Treadmill studio classes put a spin on indoor running

Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:32am EST
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City fitness studio is following fast on the heels of the indoor cycling, or spin, craze by beckoning outdoor runners to come in from the cold for group treadmill classes.

Equipped with 30 treadmills, lighting evocative of dusk or dawn, and group training designed to hone the skills of marathoners and newbies alike, fitness experts say the Mile High Run Club (MHRC) might do a bit to burnish the image of the most used, least glamorous, of gym cardio machines.

Billed as the first treadmill studio, MHRC is the brainchild of founder and program director Debora Warner, a running coach and group fitness instructor. She said the experience is similar to a group spinning class with many people on treadmills at the same time doing a structured class together.

“You can be very specific about incline, duration, number of reps,” said Warner, 43, “and that helps runners with their pacing outdoors. I don’t see treadmills as a substitute for running, but it’s a great training tool.”

The treadmill is the most popular cardio machine at the gym, used by 40 percent of the over 60 million Americans who utilized a health club in 2013, according to the 2014 Health Club Consumer Report of IHRSA, the trade association of the health club and fitness industry.

Nevertheless, it is viewed as drudgery, believes Connecticut-based exercise physiologist and running coach Tom Holland.

“Running on a treadmill is a pretty horrible experience for most people and they generally don’t maximize their time,” said Holland, author of “The Marathon Method.”

He points out that while there is great value to interval training, steady running has its virtues, too.   Continued...

 
Jessica Desmond, an instructor at the Mile High Run Club (MHRC), leads a class in a Manhattan borough of New York November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid