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OutRun with Roam Fitness

A couple months ago, I got an email from the nice people at Roam Fitness, inviting me to check out their OutRun program in DC. What’s OutRun? According to their website, it’s “a bad-a$$, challenging run mixed with cross-training workouts at compelling and historical sites offering amazing views and hidden treasures. OutRun embraces the idea that the city itself is our gym.” Um, sounds awesome, right?!

It was. :)

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You guys know I’m all about fun and different workouts, especially if the outdoors is involved. I love boot camps & HIIT workouts, but I don’t love that they’re sometimes indoors, especially on gorgeous days. So this workout was absolutely perfect for me! A run and a boot camp combined, all while out and about exploring DC? Best idea ever.

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Given that I’m currently marathon training, my schedule hasn’t been as flexible lately in terms of workouts, so it wasn’t until this past weekend that I finally got the chance to check out the program.

Roam Fitness is located in the basement of the Savoy Suites Hotel in Glover Park in DC; most of their runs leave from there, although they do offer a Wednesday night Arlington option, which I hope to check out soon. During the week, the Outruns are shorter (45 minutes to 1 hour and covering about a 5k), offered either in the early morning or evening, and on Saturday they offer a longer (4 to 6 mile) OutRun. Check out their schedule for more details – they also offer a ton of indoor strength/HIIT focused classes that sound great, too.

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I had 6 miles on my training schedule for marathon training over the weekend (since I’d already done my long run of the week – 12 miles – on Thursday, as usual), and I didn’t have any plans, so I figured it was the perfect time to try something new. OutRun: weekend edition it was! On the website, it said to “expect a longer run, a surprise location, and anything else we have up our sleeves.”

We all met at the gym, did introductions, and then set out with our fearless leader, Chris Geier, a former collegiate soccer player who is the brains behind OutRun, leading the charge.

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I was immediately impressed because I had no idea there were such gorgeous trails and big open green spaces in this area of the city!

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Every quarter to half mile, Chris stopped us for a different cross training exercise. Apparently every run is different, both in the routes he takes you on and the exercises you do to break it up. For each run, he carries a big backpack that’s stuffed with:

  • water (for us – yay!)
  • various strength exercise equipment (stretchy resistance bands, etc.)
  • a big speaker (to play music during the run – loved this!)

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One of my favorite strength moves during the run was a partner workout involving stretchy bands down on the C&O Canal trail in Georgetown.

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One person placed the band around their waist while their partner held the other end to make it a resistance workout. We alternated between running forward, running backward, and doing side shuffles (loved this – great lateral strength building)!

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It was hard but FUN! And a great workout both for the person doing the resistance running and for the person trying to hold them back. :)

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We also utilized a lot of body weight exercises, with Chris getting creative based on where we were.

We did dips and leg lifts on a log:

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Planks and side plank lifts in the grass:

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A plank hold while the person on the end bear crawled to the other end; when they we done the next person went (we did this until everyone made it through 3 times):

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And partner leg throw downs:

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We also ran up the exorcist stairs in Georgetown (twice!), did burpees, and of course had fun actually running and enjoying the scenery while listening to the music blasting out of Chris’s backpack!

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By the time we got back to the gym, we were sweaty, dirty, and exhilarated. We had covered about 4.5 miles in an hour and 35 minutes and done countless strength exercises along the way.

I’ve tried a lot of workouts in DC by this point and I have to say, OutRun was one of my absolute favorites. The group was friendly and fun (and, funny story – at the end of the run my partner, Christy, realized that she reads my blog – hi Christy!), the route was interesting and unique, and the workout was awesome. Chris (on the far left in the photo below, next to me) was great, too – positive, encouraging, and challenging without being drill sergeant-esque or obnoxious. Thumbs up all around!

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A big thank you to Chris and the Roam Fitness team for inviting me out and waiving my class fee in exchange for sharing my experience. I can’t wait to go back – this is definitely going to need to be incorporated into my routine on the regular. They just started offering even longer “OutRun Adventures” once a month, too – excited to check that out next! :)

Have you ever done a running/boot camp workout combined? Does it sound like something you’d like? It was nice because it negated the need for everyone to run at the same pace, since we stopped so often! No one ever got left behind. One of the women there on Saturday has a 6 month old baby and is using OutRun to get back in shape – I was really impressed!

Comments

  1. 1

    How versatile are the exercises, meaning, are they open to all fitness levels? Or do you already need to be in killer shape to do them?

    • 2

      I would say you need at least a decent base in running/fitness stuff, but I don’t think you need to be in killer shape by any means. The running paces were varied and all the moves were modify-able!

  2. 3

    Sounds like SO MUCH FUN!! I wish they were in Philadelphia!

