In early November, I won a giveaway from Elizabeth, at RunningAndTheCity.com for a free class at one of NYC’s first treadmill studios, Mile High Run Club on East 4th Street between Lafayette Street and Bowery in NoHo. I was thrilled for the chance to try an indoor running class especially since I had read a bit about these new studios coming to NYC. It took me over a month to finally sign up for a class, partly due to scheduling, but I was so glad I did.
I signed up weeks ago for the Dash 28 class at 4PM yesterday with Andia. However, when yesterday rolled around, I was a little nervous. I am one of those people who jump on an opportunity for new experiences but when it comes time to actually trying, I clam up. Yesterday was no different. I was worried about keeping up, whether I would like it, and a million other small worries. The great thing is that Mile High Run Club did not disappoint.
As soon as I walked into the studio (and I was running late, so talk about adding to my nerves), I noticed how busy it was and was greeted with a big smile at the check-in desk. I had an asterisk next to my name, which I am assuming denoted that I was a new guest. I was then immediately given a tour of the studio — women’s locker room, small lockers (the ones with the built-in locks which I love), a place to hang your coat, and where the actual treadmills/studio room is. There was already a number of women (I noticed that there were no men in the class) waiting to enter the room.
I quickly threw my jacket, bag, long pants, and long-sleeved shirt (I was wearing a tank top and running shorts) into the locker (P.S. I love these lockers that have the built-in lock and combo so you never have to remember to bring a lock). I also had my water bottle which I was told I could refill inside the studio along the wall. Within a couple of minutes, Andia, our coach for the class opened the doors to let us in. I always tell instructors that I am new before every class. I find that if they know, maybe they will cut me some slack, but also be more open to critiquing me if I am doing something completely wrong. When I told Andia I was new, she immediately told me I would be in good hands.
There are a total of 30 treadmills in the room, and we pre-selected the one we wanted during sign-up. I was on treadmill 23 and in hindsight if I had known the exact layout of the room, I would not pick that one again. There are three rows of treadmills and in the middle of rows 2 and 3 (row 1 is the one by the stage) are three treadmills. Between those three treadmills and the next set are pillars. The pillars are between treadmills 12 and 13, 15 and 16, 23 and 24, and 26 and 27. The problem with the pillars is that if you are on the treadmill to the left of it, it is an obstructed view of the front. Even though Andia was walking around the room the whole time, I couldn’t see her well when she was by the stage. I am a big fan of “hiding” in the back of any class in the beginning as it lets me observe others who may know the routine better than me. If you’re like me, then any of the treadmills in the middle of the room are good for you – 24, 25, or 26 in row 3.
Andia did a great job explaining how the class would work – dynamic stretching, followed by 28 minutes of interval training on the treadmill, and then 10-minute strength training with kettlebells. She also went over the treadmills features with us (key buttons are the incline and speed adjusters) and how they were one of the best commercial treadmills available. We spent the next 5 minutes or so stretching – high knees, butt kicks, and loosening up.
The next 28 were spent on the treadmill going between four different levels and inclines of interval training. I like how on the treadmills, there is a card that explains the speed ranges you should be aiming for based on fitness level – joggers and racers (as Andia explained, anyone training for a race 5K or longer). There are four different ranges and that really helped me push myself during the segments. We did hill training, sprinting, and recovery work. I was following the lower end of the speed ranges for racers, and even though I probably could have pushed myself a little harder, I felt tired by the end of the 28 minutes.
Next up was strength training. There were kettlebells of all weights next to the pillars on each row. We were told to grab one light and heavy. Andia led us in various squat and lunge combinations with the kettlebells in addition to twists and exercises with the kettlebells held outright. By the second set of the exercises, my arms were burning. The last routine was step-ups on the side of the treadmill with a plank sequence (floor to treadmill, one arm at a time) in between. The strength section flew by and I was exhausted when it came time for our cool down stretch. We finished around 4:55 – 10 minutes longer than what the schedule mentioned but hey, I don’t mind!
I finished the class completely drenched in sweat and so glad I went. There are two different classes offered at the studio; I am glad I tried the Dash 28 class as the first one but really looking forward to trying The Distance. This morning I received an email with promo code for more classes, perfect timing to hook me in!
All in all, I would highly recommend Mile High Run Club to anyone interested in trying a treadmill workout. It feels like a spin class in many ways including the upbeat music and constant push from the coach. The facilities are clean and the classes will offer a good workout regardless of your fitness level. The great thing about an indoor treadmill workout is that you don’t need to worry about falling behind or not being pushed enough since you can adjust your speed as needed. Additionally, these classes are great alternatives to running outdoors in the cold or dark, especially with winter coming. I will be back soon but just wish that the studio was closer to home/work for me.