Treadmills and I have a love-hate relationship. The use of one is obviously awesome for working on intervals and prepping your body for hills, since, you know, you can control your speed and incline manually. In fact, running hills on the treadmill in preparation for the San Francisco Nike Women’s Half Marathon saved my butt (literally) for the notoriously steep Mile 10 haul of the race.
But until this past weekend, my opinion has always been—and I think many people will agree—that treadmill workouts are just kind of boring, and not as enjoyable as getting an outdoor run in.
However, that opinion was rocked last weekend. I took a 45-minute treadmill class at Thoroughbred Treadmill Studio in Mill Valley on Saturday, and no joke, this was seriously one of the most fun and rewarding cardio classes I’ve ever taken.
Think of it as SoulCycle, in terms of energy, but on a treadmill instead of a bike. About 45 minutes of working out in a darkened room with awesome music pounding, as well as an instructor guiding your incline and speed, led to a super sweaty, super satisfying workout that flew by faster than any treadmill workout I’ve ever attempted.
Our instructor, Jake, was very motivating, helped everyone get oriented with the treadmills before the workout (which all had a thin, black cloth veiling each machine’s screen), and explained that the studio blocks the screens to urge each of us to run not according to numbers, but by feel. So, throughout class, instead of telling everyone they should be at a 5.0 incline and running at 7 miles per hour, we were told to start at a casual pace, then add and subtract clicks to the incline and speed throughout the session.
We started with a warmup, moved into ladders and speedwork, then ended with a well-deserved cooldown—with an emphasis on the well-deserved part.
Thoroughbred partnered with Represent Running and Under Armour to offer this class for free, and it was great to meet the founder of Represent Running, JT, before class, as well as get a sweat sesh in with fellow Represent Running ambassadors Christina and Charla, among tons of other runners.
I had an amazing time and will happily make the trek back out to Mill Valley from Oakland for another treadmill workout at this studio. I’m hoping I can get a few more sessions in before the Across the Bay 12K in on July 10th.
Reasons Why I Totally Recommend Thoroughbred Treadmill Studio:
- The treadmills are AMAZING. Thoroughbred exclusively uses Woodway treadmills, which are the best treadmills out there, by far.
- The verbal guidance from the instructor was on point. Throughout the entire workout, our instructor, Jake, emphasized the importance of “beautiful running” and reminded us that the best runners in the world never look tired. Even when they’re surely nothing but exhausted, their posture is great, chest is out, and shoulders relaxed. Hearing Jake remind us to focus on running beautifully helped me tremendously during that workout and has stuck with me throughout each run I’ve done this week.
- The music was great. I’m super motivated by music when I workout, so hearing some good remixes of Missy Elliott, Rihanna, and more were the perfect backdrop to the run.
- Everyone was so nice! From check-in, to finding the locker room, to getting used to the treadmills, working out at Thoroughbred was such a lovely experience. Plus, our instructor gave out high fives to everyone individually before we made our final and fastest push of the class. Thanks, Jake!
- The classes are perfect for all levels. Whether you run a 7-minute mile, or you’re more of a casual jogger wanting to get a little faster, everyone can move at their own pace during class and push themselves on their own terms.
Learn more about Thoroughbred by checking out their website, then trying a class out for yourself (the first class is only $15!).
And if you do take a few classes in hopes of training for the Across the Bay 12K or 415K, use my discount code REPRESENT2016ML to get 10% off your race registration.
Happy (and beautiful) running!