I was asked to check out the Precision Running class at Equinox when it first came out. I had declined the invite because I was still struggling a lot with my running. Now that I’m making my way back into running, I thought it would be fun to give the class a try–especially since I always enjoy taking class with Ali Baldassare.
The class was created by David Siik and focuses on what he calls Balanced Interval Training Experience (BITE). The format of the class I attended was as follows:
Dynamic warm up
3 intervals with segments of increasing time
At the start of class, you are asked what your max speed is. Then you subtract 2 from that number and it was your starting speed.
For each interval segment, you began at your starting speed then you play around with incline and going to your max speed. You might run that interval about 5 times and each time you do the next one, the amount of working time increases.
Sometimes you adjust speed and incline simultaneously in the interval and sometimes just one or the other. One interval we ran at 3% incline at our start speed then increased to max speed for a certain period of time. After each interval segment, you recover at 0% incline with either a slow jog or walk. The next segment is the same workout but for longer period time. Your second and third interval is a different workout but the same format where you repeat for increasing periods of time.
What I Liked
Intervals. I liked the format of the intervals because I always knew what to expect. Ali gave encouragement and cues of how much time I had left. For example, she would say, “Your next run is ONLY 10 more seconds longer than the last.” This gave me the “I can do it” thought in my head when I was feeling tired. Mixing up the hills and speed also kept it interesting.
Stretching and core work. I am trying to be much better about stretching before and after running and I appreciate that there is definitely a focus on this in the class. Ali incorporated core work in at the end of class that you could tell was inspired from her Pilates background. Runners often just try to get their run in and that’s what matters. A strong core is so important for a runner and should be prioritized.
Attention to form. Ali gave friendly reminders throughout the class on form. She didn’t call you out by name (which I appreciated!) but you knew if it was you who needed to pay attention to that cue.
What I Didn’t Like
Workout space. The class takes place on the treadmills at the back of the gym. There is no special room where the class is so it is a bit awkward.
Music. I have been to another studio that specializes in treadmill classes. One fun part about the class is the playlists. Ali gave her full attention to the class and kept me motivated but I like having music because it gives it a little something extra and exciting. There is some music in the gym but it is not the same as having a playlist curated for your class.
Even though there wasn’t music and the class was in the middle of the gym, I think the class is a great way to get in those speed and hill workouts that are necessary to become a better and stronger runner.
When I started running, I never really did these types of workouts. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but mostly because I felt intimidated. This class is a great way to get introduced to the workouts and learn how to do them on your own too!
PS-make sure you bring a set of headphones if you take the class! You plug into the treadmill and listen to a certain channel so that you can hear the instructor!
Disclaimer: I am not a member at Equinox. They let me attend the Precision Running class in exchange for writing my thoughts on the class. All opinions are my own.