How to qualify for the ElliptiGo World Championship
By Amanda Ghent, Team OS1st Member, Competitive Runner and ElliptiGo Athlete
What exactly is an ElliptiGo bike? The “Go” combines a running, cycling, and elliptical motion while standing (read: you don’t ever get to sit down while pedaling this thing). This low-impact, full body workout builds excellent fitness and can burn more calories than a tradition cycle, outside or inside.
Then, a fellow athlete began to explain how he (and many other athletes, recreational and elite alike) use the ElliptiGo as a cross-training tool during training cycles. Though he completed weekly workouts and long runs, he spent a good portion of his time "on the Go," was in fabulous shape, and finished the marathon in 2:54 that day. It is clearly an outlet that has worked for him and countless other athletes (including Meb Keflezighi, Jordan Hasay, Molly Siedel to name a few). Obviously, I was more intrigued and began to ask questions over the next few months, wondering if this would be worth my investment.
As it came to play out, I was able to test out a long-stride 8C Go later in the spring, fell in love with the fun, and made it mine. I picked it up in early May, while I was running 55-60 mpw. A week after getting it, I ended up with bursitis in my knee and enough inflammation that forced me to quit running for about a month. Thankfully, I was able to transfer 100 percent of my run training to the "Go," keep up with workouts, hard efforts, and recovery rides.
Given that races are practically non-existent during COVID-19 and my body was still trying to recover, I began logging more miles on the "Go" – hitting anywhere 80-90 miles per week. I thought it would be fun to create a related goal. I’d set out to ride 50 miles in under 4 hours. If I was successful, I’d be considered for the ElliptiGo World Championships in October in California.
The world championships consist of a timed ride up Palomar Mountain, just outside of that climbs 4200+ feet (an average 7 percent grade) in just 11.69 miles. It is a painful climb, so I’ve heard, that finishes above 6,000 feet altitude, but I also understand that it is every bit worth the climb – for the experience, and accomplishment. And now with the qualifying 50 mile ride in the bank I’m dead set on enduring as much exhilarating pain as I possibly can on October 24.
While it will look slightly different this year for the 11th annual World Championships of Elliptical Cycling, there will still be a solid group of elite athletes and other ElliptiGo-ers that will attempt to climb the mountain as quickly as possible. This will be a 100 percent self-supported ride and all necessary modifications for social distancing will be observed. While these changes may alter the social aspect of the events, the purpose of the day is still the same: get to the top.
I’m so thankful to my family and friends who have encouraged me and supported me since I took my first ride on the ElliptiGo back in May: the ones who let me ride instead of run, those who guide me on 50 mile rides, and the others who have become my biggest cheerleaders as I look to face the mountain in October. Team Os1st has been an integral part of my injury recovery, new training methods, completion of the qualifier, and now preparation for the World Championship climb. The Os1st k7s performance knee sleeve continues to my most used piece of gear while riding or running. Following some of the harder efforts and longer rides, I’ve been recovering in the FS4+ compression bracing socks (full toe to knee) and the ThinAir performance calf sleeves to help restore blood flow and muscle function.
What else has been key in all of this training? Nutrition and hydration. The ElliptiGo is certainly low impact but it’s definitely a workout. I tend to sweat heavily whether I’m indoors on the trainer or outside in the sunshine. I make sure to always have Nuun, a few Picky Bars to eat every 10-15 miles, and SaltStick fast chews throughout each ride.
Sure this season has been so out of sorts for all of us. We aren’t competing in the ways we were 8 months ago. But competition never dies – it just looks differently. Now it’s time to climb the mountain.