Columbus running

Tour of Columbus // RISE Fitness Community

We have toured a LOT of fitness places around Columbus. Some are “okay” and we are glad we made the visit to check it out. Some are so good we blog about them and include on our Tour of Columbus recaps and visit now and then.

And rarely, we fall in LOVE and will continue going back time and time again.

This has only happened with a handful of places in Cbus since the onset of this blog four years ago. You probably already know that we are obsessed with VPower Yoga, Harbor Yoga and Orange Theory Fitness. Well, add another studio to that short list!

I started attending RISE Fitness Community for their December challenge last month and absolutely fell in love! This is a runner’s dream and the perfect combination of running, speed work, cross training (variety of options including HIIT classes and runner specific strength training in run club classes) and knowledgable coaches that are all runners themselves.

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Although there are a wide variety of run classes and HIIT classes, my work and family schedule has only allowed me to try two different types so far, Rise Run Club (RRC) Power and RRC Precision. As a distance runner, I’m (typically) good about getting in the mileage & the long runs with friends… but I’m always looking to add strength training and speed work to my routine. RISE offers the perfect combination!

RRC Precision is an hour long class where you rotate in 10 minute intervals between the treadmill and your yoga mat, doing runner-specific strength training and floor exercise intervals. RRC Power is very similar, but you do the 30 minute treadmill portion first, then hit the yoga mat for the second 20-30 minutes.  Both classes include a warm up and cool down. Get there a tad early and you can likely get in some additional time on the treadmill as you warm up!  I can almost always count on getting in 3.5 – 4 miles or more.

All of the RRC classes have the option to utilize heart-rate based training. Strap that bad boy on and push yourself into the four different zones throughout your workout! Your trainer will guide you through the session and like any good run coach, will also motivate you, believe in you… and PUSH you! I seriously feel like I could go conquer a marathon after I’ve finished a workout here.  Although I don’t plan to any time in the future. 🙂

I’m excited to check out other classes, especially RISE & RENEW – you start on the treadmill, and then end with a yoga session. Seriously?  My two favorite things! This is the best combination since peanut butter and jelly!!

There are also HIIT classes that take place in the front studio and do not include treadmill running. I haven’t taken this class, but we did a few workouts in the front area…

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When I told the owners, Michelle Flemming & Jessica Kopp, that I wanted to rave about RISE in a blog post, they were willing to answer a few questions for me. I love including things from the owner’s perspective!  Here are a few tidbits from co-owner, Michelle…

Why did you start RISE?

“We started RISE to help more people find health. We believe that each person is on Earth for a purpose and if they are healthy, they can do it with zeal. The world is a better place when people are doing what they are meant to do. Thomas Jefferson said, “Exercise and recreation are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary, because health is worth more than learning.” The root of everything is having a healthy body, mind and soul. RISE is working towards that every day.

From a business perspective, we wanted to be the first to open a running studio in Columbus so that we could expand our love of running to our programming. Running studios are popping up around the country just like cycling did ten years ago. We love being a part of this action-packed opportunity.”

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Me with co-owner, Michelle Flemming

What is your experience as a runner and how does that help make RISE specifically beneficial for runners?

“Both Jess and myself have been runners for a long time. We were athletes growing up in sports that required at least 5 miles per game. After our sport specific days came to an end, we both desired a physical challenge, to feel strong again and of course a little competition (even if it just with ourselves). We ran for exercise and for mental health, but when RISE Run Club came about, we discovered another level of training. We are healthier and stronger athletes than we were ever before, and the best part is that our RISE athletes are actually in better shape than us! Although it is a pride check to get out run by one of our athletes, it is the exact reason that we do what we do: to bring out the best in people.”

Can you give us a quick rundown of the classes and programs you offer to benefit runners?

