minutes per mile blog

5 of my favorite (& least favorite) runner-friendly exercise classes

This week I was featured on local trainer Garrett McLaughlin’s blog! You may remember him from a while back when I made my video debut with Swiftwick socks. Since he’s all about functional training, strength, flexibility, and injury prevention, I thought now would be a good time to talk a bit more about it. Although I love doing solo runs and finding my zen on a jog alone, for strength training I really need a group and instructor to get me going. I’ve tried about 20 different exercise classes in my day (reviews here!). Here are some of my favorite exercise classes for runners — and some of my least favorites, too :)

1. Pilates: Just read this story of a 2:27 marathoner and you’ll see why Pilates is a great workout for runners! I always thought Pilates was lame because it’s low-impact and lower intensity than other workouts, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Try this workout from Greatist for a start.

2. Yoga: I can’t say that I love doing yoga, but I do love the way it makes me feel afterwards! It’s no secret that yoga benefits runners and can reduce your exposure to injury. One of my all-time favorite yoga classes is this Yoga for Runners video from YogaDownload. It’s only 35 minutes long (more like 25 if you skip some of the sivasana/warm up) and perfect to squeeze in after a run or over your lunch break.


3: TRX: Love TRX and wish there was a good class near me! I think I’m still sore from the TRX class I did in DC three years ago. This post gives a good overview of why TRX is great for runners (and apparently for weight loss because it’s always on The Biggest Loser?) The TRX brand itself has even developed a workout specifically for runners. Give it a shot.


4. Boot camp: “Boot camp” is a pretty broad term, but I’m basically talking about any high-intensity/interval/body weight-style type of workout. These are my favorite types of exercise classes — I go to one boot camp class at my local gym just about every Tuesday. Because the workouts are different every week, you get to strengthen a lot of different muscles at once and get a full-body workout. I know I rave about this app all the time, but Nike Training Club has excellent boot camp-style workouts!

ntc app

5. Kickboxing: I’m not sure there is much data on kickboxing and running, but I have found a few bits of evidence that kickboxing builds better runners. I’ve only been to a handful of kickboxing classes during my fitness adventures, but all the ones I’ve been to have been SO tough (in a good way!) and seem to target my typical runner weak spots (hips, core, and glutes). Try a class (I really enjoyed HotBox fitness here in Nashville) and see if you survive.


And now, just for fun, here are some of my LEAST favorite workouts as a runner:

  1. Barre: I’ll probably get some backlash for this, but I generally find barre kind of boring and I never seem to get a good workout from it.
  2. CrossFit: Well, we all know the story about why that one didn’t work for me or for Anthony
  3. Pound: Has anyone else tried this workout? I did a class the other month and thought it was plain silly. Haha.
  4. Spin: I like a good spin class, but I don’t think that spin really benefits me as a runner. More of a cardio workout and seems to use many of the same muscles running does.
  5. Yoga: I know I listed this as a favorite, but it’s also one of my least favorites! Love-hate relationship :)

What are your favorite and least favorite exercise classes?! Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “5 of my favorite (& least favorite) runner-friendly exercise classes

  1. Hands down, my least favorite is yoga. I’ve tried multiple times to get into it. I’ve done 30-day challenges, and the closest I’ve come to enjoying it was doing the 30 days of yoga with Adriene. I occasionally liked it, but on a regular basis I found myself pausing in the middle of a move to check how much time I had left. I know it’s good for runners, and it often made me feel better, but I wanted to quit way too many times.

  2. If you don’t feel like you get a good workout from barre then you’re probably not doing it correctly. Barre tones and strengthens my legs better than any workout I’ve done (and I’ve done a lot).