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ElliptiGo. A silly cross-training gimmick to distract runners from what they're supposed to be doing

Olympic marathoner Meb Kelflezighi (

Running is boring. Especially if you have a personal online coach, no friends and have to stick ear phones in the whole time to pretend that you're fine with running around by yourself for hours.

It was into this fertile environment of ennui that the ElliptiGo was born. What? I can get better at running without actually doing the horrible, painful exercise? Sweet! Finally some variety! And I get to choose a color? This just gets better and better.

Well, no, actually, it's not going to make you any better. ln fact, it's going to make you worse because when have to make a decision, in your time squeezed life, to go for a run or ride the useless thing in garage that you wasted your money on, you are probably going to try and justify its existence. ElliptiGoing has sweet fig all to do with running. Your feet are totally fixed into position on the pedals unlike running which is full of impact forces.

If you're interested in finding out more about the futility of cross training in general read Gina Kolata's New York Times article. It neatly reviews the science and even summarizes by saying that "using an elliptical cross-trainer may feel as if it is exercising your running muscles, but it is not giving you the same kind of training that running does. Nor does it train the muscles you need for cycling." Ouch. I will agree with ElliptiGo on one thing. It will reduce the chance of a running injury (because you're not running).

Of course that hasn't stopped a few pros nearing the end of their careers and some celebrity coaches enthusiastically recommending it to you. Hey look, there's Dean Karnazes! You do know they're all out on runs together laughing at you behind your back, don't you?

Disclaimer: this review was done without actually ever using the product. I value my marriage (they cost nearly $2K) and I already have a bike if I'm injured and/or don't feel like running.

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