Leveraging the Age-old Treadmill: Treadmill Running Classes


The “social fitness” phenomenon: the desire to share the fitness experience has led to the revival of an age-old, main stay piece of equipment in any campus rec facility: introducing treadmill running classes, one of the hottest trends in fitness.

Campus recreation facilities with rows upon rows of treadmills situated in high trafficked areas are primed to leverage the boom in treadmill running studios popping up around the country. According to year-end data from ClassPass, treadmill classes were the fastest growing trend in 2018, up 82% from the previous year.

For campus rec directors looking for innovative programming to engage students, the focus should be on maximum visibility, social interaction, entertainment and measured results with fitness tracking technology. Treadmill running offers the best in group exercise classes: social connection, transforming a once solitary act on a rather boring piece of equipment into camaraderie, energy and results.

Indoor running can bring together different ability levels and is an excellent way for the non-runner to give running a try. No matter the student’s experience, they can join a treadmill running class without the fear of getting left behind. Everyone starts and ends together.

In treadmill or “tread” classes, the instructor leads runners through a demanding workout of different combinations of speed, incline, duration and recovery time. It’s accompanied by music and fitness tracking technology that personalizes each runner’s workout. And with a smart phone audio system, runners can hear the voice of the instructor and the music using their earbuds and smart phone without distributing other students working out in the facility.

Campus rec treadmill classes are great for students who aren’t fans of cold weather running. For the experienced runner or running club, adding a few indoor treadmill classes to the training schedule will make for more consistent training. Treadmill classes can also offer security to students who want to get their run in before classes, as an alternative to outdoor pre-dawn dark hours.

Just as indoor cycling revolutionized the fitness facility and spawned the boutique studio industry, treadmill running may well be taking the lead. It’s the type of contemporary, innovative class programming campus rec fitness directors may want to offer come this fall.

By Diane Lydon, the director of fitness facilities and international sales for Heart Zones, Inc. – a fitness technology, trainin, and education company offering connected fitness solutions. For more information, visit heartzones.com, email diane.lydon@heartzones.comor call 916.481.7283.

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