I know I’ve talked a lot about Orangetheory Fitness lately, but wow… I just really love their style of classes! I feel like OTF gets me working harder than a lot of other classes, and the heart rate monitor really holds me accountable to push the pace.
This morning, I did my first OTF class at the Dallas studio (actually up in Preston Hollow), and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Today was “endurance day”, which meant the treadmill portion of the class was a long run at a single speed, rather than the usual workouts where we’re constantly changing the incline or the pace. As a (former) marathon runner, endurance day sounded a lot better to me than “strength day”, when we have to do crazy paces on a very steep hill to burn out our legs!
As usual, I started with the weights portion of the class first. I like having the run last so that I can use up every last bit of energy on the final sprints without worrying about conserving energy for another activity! I usually find that I can go faster than I would have thought, so it helps to not have any psychological barriers to pushing it hard. The weights portion was good, and I was proud of myself for picking really heavy weights for each set and also increasing my weights from round to round wherever possible. To be honest, I have felt really out of shape for the last year or so, especially with strength (I blame my zombie arm.) It’s awesome to start feeling like I’m strong and fit and accomplished again!
The treadmill portion of class, though, was what I really loved today… so much that I wanted to write up the workout and not forget it! We did a pyramid of ever-shorter runs on the treadmill (0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, 0.1), with a 150 meter row in between each run. For my future times doing this on a track or at a hotel gym (without a rowing machine), I’d plan to substitute 5 burpees for the 150 meter row.
You’re meant to do the runs at your “push pace” (1-2 mph faster than whatever your easy “base pace” is), and then do the 150 meter row as an “all out” effort, finishing that part in 28-44 seconds and hopping right back on the treadmill. I ended up taking the row a little bit slower (usually finishing around 35 seconds), but I pushed it hard on the run. My strategy was that I always started the run at 8.0 mph (7:30/mile pace), kicked it up a little bit as I proceeded, and then whenever I hit a tenth of a mile left in that segment, I would kick it up to 10.0 mph (6:00/mile pace). On the final 0.1 mile, I set the treadmill to 12.0 mph (5:00/mile pace), knowing that it would take a little bit of time to get up to that insane pace and so I’d only be running it for a very short sprint. It was awesome!
And after the final 0.1 mile sprint / 150 meter row, we were supposed to get back on the treadmill and just run for distance – meaning see how far you could get before time was up. In the 6:45 that was left in the class, I managed to complete 0.95 miles, which meant that I was averaging a 7:06/mile pace. Yippee! That is pretty darn fast for me, and I felt really amazing. The feel-good bonus was that I finished faster and covered more distance than anyone else in my group on the treadmills… although that’s probably just because I think most of the fast people were in the treadmill-first group 😉
All in all, I am really excited by the new speeds and new strength that Orangetheory has given me. Now, I just need to find a good deal on more classes once I use up this package in December. I may think boutique fitness classes are worth it, but I am still hoping for a good Black Friday or Cyber Monday offer so I can stock up on class credits at a discount! Anyone have tips or intel?