Boutique running has finally caught up with us, and it sucks!
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that a style of exercise class called Precision Run is a “sensation,” bursting at its seams with a kind of market demand that’s neither slow nor steady. What it sounds like is SoulCycle but for treadmills, and it’s a product of luxury fitness company Equinox:
“Precision Run is like doing interval training but on a treadmill. Developed by [Equinox] creative director David Siik and launched in 2014, it’s a workout that customizes the variables of treadmill running—speed, duration, incline, and recovery—to your own needs and style, and in a cool, immersive group setting.”
Immersive? Cool? Group??! A nightmare, but here’s what else we know: treadmills are becoming more popular, both among people who prefer to be oblivious, and those who yearn to be synchronized. According to Bloomberg, in 2018 treadmill running increased by 82 percent, making it last year’s fastest-growing workout trend. Equinox’s Precision Run classes are expanding because the 500 sessions offered at its locations every week were not enough (Bloomberg reports each class has room for about 30 to 40 people).
Therefore, Equinox has decided to create its first Precision Run “standalone studio,” which will open in New York City’s Flatiron District this spring. The charge will be $36 to run on treadmills next to other people (read: how all treadmills exist already in gyms) for approximately 50 minutes.
But what I find deflating to fathom are the amenities. Here’s Bloomberg’s glossary of what they will be:
“The Flatiron Precision Run studio will feature slat-belted Woodway treadmills housing a dashboard, or interval training screen, that adapts to individual running habits by autopopulating speed and incline. There will also be dedicated apps. Inside the studio, the lights can be customized; the water can be infused with cannabidiol, if that’s your thing; music setlists are programmed for maximum efficiency; and even the air you breathe is enriched with oxygen.”
In 2015, Siik told the Los Angeles Times, “If you take everything away, every barbell and dumbbell and even the building this club is in, all you have left at the end is the run.” In other words, running—much like breathing air—does not require the assistance of a fitness center.