Running is usually portrayed as a solo sport, just the pavement, a pair of sneakers and the runner. To Joshua Hirshey, owner of Haverford’s new Incline Running, there’s much more to it than that.
When opening his new fitness boutique, Hirshey, a Penn Valley resident, wanted to appeal to a wide variety of runners. Though an athlete and runner for most of his life, an injury in college left him with years of back problems and forced him to modify his running regiment. That experience, combined with his entrepreneurial spirit, encouraged him to combine his passion for exercise with his love for the community.
As a result, Incline Running was born, welcoming all runners, regardless of skill. Incline Running offers five core classes focused on everything from distance running to hills to powerwalking. Sessions take place on a Woodway treadmill—a piece of equipment that is gentle on the knees—but also take some time on the mats for core exercises and even yoga.
Hirshey’s approach to the new workout style is all about teamwork. “Running is an intimidating sport to get into. But in the studio, you and your best friend can run side by side at your own pace,” he says, making it perfect for different levels of skill and fitness. Coaches help motivate class attendees, encouraging them to get to the proverbial finish line, whether that’s through answering questions or providing a needed push.
To help, coaches create an environment to match their motivational style through color-changing LED lighting, music, and even the exercises they go through during a given 60-minute class.
“To be a runner means you enjoy that feeling of accomplishment you have once you’re finished. The sense of getting lost for a little bit is rewarding. Runners—even the most serious ones—usually say they hate running, but they love the ‘runner’s high’ that meets them at the finish line,” says Hirshey.
Over time, attendees will hopefully build up that same love. “The incline is the base to building a foundation for growth and I believe building a community to help get over that incline is a major part of it,” Hirshey adds.
Whether training to be the next Usain Bolt or Meb Keflezighi, or just looking to pick up a new fitness program, Incline Running is sure to help.