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?!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!)
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.
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)!
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.
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:
Planks and side plank lifts in the grass:
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):
And partner leg throw downs:
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!
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!
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!