FFC Lincoln Park member Amanda George has been taking high intensity interval training classes in the performance training center (what is now called The Faction) and shares some benefits she’s achieved – including a new personal marathon record!

I have been an FFC member for about 2 years. Not only do I love the community there, but I have also seen excellent results. This past March, I was able to shave 15 minutes off my previous marathon PR to run a 3:13 on a hilly Atlanta course. It turns out that this effort was enough to earn me 3rd place female overall, which was a thrilling and unexpected experience!

I found my passion for distance running after graduating college. Therefore, I am not a very well-groomed nor experienced runner. However, I have always loved fitness and am willing to put in the hard work that comes with endurance sports. The PTC classes at FFC (now dubbed The Faction) have helped make that work even more enjoyable!

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Strength Training for Runners

I started consistently doing PTC (now Faction) classes a little over a year ago. While they do provide a cardio workout, the greatest benefit for me personally is the strength components. Although I could go out and run for hours, for whatever reason, it is hard for me to even make time for a 15 minutes strength routine, if left to my own devices.

However, once I get to class, the workout no longer feels like a chore. I get inspired by the great trainers and the group energy. Furthermore, the trainers provide feedback on my form as I go, which is something I really needed as a novice to some of these moves (deadlifts, kettlebell swings, clean/press, etc.). In my build-up to marathon training, I would attend class 4-5 times per week. This laid the groundwork of endurance and strength that set me up for a successful marathon training cycle and played a major role in my dramatic improvement as a runner.

Clearly a Community

Lastly, I can’t say enough about the Faction community. This past month, there were two occasions where we had donuts/brownies after class to celebrate a birthday and a going-away party. We may have un-done the workout with our calorie consumption, but we had fun! The trainers are enthusiastic, patient, creative, and encouraging. The positive tone that they set rubs off on the rest of the group, and I find constant encouragement from my “workout buddies.” 

Related: benefits of high intensity interval training and why you should give it a try.

Also, the trainers really go above and beyond. For instance, even when I paused Faction classes for a while (as I was ramping up mileage), they would ask me in passing how my marathon training was going. When I got an injury in the weeks leading up to the marathon, trainer, Jonathan Basuel, took time out of his busy schedule to show me a few stretches that would speed up my recovery. I didn’t even have to ask, but rather he just heard I was hurt and generously offered to lend his expertise. Experiences like that have won me over, so that I fully buy in to the power of the Faction and its strong community – in every sense of the word. 🙂

Post written by FFC Lincoln Park member Amanda George.

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