Cross country ski machines

Anybody got any info/comments on how good cross country ski machines are as an alternative to running??
I know the summer's still with us (well sort of) but I'm already thinking about long nights and how to keep the training going. I live in the country (ie. potholed roads, no street lights etc.) and work/family commitments make it impossible for me to run during the day or with a club in the evenings.

Thanks for any input/advice


  • Cross country ski machines are good (as are many gym based items, such as steppers/rowers/etc..) for maintaining general cardio-vascular fitness through the winter. However you need to be aware that the muscle recruitment patterns are different for these from your running activities, so whilst you will inevitably gain general fitness improvements using this kit, the running-specific fitness will probably decline slightly. This isn't a problem if you are a 'casual'/leisure-based runner, but if you are more of an 'elite'/race-orientated runner, then this could be of concern to you....
  • Thanks Strider, I'm definitely a 'casual'/leisure runner - and a relatively new one at that! This will be my first winter as a runner, so I guess I'll have to see how it goes - some days the ski machine will be better than nothing.
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