  3. 6

    This sounds just like my morning outdoor boot camp in Arlington. I have to say that even though you think most boot camps are indoors, all of the classes I’ve seen and taken are outside. You should probably start scouting all your options, rather than the ones you just get for free! :-)

    • 7

      I’ve tried TONS of boot camps in the area, and not just those I’ve gotten for free considering I’ve lived here for 8 years post-college now and have only had my blog for a few of those! I know there are a lot of boot camps that are outside, but I haven’t found many that incorporate running/exploring the city. Back in the day I used to do a morning outdoor boot camp that was from 6 to 7 a.m. that I liked, but it wasn’t as fun because we just stayed in one spot the whole time and the moves got really repetitive. Glad you like yours!

  4. 8

    I’ve had numerous friends try them out and love it. Thinking I reallllly need to check them out :)

  5. 9

    I had a great time when I went to Roam — and hope to try it again soon. I just wish it wasn’t in Glover Park! After marathon training, it’ll be easier to fit in though!

  6. 12

    Yay you finally did this! So fun :) I’m also SO glad that my Outrun didn’t include the Exorcist steps…one of the few movies that REALLY GETS TO ME. And you nailed it – they’re tough but encouraging and not obnoxious!!

  7. 13

    Sounds fun and intense! The closest thing I’ve ever done to a fitness boot camp was picnicking on a big hill next to a bunch of people doing one of those fitness boot camps.

  8. 15

    SO nice to finally meet you!! Thanks for being a great partner on Saturday! I hope to see you soon! Good luck with the Tough Mudder and your marathon training!

    • 16

      Great meeting you, too! Loved being your partner and thank you for the Tough Mudder tips! :) Hope to see you at OutRun again soon!

  9. 17

    fun! this would be right up my alley!

  10. 18

    This is such an awesome concept! I love that you get cardio/strength training in one workout and that you get to explore the city while doing so. This seems like it’d be the perfect workout to take out-of-town friends too. Site seeing and exercise in one!

  11. 20

    I don’t know if this is a weird question .. but who always takes the photos of you and the group when you are doing all these activities?

  12. 22

    Whew! Looks awesome but so tough. Kicks your booty into high gear, I bet!

  13. 23
    Roadrunner says:

    Terrific workout; another great fANNEtastic adventure! Well done –

  14. 24

    Sounds awesome! Looks like great fun, teamwork, and great exercise! When you’re up for more, try a GORUCK Challenge!! Sounds like the guy, Chris, would like it too!!

    • 25

      I was just reading about the GORUCK challenges in the Washington Post! Sounds… insanely hardcore. Have you done one?

      • 26

        I’ve done two! Dan R. is on board for his first later this year! It is hardcore, but an incredible event all about teamwork. You and Matt should check it out! I have a code to get a discount for first timers when/if you’re interested!!

        • 27

          Oh no way – I didn’t know he was doing one! I’ll have to ask Jenny about it. I think for now I’ll stick to less hardcore events and leave you to the GoRUCK, but props to you for doing it! Super impressive.

  15. 28

    Looks like such a fun workout as well as a great way to meet new people!!!

  16. 29

    Sounds awesome! :)

  17. 30

    I love the idea of mixing running with outdoor cross training! Looks like a blast!

  18. 31

    This looks so fun and right up my alley!! I hope they bring this to San Francisco. Plyometrics + running + being outside = a winner in my book!

  19. 32

    Ahh! I totally think I saw you guys! Was this Saturday or Sunday AM? I was walking to the Whole Foods in Glover park and remember a running group about this size pass me going up Wisconsin Ave. and I remember thinking that I wanted to join. Sounds like so much fun!!!

  20. 34

    What a great workout! I’m sure the time went by quickly given the variety of exercises!

  21. 35

    I wish we had something like this in my area! Looks like sooo much fun! I used to hate partner workouts but they have really started to grow on me.

  22. 36

    Well, I think I definitely need to try this when I have some flexibility in my training. I’m always surprised by all the different beautiful trails and paths in the city.

  23. 37

    This sounds like SO much fun! I wish there was something like it in my area :(

  24. 38

    LOVE this idea! Sounds like it kept you guessing constantly, which I totally enjoy in a class.

  25. 39

    Wow this is the coolest thing ever. I would TOTALLY do a Wednesday night Arlington option with you if you decide to do one!

  26. 40

    This looks like SO much fun!

  27. 41

    Are there any additional details for the evenings in Arlington? I live in that area but didn’t see anything on the website!

  28. 43

    I just discovered your blog! I am in love with Roam fitness!! Their Outrun was incredible and I’m loving their barbell class now!

Trackbacks

  1. […] to incorporating those again now that I’m done training. I’m also really excited to go back to OutRun! It will be really nice to be more flexible with workouts again since I don’t have to worry about […]

  2. […] version of their awesome OutRun program (which is like your run club + boot camp combined – full review here), featuring the DC Zoo […]

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