I’m an RRCA certified run coach, and many of my runners are indoors right now, either smartly hiding from icy roads or rehabilitating injuries, yet still making dumb mistakes on indoor equipment.
- Overachieving– runners are obsessed with footstrike (forefoot or midfoot?) and know that good footstrike falls apart with bad posture (‘run tall’ is the usual cue; “Lock Your Cage!” is my cue). On an elliptical, there is a tendency to slump, either because the runner is multitasking (i.e. reading) or overachieving (they chose the elliptical with moving handlebars for an arm workout). Both lead to hunching forward, straining the neck, hyperextending the lower back, overloading the quads, and not replicating ANYTHING they would be doing anywhere else in nature. The cue I use to correct is “Feel Your Feet”, which means every ten minutes or so take a cursory check of what your feet and ankles are doing; if it feels like you are pronating, straighten up!
- Smack Talk/Mat Talk – for people not used to running outdoors, the treadmill is second-best, and the elliptical may not even register (which is a problem, because the elliptical is such a crucial tool for injured runners needing to lessen strain on knees and shins!!). Phrases like, “Dreadmill” and “Insteadmill” downright disrepect the work we can do on these machines! You need to check your mindset before you so much as head to the gym, else you’ll try to compensate for what you think is a lesser workout by reading or adding an arm workout (see my previous point above) and end up wasting your time completely. The way you think about the machine sets the stage for the way you think about the work you will do on it, so set the stage for your badassery appropriately and respectfully. Rather than smack talk what you’re about to do, Mat Talk yourself like Jerry Harris from Cheer on Netflix is standing right behind you (HOW FUN WOULD THAT BE?!?!?) “This water is COLD my workout is HOT I have NETFLIX, I am WINNING AT LIFE YES EARBUDS!”
Look, I get it. When given the option I will always opt outdoors. The elliptical may never be your favorite and that is valid. That said, being indoors doesn’t have to suck (it’s a TERRIFIC excuse to watch Cheer, and I did NOT expect to GAF about that, at all). We need to embrace all the tools available to us if we have goals, and if we are taking the time to do something we need to talk our efforts up instead of down.