Crazy Workout!

Last night I wrote that I’d be up this morning for the gym, no problem, because I wouldn’t have a chance to go during the day. Easier said than done, haha – the alarm went off and, go figure, my bed and my heated condo just somehow felt more inviting than bundling up and heading out in the dark. I realized that I could go to the gym near work in the late morning, between meetings, for a quick run on the treadmill.

Once I got settled here I did take a quick look at the schedule, just to see if there were any classes that synched with my schedule, and sure enough, a class called Tread was beginning right at 11am, which was just after one of my meetings and before a scheduled call. I’d always been curious about this class – I knew it was an interval class on the treadmill (I figured it was similar to the cardio portion of Orangtheory Fitness) and I felt like I could handle it…but I was still nervous. It ended up being AWESOME – one of the best classes I’ve taken. And totally up to you – the instructor led us through a series of drills that incorporated speed and incline, but only the incline was shouted out – speed was up to you. So he’d tell us to crank it up to, like, level 15 (which was nuts) and to run “at 90%” – obviously only you can determine what your 90% threshold is! I know the guys in front of me were running a lot faster than I was, but a girl in front of me was way slower, so it’s definitely an individualized workout.

What I especially liked was that I was getting some incline experience despite there being zero hills in Chicago – as much as I LOVE running on the flat landscape here, I also know that hills are a great workout. So this was kind of a hill and speedwork drill at the same time.

At one point the instructor came over and asked if I was enjoying it, and I said yes, that I was loving it, then I turned to the girl next to me and was like “well really though, it sucks”! And she laughed and agreed, but THEN she told me that there was no better fat burner out there, and that she’d lost 5 lbs in 3 weeks by taking this class twice weekly! Music to my ears, and believable given how much effort I felt like I expended! I felt gross coming back to work afterwards but it was totally worth it. Right now my legs feel sore and a little shaky – maybe not the best thing but I know that class worked me where I needed it!

The great thing about interval sessions like this – on the treadmill or on the bike or even the elliptical – is that they keep your body guessing. More than that, you can really design these types of workouts yourself; you just need to stick to the numbers. I don’t know if I ever would have put myself through what this instructor did, but I definitely have followed sample interval workouts before and they just feel really effective. Plus in a way it reminds me of choreography. I took 15 years of dance classes when I was younger and I like the idea of plotting out an exercise routine, whether it’s matching your moves to music or incorporating certain movements or playing up a big cardio push and balancing it with a slowdown – whatever, just keeping it varied. The minutes really do go by a LOT faster.

I’m hoping to at least take this class once a week and incorporate it into my training – I think it’ll make my legs stronger, my endurance better, and my regular running easier by comparison!

And with that I am off to dinner and a show with a friend I met during marathon training. Have a lovely evening, friends!

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