Cross-Training to Extend Competitive Performance

A discussion by Meb Keflezighi and Dr. Steven Van Camp

On June 1, 2016, four-time Olympian Mebrahtom Keflezighi (“Meb”) and former ACSM President Dr. Steven Van Camp led a discussion session on “Cross-Training to Extend Competitive Performance.” The session took place during the opening day of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA.

During the session, Dr. Van Camp led Meb through several discussion topics, including his family’s migration out of Eritrea during war-torn years with Ethiopia, their arrival in San Diego, the driving force behind Meb’s work ethic – the “Run to Win” mentality he and Dr. Van Camp coined together at the dining table – his rise to a successful athletic career and, finally, the secrets to his success.

These secrets are what Meb attributes to him not only becoming the only person to win an Olympic marathon medal (’04 Silver), the New York City marathon (2009) and the Boston marathon (2014), but also to being the oldest person to ever make the US Olympic marathon team, at the age of 41.

With thanks to Paul Giese and the American College of Sports Medicine, we are happy to provide you a full recording of the session.  For any questions regarding information presented in the video, please email [email protected].  For more on the studies referred to in the video, see below.  Enjoy!

A Comparison of Physiological Variables between the Elliptical Bicycle and Run Training in Experienced Runners

Ian E. Klein, M.S., Jason B. White, PhD, Sharon R. Rana, PhD
School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

A study conducted at Ohio University compared the physiological changes to experienced runners’ fitness across a four-week span after being split into ElliptiGO-only and run-only groups.

Ohio Univ - Ian Klein - ElliptiGO Research Poster

Click to view full-size

Both groups completed identical training, held consistent for time and intensity, and both groups took turns completing both training regimens. Athletes were tested for VO2Max, respiratory compensation point (RCP), running economy (RE), ventilatory threshold (VT) and 5000m time-trial performance – as well as enjoyment level and lower-leg soreness.

At the conclusion of the study, researchers found an equal improvement in VT between the two groups. They also saw comparable maintenance of the other variables tested (VO2Max, RCP, RE and 5000m TT performance). Similarly, participants reported equal enjoyment levels between the two training protocols, with a lesser amount of lower-leg soreness being reported from the ElliptiGO-only group. These findings suggest that ElliptiGO training can be used as an effective substitute for maintaining run-specific fitness in runners.

Download a more detailed overview and the full ahead-of-print report.

Impact of Different Cross-Training Modes on Economy and Functional Movement in High School Runners

Max R. Paquette, Mark Temme, Shelby A. Peel, Ross Smith, Jeffrey N. Dwyer
School of Health Studies, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, 2OrthoMemphis, Memphis, TN

A study conducted at the University of Memphis sought to understand which cross-training modalities are most effective to maintain fitness while not exacerbating injury symptoms.

Univ Memphis Poster - Impact of cross-training

Click to view full-size

Researchers compared running performance, running economy, hip adduction and functional movements before and after training from three different cross-training modalities in high school runners. The modalities examined in the study were a stationary elliptical machine, an elliptical bike (ElliptiGO) and a stationary cycle machine.

After a four-week study period, the researchers found that running only, as well as running plus cycling, helped reduce hip adduction, while the elliptical bike proved to be the most effective cross-training modality to improve running economy (RE), and it had the largest improvement in 3000m time trial performance – along with the stationary cycle machine. The elliptical bike was also the only modality to show a large increase in FMS score (DS/ASLR), which suggests improved mobility.

Get more information on ElliptiGO research and training.


Leave a Reply