As of today I have been a member of Orange Theory Fitness (AKA – OTF) for exactly two months. I originally joined Orange Theory Fitness as a way to kick start my low motivation and also because I am famous for skipping the strength training workouts my coach suggests. I figured this would kill two birds with one stone – make me do strength training and also switch up my routine to get my mojo back.
After only a month at OTF I was shocked by the improvements I was already seeing.
I was giving it my all when I was there and the results of that were awesome!
However, I started to get lots of questions about how OTF was affecting me as a runner. –
Would skipping run days to go to OTF negatively impact my running?
Could an OTF class really help me on my goal to become a faster runner?
After 2 months here is what I have seen.
I usually go to OTF twice a week, in place of my speed work day and my strength day, which means I still have 4 other days to do with what I like (plus my fabulous rest day). Some weeks I do add in a third day of OTF just because I love it so much. I will admit I never thought I would see results like I am just going 2-3 times a week, it is amazing.
At OTF you have 20 – 30 minute cardio blocks (depending on the day) which include 3 different paces:
– Base Pace = This is your comfortable pace. While you only are running for 20-30 minutes max. this pace needs to be slow enough that you can use it to recover from your pushes and all outs without having to walk in between.
– Push Pace = This is like your race pace. This pace should feel challenging, but you should be able to push it for a while without feeling like you are sprinting.
– All Out Pace = This is your sprint. This is a speed where you are giving it everything you have, usually only for a minute at a time with a base pace recovery after. This is where you really challenge yourself.
*The treadmill is always set at a 1% incline or higher.
As you can see in just two months of 2-3 classes a week all of my running paces have improved considerably. I am amazed that I can run at a 6:31 pace without flying off the treadmill and then, instead of dying afterward, hop right back into a 9:31 base pace to recover.
Yes, I know that treadmill running is very different than outside running. However, I am sure that gains here will lead to gains outdoors too. So, for those of you who were curious I definitely believe OTF is having a positive affect on my running and my goal to get faster and stronger. (Sub 2 half here I come!) I would suggest these classes as great alternatives to speed work and strength days for anyone who is looking for a way to change up their schedule or inject some new mojo into it.
I have drunk the OTF Kool-Aid. I am obsessed!
So, let me know if you have any questions as I would love to answer them for you.