Learn to Love Running With the Mile High Run Club

The Studio's Following Boils Down to Stellar Coaching

mile high run club treadmill running
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Newsflash: Not everyone loves running. And for many, the idea of paying a boutique fitness studio more than $20 per class to pound away on a treadmill for 45 minutes sounds like a special kind of torture. But here's the deal: That's exactly what the Mile High Run Club offers, and people flock to the two New York City-based studios in pursuit of the ultimate goal—a runner's high served with a side of top-notch coaching and camaraderie with other runners.

So what's the draw? For most, it boils down to the hands-on support of the facility's coaches. "I first tried Mile High a little more than a year ago as a way to get past a nagging plateau in my performance," says Matt Dorsey, an avid distance runner who has run more than 12 marathons and 20 half-marathons. "Since starting, I've improved my mile and half-marathon times and have made slight changes to my form that have reduced my recovery times and soreness. The trainers are deeply engaged and committed to delivering the best experience to everyone."

Jaime Maser, a public relations executive in the NYC-area agrees. "I'm a huge Mile High fan. I was going two to three times a week when I lived down the street from the NoHo studio. Now I'm in Jersey City, but I still make it to one of the studios once or twice a week. And I do everything I can to make it to a run with Coaches Hollis or Shodan," she says, adding that she even made it to regular workouts throughout her entire pregnancy.

Clearly, the studio owners and coaches are doing something right. So if you're looking to start running, but you want a little guidance and support from highly-qualified trainers and coaches, this is what you can expect when you head to the Mile High Run Club.

Treadmill-Based, Self-Paced Classes

Mile High Run Club offers studio-based treadmill classes that aren't all that different from group cycling classes. Everyone gets their own treadmill, and everyone pounds away, adjusting the machine's speed and incline with prompts from a coach, while getting to choose their own pace based on individual perceived exertion levels.

"The workouts all begin with a warm-up period and become progressively more difficult as the class goes on, typically culminating in an all-out push right at the end of the session," Dorsey says. "The time intervals and style of running—uphill, tempo, sprint, or endurance—vary from class-to-class and trainer-to-trainer, but the overall experience is consistent."

One of Dorsey's favorite parts is that the program really is meant for runners of all levels. "The workouts are based on a system of perceived exertion with four levels—level 1 being a light jog or walk, and level 4 being an all-out sprint—which empowers each participant to choose the speed that best matches how they're feeling at that exact moment."

And because perceived exertion can vary based on external factors, such as how much sleep you got the night before, whether you're dealing with other life stressors, when and what you ate last, and how often you've been working out, trainers emphasize that just because your level 3 exertion was the equivalent a 6-mile-per-hour pace last class, it might increase or decrease during the current class. "I think this encourages participants to be more attentive to how they're feeling, rather than simply trying to match or beat their performance in the last class they took," Dorsey says.

Varied Class Formats

In addition to giving participants control over selecting their own pace to better meet the needs of runners of different levels, Mile High Run Club also offers varied class formats to help runners achieve slightly different goals:

  • Dash 28: This signature, 45-minute class provides a solid foundation for runners of all levels. It features 28 minutes of running intervals followed by 10 minutes of strength training with kettlebells. Even the strength moves are geared specifically to runners, designed to help develop power.
  • Dirty 30: If you don't have much time to spare, the Dirty 30 is a 30-minute interval training class focused 100-percent on running. Depending on the pace you select, you can expect to cover between two and three miles during the class.
  • High 45: If you take the Dirty 30 and add 15 more minutes of running-based interval training, you end up with the High 45 class. Participants typically cover between three and five miles as they work toward achieving greater distances at faster speeds.
  • The Distance: This class is not for beginners. Coached by elite runners, The Distance is an advanced performance-enhancing, 60-minute running class that involves continuous hills, tempo, and intervals. Expect to be challenged.
  • Dash Core: Dash Core is set up in a similar fashion to Dash 28, but instead of adding 10-minutes of power-based strength training to the end of the routine, it adds 10 minutes of running-focused core training.

Outdoor Running and Training Programs

Here's the deal: Mile High Run Club coaches are actual runners. They know that what you do on the treadmill needs to translate to what you do on a race course or what you do when taking a jog around your neighborhood. And typically, these things are done outside. As such, they don't confine their training programs to their indoor facilities. They also offer training opportunities and programs that get runners outside in a traditional running environment.

Outside Class Options

  • Outdoor Adventure Run: During these 60-minute classes, running coaches take participants out onto the streets of New York City to gain confidence in their stride while receiving guidance and instruction.
  • Popular Brooklyn Half Training Program: This twice-weekly coaching program runs for 10-weeks leading up to the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon. It combines hands-on instruction with indoor and outdoor training runs and additional strength training work all designed to prepare you for the race.
  • TCS New York City Marathon Training Program: If you're training for the TCS NYC marathon, this thrice-weekly training program involves all outdoor runs led by top-notch coaches.

Training Plans for All Levels

Mile High Run Club wants to help runners of all levels achieve their distance goals, whether that's tackling a first 5k or knocking a couple minutes off a personal best marathon time. In addition to offering private coaching, they also provide special packages to individuals training for a half- or full-marathons. These packages include 20 or 50 class passes to any MHRC class (depending on the plan purchased), as well as a written 8- or 16-week training plan for participants to follow.

And, good news, they also offer a "Not a Runner" six-week program to acclimate newbies into the sport of running. The program includes a once-weekly MHRC class and a written program new runners can follow on their own.

International Running Adventures

Mile High Run Club also owns and operates Mile High Wings, a travel service exclusively for runners. Every year they organize international running trips where participants head to exotic destinations to sightsee, race, cross-train, and relax. Past trips have included trail running in Mallorca, Spain, competing in the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland before enjoying volcanic landscapes and waterfalls, and competing in the Dubrovnik Half Marathon in Croatia before relaxing with wine tasting and yoga. They even hosted a trip to St. Lucia, where the focus was on strength training for runners, served with a nice side of beach time.

A Word From Verywell

The truth is, running is a challenging, high-intensity cardiovascular activity, and it's a hard activity to learn to love if you're not naturally inclined toward heavy breathing, lactic acid buildup, and sweating. Programs like the Mile High Run Club help bridge the gap between wannabe runners and actual runners by providing the coaching and support needed to, at the very least, develop an appreciation for the benefits of such a challenging sport. Unfortunately, the Mile High Run Club is only located in New York City, so if you don't live in the area, you may not have a similar treadmill-based program near you. That said, look for running clubs as a viable alternative. They may not feature fancy treadmills, but they often offer coaching and support.

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