Mystryde Boston: A Review

Hey friends, I’m back!

I mentioned before that I’ve been incorporating some new routines into my training for Baystate this time around, and one of those changes has been the Mystryde treadmill classes I’ve been attending. I figure some of you are probably a little curious about how a treadmill class works, so I figured I would share a review and some of the details of why I think these classes are so great.

Mystryde is Boston’s first treadmill studio and is located in the North End of Boston, about a 5 minute walk from the Haymarket station on the Orange line. For where I live and work, this makes it very convenient to get to, plus I love having an excuse now to walk through the North End because it’s probably the cutest part of Boston with all its Italian cafes and restaurants. The trick is to avoid the temptation to grab a cannoli or some gelato after one of the classes!

The studio itself is pretty small, and you could almost miss it, if not for the funny/motivational sandwich board they keep out in front.

img_1622Image courtesy of Mystryde’s Instagram page

Inside, there’s a waiting area where they sell some pretty cute merchandise with the Mystryde running man logo so you can represent your favorite treadmill studio on all your runs.

Ok, onto the best part now – the classes! There are 3 different ones which range from 45 minutes to an hour: Endurance, Stryde, and Power Stryde. Endurance focuses on building strength over longer intervals, and usually includes some pretty tough hill segments (I’m talking about 12% incline tough… Yikes!). According to one of the instructors I asked, Endurance most closely resembles a tempo run, while Stryde is a little bit more like a track workout, with more short, fast intervals. Power Stryde is basically boot camp meets running intervals. It is TOUGH! I am definitely one of those runners who tends to neglect strength work, so I love that Mystryde offers classes that combine the two. In the Power Stryde class I attended, everyone was partnered up so that while one person was running their intervals on the treadmill, the other was doing exercises on the floor. These included squats, push-ups, plank get-ups, crunches, and a bunch of other exhausting moves. I was a quivering puddle of sweat after this class, but I didn’t hate it. 🙂 The setting also helps keep you going – they crank up the tunes and turn the lights down, so it feels like a party, albeit a sweaty, exhausting one!

Mystryde Boston | 2 Generations RunningDuring the classes, the instructors tell you what level incline and speed to take your treadmill up to for each interval. Every treadmill comes with a pace card that explains what speed setting you should use if you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This makes it really easy for everyone to get in an awesome workout, according to their own specific experience level – without anyone being left in the dust, which can happen easily during a workout done on a track. So far, I’ve been using the intermediate paces, but hopefully I’ll graduate to advanced some day! 😉

The instructors here are also totally friendly. I feel like some professionals in the fitness studio world can be a little full of themselves and not very approachable, but I’ve never felt that way at Mystryde. They’re always going to push you to give a workout your best, but they do it in a way that’s not intimidating. Just this past week, they also started offering group runs on Wednesday evenings at 6:30. I went, and we did a gorgeous 4-mile loop that came with just about the prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen.

Boston Mystryde Review

Mystryde Boston ReviewCan you even believe that? I’m so glad I went for the run with these ladies because that was one pretty epic view!

In terms of cost, the classes are a little expensive, but not any more so than what you’d typically expect to pay for studio fitness classes in a city. They offer a bunch of different packages to suit everyone’s individual goals and budget. They also tend to do a decent number of promotions – like donate a pair of used sneakers and get 15% off.

Overall, I really love these classes, and I know I’m going to be an even bigger fan come the winter and that first snowfall. If you’re a runner in the Boston area, I highly recommend checking them out! We’ll see what happens on October 16th, but I have a strong feeling attending these classes on a weekly basis is going to be a BIG help with my marathon goals.

Treadmills – yay or nay? Are you a fan of fitness studio classes? What running goals are you currently working towards?

Baystate Marathon Training: Week 4

Another week done and closer to Baystate!