“We offer RISE Run Club and HIIT IT classes all day, every day of the week and our athletes reach their goals using any combination of the two. In addition to these large group exercise programs, twice annually we offer a half & full marathon training program (July & February). We love helping our athletes set a lofty goal, overcome obstacles, and cross that start line. The finish line is just some extra icing, and it is only after our runners do it that they realize the journey was just as sweet as the glorious finish.”

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Both owners and all the instructors we’ve met so far are kind, genuine and super motivational. They want you to work hard towards your goals, whether its getting into running, training for your first 5K or trying to qualify for Boston. That last one’s not on my personal bucket list, but I’m only half crazy!!

If you want to check it out, they offer first class free and have ongoing specials, challenges & more.  Tomorrow is FRIEND FRIDAY so bring a new training buddy to sweat it out with you and you’ll both receive a free class added to your account!

I really can’t say enough good things about this studio, the workout(s) and the people. I will be a long-term athlete here and can’t wait to have them help me cross many finish lines over the coming years!

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Left to right // Jen (new member!), Jessica (co-owner), & me in the obnoxious neon 🙂 

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Our favorite places to run, hike & enjoy the great outdoors in Ohio

On our sister site, LeenaBee Photography, we did a Columbus Parks Tour blog post that was three years in the making!  We highlighted our favorite parks and places to go as a family and with the kids.  Check it out HERE!

For this tour, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite places & parks to SWEAT! Most of these have amazing running trails, but some we just like for their central location, green space or perhaps even a little hiking.  We hope to add to this over time so feel free to send us ideas for places we need to check out!

Dublin Road Trail & Parks, Dublin 

Good for:  running, walking, biking, hiking

Overview: Our running group typically starts in Historic Dublin and runs north up Dublin Rd towards Muirfield/Shawnee Hills (towards Wendy’s).  This out & back course is offers eight miles and you can easily tack on additional mileage by adding in Emerald Parkway, Indian Run Falls, Amberleigh or jogging over through the new Bridge Park area.  The route is also bike friendly, as its entirely paved.  The rolling hills will give you a workout!  The mileage really is endless as we’ve even trained for marathons on these paths & sidestreets, getting in a 20 miler.

Scenic spots & stops along the way:

  • Historic Dublin & the Karrer Barn have a lot of picturesque spots to #StopDropandYoga or get in a nice post-run stretch.
  • Kiwanis Riverway park has some pretty views, a steep hill and some stairs that could be great for hill work days.
  • Indian Run Falls has some hiking paths through the beautiful falls.  The park has two main entrances, one off Shawan Falls & the other near the Dublin library.  Leave the strollers and bikes aside for this portion, as there are dirt paths and stairs not conducive to wheels!
  • Amberleigh Park is about halfway and has a unique playground, stairs down to the river and a short hiking trail through the woods.  It also has seasonal bathrooms in the shelter house area.  Two sets of stairs make this an excellent spot for stadium drills, an alternate to hill work.

Rings Road Trail & Parks, Dublin 

Good for:  running, walking, biking

Overview: 6+ mile trail on out & back course (could continue further!) – we start in Old Dublin, head west towards the “dancing bunnies” then back.

Scenic spots along the way:

  • The Field of Corn, a great place for some #stopdropandyoga.
  • Balgrafin Park has a water fountain for both humans & doggies ~ a good spot to take a stretch or even let the kids out of the bike trailer to play.
  • Visit the bunny sculptures and hop in the fountains to cool down!

Other things to note: no restrooms along this route (that we know of), but could head up to Tuttle and find a restaurant or gas station if you’re desperate!

Glacier Ridge Metro Park, Dublin/Plain City 

Good for:  running, walking, biking

Overview: this park has two entrances and trails that connect.  We have run many races through here, including the Dublin Alumni 5k, Flying Feather Four Miler and the Emerald City races.

