On occasion, I get the question, “What is reasonable substitute for running?”
The people that have asked this question wonder how to keep their fitness going while they are working their way through some sort of minor injury issue, dealing with travel or recovering from surgery.
There are three activities that I find to be reasonable substitutes for running, depending on what suits your sport, personality and
what you have available to you.
You can water run in the deep end of the pool. You stay vertical and do a running motion while staying stationary in the water. This can be done with or without a water running vest. If your pool is shallow enough that you can run the length of it, literally, this is a good option as well. If you are running on the bottom of the pool, you may need some water aerobics shoes to keep the rough pool surface from bothering the bottoms of your feet.
Elliptical trainer. I’ve had several athletes use an elliptical trainer as substitute for running workouts when the impact of running needs to be eliminated for one reason or another. The elliptical is also a good option when you’re traveling and a treadmill is not available.
Substitute a cycling workout for a running workout and include some seated hills and some standing intervals in the workout. Be careful that your seat height is correct. An incorrect seat height can aggravate existing problems or bring new problems.
If your issue allows you to keep moving, just doing something is most often better than doing nothing. Hopefully, you’ll be back to