I was feeling pretty excited about it, until Sunday’s 20-miler which kind of whipped my butt. I listen to the Runners World podcast, and they had comedian Liz Miele on this past week, talking about running. She has done a number of marathons, and in one part of her routine, she said anyone can run a marathon, “…you just have to find that right balance of hating yourself, and you will… it’s just an abusive amount of cardio and some unresolved family issues.” 🙂 I don’t know about the family issues, but I was definitely feeling the self-hate at Mile 16 of 20.

But anyway, I’ll get to that. This week’s total mileage was 43, with 2 rest days.

Monday – Rest day following Sunday’s long run. I also ran 20 miles last week and I was pretty pleased with how decent I felt the next day.

Tuesday – Mystryde treadmill class. I covered just over 5 miles in 45 minutes, with lots of speedy intervals at sub-marathon pace and a decent amount of hill work. Doing hills in these classes is always my least favorite part. I will take an all-out sprint on a flat elevation over the awful slog of even maintaining a 10-minute mile on a 12% incline ANY DAY!

Wednesday – Mystryde was hosting their first ever “Stryde Squad”, which was an easy 4-mile loop around the North End of Boston. They invited all the students to come and run some easy miles with the instructors leading different pace groups. I had easy miles on the agenda, so this was perfect! I went a little early, dropped off my stuff in the studio and did 1 mile by myself before joining them.

Mystryde Boston ReviewThey had an awesome turn-out of 25 runners, and it was a really pretty loop in a part of Boston I’d never actually run before! This run should have been awesome. Friendly faces + easy miles = happy running. But I was having serious stomach issues. I kept expecting them to go away, but they didn’t, so the whole run, I was really just praying to be done. It had to have been something I ate during the day, but I have no idea what. That’s the issue I sometimes run into with afternoon runs. In the morning, all I’ll eat is some toast and coffee and I’m good to go, but if I run in the afternoon, I’ve eaten over the course of the day and sometimes, I don’t pay as much attention to the run I’ll be doing later on as I should.

Thursday – Evening speed workout with Heartbreak Hill Running Club. These guys were written up in the most recent issue of Runners World, and I’m proud to be a new member of the group! I jogged over to the South End after work and met up with them for the workout. This one was on the shorter side, but still fun. We jogged a mile over to the Fens, did some drills, and then did 3 x 300 gradually accelerating from 10k pace, followed by 3 x 150. While we were doing our cool-down drills, there were some little kids playing near us. That wouldn’t be too alarming, apart from the fact that this kid had to be 4-5 years old, and started trying to hit us with a stick as we ran past! Not really a good idea for a little kid to jump in the middle of a pack of runners. First, everyone tried to play with the kid, but he wasn’t really having it and literally just wanted to hit people with it. Eventually, someone got pissed and grabbed the stick away from him, but there were NO parents in sight. Weird, right? Anyway, between the warm-ups and cool-down, my total mileage for the day was 6.5.

Friday – I had an 8-miler scheduled, but I ended up really needing this rest day. 3 days in a row getting home late after doing workouts in Boston, really wiped me out. There was no way I was waking up early to get these miles done in the morning, and when a friend texted me about meeting to catch up in the evening, I couldn’t say no. I love running in Boston, but I think I do need to be more selective about the evening workouts I do, because I was feeling kind of burnt out.

Saturday – What a beautiful day for a run! Temps were feeling a little bit cooler, like fall is just around the corner. I did an easy 6 miles after sleeping in, and it just felt like the most relaxing thing ever. I came home, drank more coffee and foam-rolled (I’m usually pretty awful about making the time for that).

Sunday – My last 20-miler, THANK GOD!!! So last week’s 20 miles was very split up, which I think helped it be easier. I ran 6 miles by myself early in the morning, then got on the subway to go a few stops to meet my friends. I probably had a 20 minute break there, if not slightly more. Then, I ran the 4 miles to the start of the race with them. Those miles went by pretty fast with all the conversation. Then, we probably had another 30 minutes or so before the start of the race, which was the last 10 miles of my run. I think it was good having the race push me to run those last 10 harder, but with all the breaks, I was probably feeling better than in a standard, non-stop 20-miler like today’s.

