At the conclusion of a successful year that included winning the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships for Men 30-34, top-ranked age-group triathlete Ben Greenfield has announced his goal of turning pro in 2012. A coach and author of several books on fitness, metabolism and diet, Ben specializes in nutrition, weight loss, and endurance athlete program design. Known for trying alternative methods of training, he incorporated the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle into both training and daily life this past year, achieving stellar results.
As someone with a deep background in exercise science, Ben is very open to evaluating new and different ways of training, and is a big advocate of cross-training. “I like to try alternative methods and see how my body responds,” states Greenfield. At the Coeur d’Alene Ironman triathlon in June of this year, he saw someone cruising around on an ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle and watching the race. “I chased the guy down and asked him to let me ride it around for a while. I was surprised at how fun and fast it was, and it was immediately clear to me that this was the most awesome cross-training tool I’d ever come across. I had to have one.”
Designed by runners, the ElliptiGO elliptical bike is the first outdoor, low-impact, fitness device specifically engineered to emulate the running motion. It allows athletes of all levels to get a high-intensity workout without experiencing the repetitive impact of running. Healthy and injured athletes alike have found it the most effective way to get an outdoor running experience without the usual pounding on their bodies.
“I’ve always emphasized quality over quantity in both my own training and with my athletes.” states Greenfield. “Your joints have a finite amount of pounding they can take before they start to break down, so you have to train smarter, not harder. To me that means lots of intervals, more cross-training and less running. The ElliptiGO is a great addition to my training because it has allowed me to take the low-impact elliptical machine workouts that I enjoy outside.”
As he notes on his blog, the elliptical machine often gets a bad rap among “hardcore” athletes as being a slightly subpar workout compared to running and cycling. “But in reality, elliptical trainers can be more difficult, more effective, more time-saving, and offer a more full-body workout compared to other cardiovascular modes of exercise,” says Greenfield.
The ElliptiGO has also become much more than just a piece of equipment that Ben uses for training. “I use the ElliptiGO elliptical bike very organically as a part of my everyday life, too. It’s not just a cross-training tool, but a mode of transportation that lets you sneak some extra activity into your day. I ride it a few miles to the gym or to play tennis. I can ride it to the store and bring home a few groceries. I’ll go hard for training, but the ElliptiGO bike is so versatile and fun, I’m not limited in how I use it.”
Greenfield’s success this past year has been proof of how effective his cross-training has become. “I used the ElliptiGO elliptical bike twice a week and only ran once a week in my training leading up to my win at the ITU Long Course World Championships this year. Not only that, but I was faster than last year when I was running more often. It’s not hard to make the connection. The ElliptiGO bicycle is an effective, efficient way to cross-train.”
“Ben is a great example of someone who is using the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle to its full potential,” said Bryan Pate, Co-Founder and Co-President of ElliptiGO. “He’s using it as a powerful cross-training tool to build endurance and get faster; he’s replacing high-impact workouts to lessen the wear and tear on his body, plus he’s using the ElliptiGO elliptical bike as a fun way to get around town and run errands. Ben is getting the maximum benefit from this versatile tool and we’re looking forward to seeing him achieve his goal of racing as a professional triathlete next year.”
Looking forward to next year, Ben knows he’ll have to get serious with his training early on in order to get his Pro card from USAT. Right now he plans to start off 2012 at the TriStar Mallorca International Triathlon, and if all goes right he’ll finish out the year as a professional triathlete.
“I’m thrilled at how well I’ve been racing over the past year and I want to race strong for years to come. By taking away the impact of running, the ElliptiGO bike is allowing me to extend my career as a triathlete while making me faster at the same time. You can’t ask for more than that.”