Registered for a spring or summer race? If you’re on the east coast, you know that it has been a challenging winter for outdoor training. Black ice, below freezing temps and what seems like never-ending snow has made it hard to be outside for even the most enthusiastic athletes.
My next one is the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon in July, with three of my best friends from high school. To toast our birthdays, we WILL run for wine. So, like many of you, I’ve been searching for ways to maintain (and even increase) my fitness level this winter before race training kicks into high gear.
Enter Soho Strength Lab. Founded by 3 former Equinox trainers, it’s bright, big and industrial with a 54′ landing strip of astro turf that serves as the main training area for individual PT sessions and small group classes.
Equipment ranges from kettle bells and free weights to slam balls and battling ropes, plus the infamous Power Sled, which I’ll tell you more about in a bit.
I took Soho Speed, a 45-minute cardio conditioning class incorporating a mix of sprinting drills and ab work to help us find our “inner athlete.” Led by Andy Speer, who’s also an Elite model, Soho Speed was the closest thing to high school track practice that I’ve experienced since 2001. From “high knees” (running in place, pulling the knees way up for stronger hip flexors) to suicide sprints, it was reminiscent of running for the Ramapo Raiders, all the way.
And, similarly, once Andy busted out my newest friend in fitness, which I’ve lovingly nicknamed #thesled, I was definitely feeling the burn.
That night, we pushed around a 120-pound Power Sled – the sled, itself, weighs 50 lbs. and the plates on top were 70. Hello, it was SO hard! I was totally seeing black spots afterward (in a good way).
My take? If you’re in pretty good shape, you can definitely handle Soho Strength Lab classes. It’s perfect for runners, cyclists and guys who find some of the boutique studios way too frilly. Participating in passport programs like ClassPass or FITiST? It’s part of their list. If you’re coming off an injury or are just getting back into things, you might try personal training with Andy or another of their trainers, tailored to your current fitness level.
Before I arrived at Soho Strength Lab, it had been a rough day. Nothing seemed to be going right in my world. After the class, I walked outside and in the glow of the “Little Italy” sign, I texted a photo with #thesled to my dad. His reply? I looked strong. Even on the worst day, I know that I am. You are, too.
I’d love to know: which races are you thinking about or training for right now?