This one, I did all on my own, with no significant breaks and it felt hard. I also felt like I covered all of the greater Boston area.

img_1623Medford -> Somerville -> Cambridge -> Allston -> Boston. So that’s what 20 miles looks like! I wanted to do some of the miles along the Charles because the miles always seem to pass by faster there, and with 20 miles on the agenda, it just made more sense to run there rather than taking the subway in!

I felt pretty good on this run probably right up until around Mile 15, at which point I wanted to be done. It was like all of a sudden, I remembered how freaking painful marathons are and how badly everything hurts at the end. Suddenly, I was feeling less excited for October 16th, and actually scared. At this point, I took a little walk break and ate the piece of long run cake I had brought with me (the one I made doesn’t have the frosting) and just tried to reset, mentally and physically.

Long Run CakeAfter that, I was on my way again. My pace wasn’t really where I wanted it to be, but maybe that was the humidity? I’m not sure, but part of me is wondering whether I should reassess my goal pace for race day or just go for it. If it ends up being an unseasonably warm day, I will 100% need to dial back because there is no way I’m having a repeat of Delaware.

I timed my run just right, so that I hit 20 miles outside Boston Public Market. I was slightly embarrassed about the sweaty, disgusting state I was in, but that didn’t stop me from heading in and getting a smoothie and a breakfast sandwich. 🙂 I was literally STARVING by this point.

So there it is! Another week down. This coming week is a travel week for me, so the mileage will be going WAY down, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing, though it is always harder to get back in the swing of things afterwards.

How was your weekend? Have you ever heard of comedian Liz Miele? From the clips I heard, I think she is worth checking out if you’re a fan of stand-up!


Life & Running Lately

So hello there again, hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July this past weekend!

Happy 4th!Work has been a little crazy lately and it seems like every week, I’ve been heading out on a new trip (most recently Boise, ID and tomorrow I’m off to Indiana). All the travel has been fun, but not exactly conducive to maintaining a regular running OR blogging routine. So here’s a quick rundown of both life and running lately.

  1. In 2 weeks, my mom and I will be running the Runners World Classic in Andover, Mass. My mom will be doing the 5k and half and I will be doing the Hat Trick (5k, 10k, and half marathon). I’m excited for this race, but I also know it will probably be hot and tough, given that I’ll be running 22.4 miles over the course of 2 days. So I won’t be chasing any PR’s at this one, but that’s ok. 🙂
  2. In preparation for that, I ran a 10 mile long run on the trails this past weekend and it was awesome. It had been so long since I had done any trail running, I forgot how soft the ground feels compared to pavement!
  3. I watched the Olympic trials for track and field on tv this past weekend. So inspiring!! I wish I was out in Eugene watching them live.
  4. My mom bought this book recently and was telling me how good it was. IMG_0861I was browsing her copy while I was home this weekend, and thought it was awesome too, so we made a trip to Barnes & Noble so that I could pick up a copy for myself. So far, I’m really impressed by how user-friendly it is. The first 5-6 chapters show step-by-step instructions and photos on how to do the different strength-training exercises and then the last chapter is an 8-week plan incorporating all the moves. I think this will definitely be worth a full review once I have time to check it out more.
  5. Yesterday evening, I attended my first treadmill studio class at Mystryde in Boston! IMG_0866SO. COOL (please ignore the pile of trash ruining my artsy photo). It’s set up like a spin class… but with running! They give you pace cards and you can pick which paces suit you based on your fitness level. I chose the ‘Intermediate’ paces and I was a happy, sweat-drenched mess by the end. 🙂 I would definitely go back for more classes and I could see this being VERY useful come winter when it’s even harder to find the motivation to get outside and run.

So in summary – life is busy and good and we are still running 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful week!