Class Review: Row House Chelsea

I am so enjoying this post-marathon period of doing all the things. While, of course, I’m craving some sort of routine and structure, it’s been fun to explore my workout options through ClassPass, which I’ve been a member of on and off for the past year.

I’ve been emailing with the PR rep from Row House since before the NYC Marathon and kept telling her I needed to wait until post-marathon. Well, here we are! I saw Ashley had tried it last week and decided to give it a go.

I brought my favorite little ginger coworker, Alex, with me to the 7am class on Friday, with the promise that I’d fill her in on some gossip. I hadn’t had a stellar week of workouts last week, and I was feeling a little meh but hoped a good sweat would help everything.

I downed some Pre (sidenote: curious what kind of pre-workout supplements/drinks y’all do — I’m super into my Pre but curious about what else people like) and hustled over there.

Rowhouse Chelsea

photo via Row House

The spaces at the two rowing classes I’d taken before this were very different from each other — CityRow in a gorgeous, light-filled space with amazing city views, and a class at the Reebok CrossFit Fifth Ave in a basement.

Row House Chelsea is in a second-floor studio that’s easy to miss if you don’t see their street-level sign. I ran up the stairs, hung up my coat and hopped on an erg.

It should be said that Alex is a rower extraordinaire and I’m just someone in decent shape that hopes that can carry her through most classes. I knew she’d be way faster than me, and I told myself from the beginning not to compete with her.

The class started with a review of rowing form. While I assume that gets old for experienced rowers, as a novice, it was a much appreciated reminder (and really couldn’t have taken our more than 1-2 minutes.)

We warmed up for about 10 minutes, gradually getting faster, until we hopped off for some strength work alongside the rower.

If you think you’ve never experienced hell, I invite you to try this above challenge with squats. OW, serious leg burner.

After that, we started getting into the serious intervals of the class: 5s, 10s, 20s. These mean rowing at about 90% effort for 5 strokes, 10 strokes, or 20 strokes. In between each interval, we’d get a rest interval.

We ended the class with two “pieces” — one five minute sprint followed by two two-minute sprints. The goal of the second was to beat the first…and, done.

To be honest, I had sort of low expectations going in. Not sure what I expected but wasn’t expected to be wowed. The eye candy instructor did NOT hurt, but I also just loved his high-energy workout and pumping things at high-intensity. I walked out completely endorphin wasted.

Row House Chelsea

And Alex got the gossip AND the workout she came for.

Don't Think About What Might Go Wrong, Think About What Could Go Right

Apropos of nothing (related to this post), I leave you with this quote my wise friend Meg sent me this morning. Homegirl is addicted to The Berry app and always knows exactly what I need to hear.

I’m just going to keep thinking that. And choosing happiness.

What’s your mantra this week? And…would you ever do a full rowing class?

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Strength and Mobility Moves to Help You Become a Stronger, Faster Runner

I’ve written a few heavier posts lately…and it’s time for a little lightness and a little running talk. (But thank you for your super kind words.)

After running two marathons this fall, I could have either colossally burnt out or gotten super charged up about running.

After the way I’ve talked about running the past few months, you know it’s the latter. Although it was a huge disappointment to get injured and not be able to chase a marathon PR, in some ways it was a blessing for me to chill out and just enjoy running without pushing myself for a PR. I hope to run for the rest of my life, so there’s always time to PR.


Finish Line Strength Training

Janae’s talked about the “1 percent” (or 3 percent? I don’t know, I can’t find the post) — those little things you know you should do to become a better runner, but you don’t always necessarily do.

I am already in a serious long-term relationship with my foam roller, but I’m terrible at stuff like mobility work, strength training and core training, and I’m resolving to work on those now in the “off season.” 

Which is why I’m going to what I fondly call “Runner class.” My awesome PT, Finish Line Physical Therapy, is offering a Functional Strength Series, and this first round of classes is called Mostability. Or Mo Stability (Yo), as I prefer to think of it.

It’s meant to help runners recover from their fall races and work on mobility and stability. The 50 minute-classes start with mobility work, move into circuits and end with a wonderful cool-down.

Here’s a sampling of some of the exercises included in our workouts. Our bodies exist in a three-dimensional plane, but we usually just stretch in one-dimension (great explanation here.) Everything we do in this class involves those three planes — for example, we’ll lunge forward, laterally and then work on external rotation.

What are those extra things you do to become a better runner? What are your favorite strength/mobility moves?

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