Joining the Club: Mile High Run Club Review
I planned to start this week getting in some miles at Mile High Run Club (MHRC) but my knee had a different agenda. I didn't injure it outright, but through a combination of sitting in a weird position and wearing shoes that didn't agree with me on Thursday, come Thursday PM my knee was making its presence known. When I woke up Friday morning, it wasn't awful so I thought, well why not go run. Bad idea Leah, bad idea. Whatever is going on in there was definitely made worse by the 4+ miles I did at MHRC. Luckily it's starting to feel better so *fingers crossed* I can get back to MHRC next week, if not on Friday. [Note: I've only taken class at the NoMad studio so some things may be a little different at their NoHo outpost.]
What is this MHRC I am so determined to get back to you ask? Only my newest workout discovery in NYC. MHRC isn't new, it's been around for about 2 years now, but if you've been reading for a while, you know that it wasn't until this past summer that I ran for the first time in 9 years. Since those two runs, I've been wanting to do more, but I didn't know how to start or where. I was intimidated by a class that includes running as I didn't know if I could keep up but I was equally intimidated by the prospect of running outside without any sort of guidance. A few people I know have recently been going to MHRC and were really liking it so, after asking a few questions, I decided to give their Dash28 class a try. I have since tried the High45 as well. I haven't yet done their 60 min. class The Distance. Here are my thoughts on the classes/studio.
The studio is beautiful and everyone I've encountered there has been very welcoming and friendly. There are 10 lockers in the women's locker room (I assume the men's is the same but I can't be sure) and then plenty more right outside the studio. Towels are waiting on your treadmill (you sign up for a specific treadmill so there's no jockeying for a spot) as is a card that lists speed levels. There are 4 levels with the left side of the card paced for beginners/intermediate and the right side paced for advanced runners. I found myself falling somewhere between the two. In the studio you will find a water bottle fill station or if you need, you can purchase water at the front desk. The women's locker room is fully stocked with everything you need- towels, hair ties, girl items, hair dryers, bath products. It is a little tight in there but there's definitely room to de-sweat and primp. MHRC uses Woodway treadmills which are a dream and now I totally understand the hype about them. It's basically running on a cloud (that may or may not be a slight exaggeration).
I decided to start with Dash28. This is the shortest class, in terms of time on the tread, that MHRC offers. The website describes it as 28 minutes of running followed by a 10 minute strength/power section using kettle bells. Our instructor, Jes (who I loved), told us we would be running for 22min. 30 sec. I'm not sure if that means other Dash28 classes have you on the tread for longer or if it's always around the 22 min. mark. After a short warm up of high knees, butt kicks, lunges, and some jumping jacks, it was onto the treads for interval work. We worked with incline, going up to 7.0 at the highest, and speed, at times doing pushes that incorporated both incline and speed. Jes guided us the whole way and from what I can remember of the music, I liked her song choice. I got pretty focused on not falling (which hadn't occurred to me as something that could even happen until we began) and for me, once I start running, I go into this place in my head where I'm present but also very much in this serene space of rhythm (does that make any sense?). After the running portion, we used kettle bells to do a short series of strength moves. Honestly, I didn't feel like I got a whole lot out of this. We moved through everything so quickly that I'm not sure how effective it was, and I never reached anything close to fatigue.
Overall: I really liked the class and walked out knowing I would be back soon but I wanted to come back just to run. To me, Dash28 felt like going to a diner and getting pancakes and a bagel and lox. Dinners crush it with pancakes, just like MHRC crushes it on the running portion of the Dash28, but when it comes to a bagel and lox, it's not that a diner can't do it, but rather that a bagel shop can do it so spot on and offer so much more, just as I felt the strength section was good but if I really want a killer strength/kettle bell workout, I'd rather do it somewhere that specializes in it. For running though, MHRC is A+++!
High45 is MHRC's in between class, my phrasing, not theirs, as it's a straight 45 minutes on the treadmill vs. Dash28's 22-28 minutes and The Distance's 60 minutes. By the end of class, it's estimated that you will cover 3-5 miles. I was aiming for 4 and by the end of class was at 4.2. I wanted to push more but as I said at the beginning of the post, my knee was not feeling it and each strike was a battle of wills (I know, I know, I will not do that again, I'd rather be injury-free than miss a few miles). As in the Dash28, we worked with incline, speed, and the two together. With more time on the tread, the pushes were longer (6 minutes vs. 2-4 minutes) and there were more rounds of them. For me, Scott was a great coach, reminding us that it's about form and to check in with ourselves. He had a great phrase about the motion being the movement or the movement being the motion, I can't remember now but trust me, it was good. Again, I can't really remember the playlist but I know that I liked what I heard.
Overall: I found my jam (although I may try The Distance and think that *could* win me over, tbd)! Once I start running, I never want to stop. I realize how crazy that sounds coming from me of all people. One of my friends even asked me if I'm a runner now. I know there is a lot of discussion about what makes someone a runner and when I stop and think about it, I have no idea what it means to "be a runner." Is it running races, running outside, being sponsored, something else? I spin almost daily but I am by no means a cyclist so does running on a treadmill count as a runner, probably not, but I'm not about to start setting the bounds of such things. But I digress... Bottom line I loved this class and can't wait to go back!
Bottom Line: If you're thinking about taking a running class and don't know where to start, I vote you start here. If you take classes and want to try a new studio, I vote you go here.
Have you been to MHRC? Any other great running classes I should know about?