Scenic spots along the way: a pretty boardwalk, lagoon (when there is water) and a lookout tower at the south end

Other things to note: seasonal restrooms at both entrances

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Highbanks Metro Park, Powell/Lewis Center 

Good for:  running, walking, hiking

Overview: We love the hills here.  But we also hate the hills here!  We have done a few training runs and races here, the inclines will give you a run for your money!  This is a beautiful, scenic way to spend an afternoon hiking, walking or if you dare, running.

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The Olentangy Trail, Columbus  

Good for:  running, walking, biking

Overview: So many possibilities on this trail!

  • We often meet at the north end trail head near Hills Market, called Worthington Hills Park.  
  • Our second most common route has been near the Worthington Farmer’s Market.  In the summer, enjoy a RUN+YOGA…  Yoga on the Green is compliments of Native Juice!
  • Olentangy Park near the Worthington Mall is another popular trail head, the one we’ll likely be using while the construction is going on.

Scenic spots along the way: lots of other runners & bikers, the Antrim Park pond, nice bridges & parks, including the Columbus Park of Roses

Other things to note:  There are a few pitstops (water and portapot at Antrim, water at the Olentangy Park trail head) but bring your own water, just in case

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Rail to Trail, Hilliard  

Good for:  running, walking, biking

Overview: Many possibilities and trail heads on this course, with several parks & green spaces along the route.  We have gotten in 10+ miles around these areas & paths!

Scenic spots along the way:

  • At the southern end is old Hilliard, including fountains & a fun coffee shop we found, Coffee Connections
  • About halfway(ish) is Homestead Park, two playgrounds, covered bridge and seasonal restrooms
  • Northern point is Heritage Dog Park, a beautiful place to watch the sunset!
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Columbus Commons –> Schiller Park, German Village

Good for:  running, walking

Overview: Cbus Commons to Schiller Park and back! We do this three mile run 1-2 times a year before Yoga at the Commons.

Scenic spots along the way:  Winans German Village is nearby if you need a coffee and a restroom stop.  Columbus Commons has restrooms open seasonally, along with Jeni’s Ice Cream, yum! 

Scioto Mile, Downtown Columbus  

Good for:  running, walking, some green spaces for yoga

Overview: Lots of trails and beautiful views of the city

Scenic spots along the way:  Absolutely GORGEOUS at sunset, several nearby green parks with variety of paths & land/hardscapes including Bicentennial Park, Genoa Park & Scioto Audubon Metro Park.  We’ve done anywhere from a 20 minute run up to five miles, but could easily get more mileage if needed.  We ran this route prior to lululemon’s POGA summer series, as well as for many races and our 2018 Cap City Kickoff Run from Land Grant Brewing Co!

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Village Green Park, Powell  

Good for:  running, walking, HIIT!

Overview: We have met here a few times for play dates, but more recently for the Northwest STROLLER STRIDES class and really enjoy it!  There is a small loop bike/run path and green space for yoga or some stroller workouts.

Scenic spots along the way:

  • There is a splash pad and playground on site for the littles to play before, during or after your workout.
  • We’ve not run it (yet!) but it is a 3.4 mile jog north to Liberty Park
  • Stay after and visit the nearby Olentangy Indian Caves!

Hocking Hills State Park(s), Southern Ohio 

Good for:  running, walking, hiking

Overview: Whether you do a day trip (only a little over an hour from Columbus) or spend the weekend, you will not be disappointed!  The Hocking Hills area offers a wide variety of paths, both easy or hard, as well as breath-taking scenery. A few of our favorite paths/trails were…

  • Conkle’s Hollow Rim Trail
  • Old Man’s Cave
  • Ash Cave

Scenic spots along the way: so many! We stopped at a Brewery, a winery and lots and lots of trails. Hope to make this a longer post of its own someday!

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Other places we like or want to check out…

If you have favorites, suggestions or questions, email us at LivingFitColumbus@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you!

Special thanks to all my Living Fit runners who accompany me on these runs, chat away the miles and assist with photos!  And thanks to Lauren @WanderlustOnTheRun for the use of a couple of your pics!  xoxo