The elliptical is a good cross-training activity for running but not it is not a substitute for running, nor will it make running easier since the elliptical uses the muscles in the legs in a whole different manner. But it does build aerobic fitness which is an important step in becoming a runner.
I would be skeptical of number of calories expended (that's roughly equal to a 150 pound runner running over 10 miles). That said in Alex Hutchinson's book, Which Comes First Cardio or Weights? he reports that in a 12 week study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, "comparing an elliptical, treadmill or stair-climbing machine, any calorie-burning differences between these machines aren't significant."
But remember that the benefits to any exercise that we do, goes well beyond calories burned...from the minute you begin exercising your body is going through some amazing changes.
As far as your toes are concerned, this has to do with the foot being in a stationary position for a long time. Shifting your feet from time to time may help and if your elliptical offers a backward motion option you may want to try that from time to time.
I hope this helps!
|0 Days until: The Historic MC 1/2 Marathon