
  • 3 x 3 minutes of hard work with 90 seconds of easy work
  • 5 minutes c/d

2nd Exercise

  • Start at level 1 for 10 minutes easy w/u then raise resistance every 4 minutes for 35-40 minutes.
  • 5 minutes c/d (this is a simulated hill workout)

3rd Exercise

  • 10 minutes of easy w/u
  • 5 min medium, 2 min hard, 2 min easy, 5 min medium, 2 min hard, 2 min easy, 5 min medium, 2 min hard, 2 min easy, 5 min medium, 2 min hard, 2 min easy (x 3)
  • Easy c/d in 5 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is an elliptical machine good for runners?

If you're not able to run, research suggests that an elliptical machine could be an alternative. If you feel that your effort is similar on an elliptical as on the treadmill, one analysis showed that the amount of oxygen consumed was identical. Another study showed that women increased their fitness when using an elliptical for the same duration as they ran on a treadmill over 12 weeks. 

How many miles are you required to run to cover a mile?

Calculate the distance you've walked on an elliptical by multiplying the number of inches of the mile (63,360 inches) by the length of the elliptical's stride. An elliptical that has 20 inches of stride length, for instance, could complete the distance of a mile in 3,168 total strides.

Is it better to lose weight by running or using an exercise machine?

Running is calorific than ellipticals at the same level of exertion (i.e., that the work is the same in both exercises). It's just close (about 100 calories/hour of difference).

What type of workout does an elliptical exercise machine simulate?

It's not surprising that the elliptical machine and treadmill are among the most sought-after cardiovascular devices used for indoor exercise. They mimic a natural walking or running motion and will improve your heart fitness based on how intense your workout is.

The difference is what you can tell between an elliptical and running?

The treadmill provides a more efficient exercise than the elliptical general because it demands more effort. Jogging is a sport that requires more work from the hamstrings and core when compared to doing an elliptical workout. The treadmill is more suitable for the center and lower body exercise.

Final Thoughts

Cross-training can be challenging, significantly if you're injured or are looking to boost your intensity quickly. It is possible to recover from an injury with a slight loss of fitness and increase your aerobic capacity without feeling hammered when you offer a range of exercises and include some training on an elliptical. 

It won't provide the same benefits as road running as it will not be as if you're running; however, if the elliptical becomes the only option for you due to injuries, you don't need to be concerned about losing your hard-earned endurance.

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