New York Road Runners classes

Before the great ankle  injury of 2014 I was taking New York Road Runners training classes.  And they are awesome.

NYRR classes are offered in 1x a week or 2x a week packages. The sessions last 10 weeks. For a NYRR member the 10-week session costs $105 for once a week classes. To attend classes twice weekly, it’s only $180 for all 20 classes.

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are because there are 8 levels of classes to choose from. You are grouped according to how fast you can run a 5K. (There is no audition, you just self-identify on the form. If you’re obviously too fast or too slow, the teacher might suggest you switch groups.)

NYRR groups
Find your pace and your future running friends

I took the class on Tuesday nights and I joined the 9-10 minute mile group. Technically I run a 5K in sub 9-minute miles (8:40s) but I felt this class was challenging enough!

Each week we’d meet at the same uptown public elementary school. A NYRR coach leads a quick stretch in the school’s gym. Then we huddle up and the coach explains the workout. The workouts are amazing, varied and regimens I would never do on my own.

We did sprints, fartleks, tempo runs and other kinds of speed work. I found myself really pushing (and at times really struggling) for the full hour. But when I’d set out on my regular weekend long runs, I was faster and more conditioned. Everyone says speed training works, but when it works for you, it’s the best surprise.

group run in Central Park
group run in Central Park

We always run in Central Park – though right before the marathon the group ran the Queensborough Bridge.

Through this class, I exploring the park in new ways. I learned there is a small dirt track far uptown in the park. I learned it’s exactly a mile from the east side 90th street entrance and the 72nd transverse. I have run the last .5 miles of the NYC Marathon countless times.

These low-cost classes might be the best kept secret of the New York running world. Once I am comfortably able to run again, I’ll be back.

Has anyone else tried these? Or taken a different running class? Tell me more!



  1. nmc73rn
    December 2, 2014 / 4:13 pm

    I took a 10 week session a few years ago, and loved every minute of it! When I ran a race two months later, my pace had improved by almost a minute. I also enjoyed finding new areas of the park that I didn’t know existed. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll ever do the classes again. I don’t live in the immediate NYC area, and figuring out my work schedule/trying to get into the city on a weeknight at that hour was just too much of a hassle. If I was an NYC resident, I think I’d probably do these classes year round.

    • Nicole
      December 2, 2014 / 5:04 pm

      That is awesome that you improved by a full minute. I love it!! I wonder if there are classes like it near where you live?!

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