Elliptical training tips from an Olympics coach

August 9, 2013
The M50's preset options allow you to focus on all of your training goals.
The M50’s preset options allow you to focus on all of your training goals.

If you’re training for a triathlon, you may not have thought your elliptical machine would be a prime option. However, Lance Watson, a four-time Olympic Games coach for several triathletes, provided some stellar tips for using your elliptical to get your body into tip-top triathlon shape.

Keep up the resistance
Watson believes that maintaining a high level of stamina is a must for any triathlete – with each leg of the event considered long distance in their relative fields, it’s imperative to be able to strengthen your long-distance, slow-twitch muscle capacity to its fullest.

“By alternating between levels of high resistance and those of high speed, you’ll be able to work at a higher relative intensity for a longer time,” fitness journalist Matt Fitzgerald explained in Men’s Health.

Watson calls this type of approach the “alternating interval.” After a warm-up, increase your elliptical machine’s resistance until you are at 80 percent of your capacity for a full two minutes. Then, lower your resistance level, but up your speed to 80 percent of your capacity. By continuing this cycle for at least 20 minutes, you’ll build your cardio and muscle capacity simultaneously.

How to track yourself
To make sure you’re maintaining both your muscle and cardio levels, use the M50 Home Elliptical‘s Polar Wireless Heart Rate Monitoring system, which allows you to constantly track your heart rate to make sure you’re maintaining your 80 percent benchmark throughout. If you have a tendency to fluctuate in pace, the HRC Cruise Control feature lets you set your speed to make sure you are always hitting your mark in terms of speed, workout duration and intensity. No matter how fast you plan to finish your upcoming triathlon, your elliptical will assuredly help you reach your goals.