Run On A Woodway Curve

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"I have a punishing workout regimen. Every day I do 3 minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette."
Anthony Hopkins

A few months ago, I saw a video with
CrossFit Endurance's Brian MacKenzie where he had Dave Lipson, another well known CrossFit athlete, do a workout called "Nancy" (5 rounds of 400m run, 15 overhead squats) on a strange looking treadmill called a Woodway Curve.

Ever since I saw that video, I've been wanting to try one, and I freaked out a little when they made an appearance on NBC's show
The Biggest Loser.
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One of the downsides of our home gym is that we live on a hill, so running anywhere from here involves going both uphill and downhill. That's why we own a treadmill, but the problem with most treadmills is that you need to wait until they ramp up from a cold start and you're guessing what pace you should be running at. That's where the Woodway Curve is different. It's a curve-shaped non-motorized treadmill that goes the pace you're running. It ramps up quickly from a cold start, and the tread runs nearly frictionless.

What's the catch? Why haven't I bought one? Well, it's a bit outside my price range. It costs $6000, but I knew at the very least I wanted to run on one. I wrote a representative from Woodway to see where I could try one of these bad boys, and the closest place was a gym in Menlo Park called
Fitness 101. Since we were with our friend Ryan at the minor league baseball game yesterday, we spent the night at his house in Santa Clara and drove up to the gym in the morning.
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We went into the gym and checked out the treadmill. At first glance, it does not look like a $6000 treadmill at all. Ironically enough, though Ryan and I were super excited to see the Woodway Curve, no one in the gym (except for us) was giving that treadmill a second glance. It was apart from the other treadmills, all by itself. I wondered how much use it got in this place. I ran on it for a little bit at first. It felt strange, and I definitely had problems controlling the pace I wanted to go. I could go fast, but I really had to get used to going at a steady, slower pace. The thing is that I had to land with my foot on the ramp, and it pulled downward quickly. I started going faster and faster, and it felt uncomfortable enough for me to jump off. After a few tries though, I eventually felt comfortable enough to run 400 meters on it.

This was a pretty cool experience. It was a bit like running uphill but not super steep. I was happy that I ran a 1:30 quarter mile on it. The Woodway Curve is the coolest treadmill I've ever run on. It's a great training tool and extremely well built. I found it to be more difficult than running on flat ground. I can see why Brian MacKenzie calls it "The Devil's Hamster Wheel".
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