Treadmill classes mix it up with workhorse of the gym

Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:03am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - For many outdoor runners the idea of pounding a treadmill means trading daylight for drudgery but as the air chills, fitness experts say treadmill classes can hone efficiency and form and add a dash of glamour to indoor running.

"There's a little snobbery about running on a treadmill," said David Siik, a track and field sprinter turned treadmill class fitness instructor at Equinox, the upscale chain of fitness centers. "Most racers are a little ashamed of running indoors."

Siik, who is now based in Los Angeles, turned reluctantly to treadmill running after a post-college stint in New York City.

"I was sick of running into cars trying to get to Central Park," he explained, "and New York in January is not always the friendliest place to run."

Now the humble treadmill has him hooked.

"I still really enjoy running outside, but there is nothing better than the ability to calculate and monitor your goals on a treadmill," he said. "You're running on this computer."

Siik, 33, believes too many people get on the treadmill without knowing what to do.

"They hit ‘on' and then they're clueless," said Siik, who tries to bring the energy of a spin class to his 45-minute treadmill workout class, which includes three runs, each progressively harder, after an initial warm-up.   Continued...

The controls for a treadmill at the Bally Total Fitness facility in Arvada, Colorado June 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking