Run Washington – Gym Aims to Be an Athletic Department for All

Run Washington – Gym Aims to Be an Athletic Department for All

Run Washington’s story on our facility. You can find the original article here.


Formula Running Center class participants listen for instructions. Photo: Dustin Whitlow

“Rob McAnnally has checked some running feats off his to-do list over the last few years: he’s run a few half marathons and 10-mile races. But this 49-year-old Arlington resident is starting to get hungry for more. He’s looking to be more a more efficient and effective runner and shave off some time during his races. He also wants to run his first marathon when he turns 50 next year.

To help in his quest, McAnnally turned to Formula Running Center, a new facility geared toward helping runners excel, recover and learn with guidance from a staff of runners, physical therapists, nutritionists and coaches.

“I think [Formula Running Center] can help me learn from professionals and coaches that really know running and can help me achieve even more than I could on my own,” said McAnnally, who has already attended a running class and signed up for a membership at the facility.

Formula Running Center, or FRC, opened in Clarendon earlier this month, billing itself as “a complete training experience for runners and endurance athletes.”

“There’s not another facility that is built out for runners like this that exists,” said FRC Owner and Co-founder Chris Hoffman.

The 5,000 square-foot business at 3101 Wilson Blvd. offers equipment and resources for training, recovery, assessment and education, aiming to be a one-stop-shop for all runners, no matter their skill level, Hoffman said.

“Whether you’ve never run a day in your life and you’re just looking to do your first mile or whether you’ve done ultramarathons, we think that this facility can be very beneficial to everybody — and that’s really our goal, to be able to help out as many people as possible in a variety of different ways.”

FRC has group treadmill training classes. Classes are focused on running, although some include full-body conditioning tailored for runners.

Twenty-four treadmills line the walls of a studio, which they share with more than a dozen workout stations for the “tread and train” classes.

Formula Running Center clients take in their recovery boot sessions. Photo: Dustin Whitlow

The business also addresses recovery using cryotherapy, a sauna and a cold-water soaking tub and it employs a sports massage therapist. A yoga studio plays host to classes tailored for runners.

“Everyone is a little bit different and gravitates toward different things and we can help point them in the right direction, but people want to use different recovery services so we wanted to have a full menu of recovery services that people could tap into to hopefully speed up recovery, keep them injury free and continuing to train,” Hoffman said.

A physical therapy practice offers gait analysis and VO2 Max measurements and a registered dietician can offer insight on nutrition.

Runners who may want more information about things like running form or race-day nutrition may benefit from one of FRC’s seminars or workshops.

Hoffman aims to combine those elements to rival what professional athletics facilties and collegiate athletic departments offer.

“I’m not aware of another facility anywhere that’s built out like this for the average runner,” he said. “For the call it ‘average runner,’ we wanted to make these types of recovery services, assessment services available to them. And not just available to them — available at the same place they’re training so it’s very easy for them to use and incorporate into their lifestyle. That’s really the hole that we are trying to fill.”

FRC’s services work on a credit-based system, with classes costing one credit ($30) and cryotherapy treatments costing two. Assessment services, massages and coaching can be purchased a la carte. Runners looking for a 15-minute nutritional counseling session pay $25; those looking for a personal coach will have to fork over $100/hour.

“Our specialists and coaches have backgrounds geared toward clientele. They are all runners, the individuals who work at this facility … are all passionate about running,” Hoffman said, adding that the staff includes coaches, triathletes and professional runners.

It’s like “having a clubhouse to tailor and support your personal training journey, optimized to help you achieve your goals as a runner,” McAnnally said.

Ryan Widzgowski, FRC’s assistant studio manager and also serves as the general manager of District Track Club, one of many personnel overlaps between the organzations.

“I think it completely enhances the area in respect to their running goals and education …,” Widzgowski said. “This is just such a unique studio in the area — it is what you make of it. So we are just looking to just provide a safe and friendly and fun environment for the community. It is just such an opportunity to grow and manifest into something really, really special.”

FRC’s location is no coincidence either: “This is the heart of the running community right here,” Hoffman said of the Clarendon location. “You’re right in the middle of the Orange Line corridor, it’s just sort of centrally located in terms of this running community.”

The location is also just down the street from Pacers’ Clarendon location, the largest specialty running story in Arlington County. There are benefits to being next door to such a big running resource, Hoffman said, adding that the relationship is collaborative, not competitive.

“It’s great for us to be able to partner with retail stores so that if we have companies come to our facility … to showcase their latest gear or latest shoes, then we have some place that’s actually extremely convenient specifically with Pacers across the street so they can actually go complete that experience,” Hoffman said, adding that FRC may partner with Potomac River Running in the future as well.

“What I hope is that a facility like this can be extremely beneficial for the running community,” he said. “That’s what our goal is here and that’s why we started this facility.” “

Arlington Magazine – Clarendon Has a New Gym for Runners

Arlington Magazine – Clarendon Has a New Gym for Runners

Arlington Magazine
‘s story on our facility. You can find the original article here.


“Formula Running Center focuses on training and recovery, whether your goal is a 5K, a marathon, or simply running without injury.

Formula Running Center, the first boutique gym in the DMV dedicated to running, opened Nov. 4 at 3101 Wilson Blvd. with a menu of classes including Formula 101, which acclimates newbies to one of the gym’s 24 Woodway treadmills, and Formula Distance, a 75-minute class of which 60 are spent running or walking, depending on ability level. The 5,000-square-foot facility also offers recovery classes such as Yoga for Runners, which emphasizes deep stretching rather than poses.

“What we’re trying to do is create a complete training experience for runners here,” says Christopher Hoffman, who co-owns FRC with Nicole DonVito.

An often overlooked part of that experience is recovery, Hoffman says. That’s why the gym has a dedicated recovery room with a whole-body cryotherapy tank that uses temperatures of -130 to -184 degrees to heal the body within three minutes.

If that’s a bit too cold for your blood, there’s also a cold-water soaking tub that gets down to a comparatively balmy 42 degrees. (Most people stay submerged for six to 10 minutes, Hoffman says.)

Some like it hot, so FRC also has a Sunlighten mPulse infrared sauna. The infrared radiation heats the body rather than the air and has been known to promote healing.

Alternately, you can skip a temperature change completely and opt for a session in the NormaTec compression sleeves – which, according to the owners, speed recovery, increase circulation and ease sore muscles – or schedule an appointment with the gym’s massage therapist.

“One of the biggest reasons runners and endurance athletes get injured is because they’re not taking the time to focus on the downtime, the recovery they need,” Hoffman says.

Personally, I am recovering at room temperature from the Formula Tread and Train class I took in the 1,800-square-foot workout room. We spent about 10 minutes on the treadmill and the rest of the hourlong class on the Plae rubber gym floor doing run-boosting strength training moves. For instance, we held free weights at heart center, lunged forward with one foot and then – without putting that foot down – swept it to a backward lunge. We did 20 reps. Per leg.

We also grabbed the handles of TRX straps and did single-leg squats and rows to target our arms, chest and back. Because the class is a full-body workout, we tackled our tummies and core – think abs, obliques and back – which are crucial to good running form and therefore crucial to endurance and injury prevention. Mountain climbers – in plank position, hold your upper body and core steady while driving one knee at a time in toward your chest – left no muscle unworked.

The Pit Stop, an area stocked with snacks and hydrating drinks, many of which are free to members, was a welcome post-workout sight. Because Hoffman intends it to be a place where outdoor runners can swing by for reinforcements, it also has Band-Aids and Body Glide anti-chafing products at the ready.

Speaking of membership, the price ranges from $144 to $499 per month, depending on what services you’re chasing. FRC uses a credit system. Classes, 45-minute sauna sessions, 30-minute compression-sleeve sessions and a soak in the tub are 1 credit each, while cryotherapy and a couples infrared sauna session cost 2 credits. A single credit is $30; packs range from $142.50 for five to $510 for 20.

Credits don’t apply to massages, training programs, personal coaching and assessments. Assessments are done on a treadmill in a separate room, where experts monitor gait; assess resting metabolic rate, or the number of calories burned when your body is at rest; and VO2 max, or the maximum rate of oxygen consumed during exercise.

Additionally, FRC has a registered dietitian on staff to help people prepare for races or just make healthier food choices.

As it turns out, Arlington is a running haven. It topped SmartAsset’s list of best cities for runners in 2018 and 2019, in part because it has the third-highest number of gyms per 10,000 residents. Still, FRC believes its arrival will have the biggest effect on novice and recreational runners, not top athletes.

“We’re not trying to be an elite training facility,” Hoffman says. “It’s very important for myself and my partner that everyone feels comfortable here.” “

Meet and Greet the Pros at FRC!

Meet and Greet the Pros at FRC!


Meet the Pros!

Formula Running Center was created to help runners be better versions of themselves. This weekend we will have some of our pros at the facility in order to help you take the next steps in your running journey. Whether it be looking at your running gait, talking through some of your injuries or touching up on your diet the right professional will be there to help you get some guidance!


Formula Running Center – 3101 Wilson BLVD., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22201


11/9/19 8 AM to 1 PM

Sharon Staier – Registered Dietitian – FRC – 9 AM to Noon
A nutritional pro to help you understand proper eating, what fits with your lifestyle and how to tie it all together with running and exercise.

Dr. Scott McAfee – MovementX – Physical Therapist – 10 AM to 1 PM
Ready to get your running form together? From running gait analysis to proper functional movement, each and every bit counts when it comes to moving at your best.

Dr. Andrew Parker – OrthoVirginia – Orthopaedic Surgeon – 8 AM to 9 AM
Are injuries preventing you from training at your best? Meet Dr. Parker and discuss your issues to determine the best course of action.

The Arlington Connection – Formula Running Center Strides Into Clarendon

The Arlington Connection – Formula Running Center Strides Into Clarendon

The Arlington Connection’s story on our facility. You can find the original article here.


The 1,800-square-foot workout area offers plenty of space for both treadmill and strength workouts.

“By all accounts, Arlington is a runner’s city. The Marine Corps Marathon crisscrosses it coming and going. Venture out any morning, afternoon or evening and you’ll find a number of runners barreling around town, solo or in organized groups, putting in the miles while throwing down the gauntlet.

#So it’s only natural, then, that Clarendon has become the home of the area’s first running-specific training center. The Formula Running Center opened its doors last weekend, and classes began this week.

#“What we’re trying to create here is a complete training experience for runners and other endurance athletes as well,” said Formula Running Center’s Christopher Hoffman, who owns the facility with his business partner, Nicole DonVito.

#A walk through the center shows the breadth of its offerings. From a diet and overall biometrics facility to a cryotherapy chamber, massage room and soaking tub, the Formula Running Center leaves no stone unturned in terms of both preparation and recovery.

#But it’s the main workout room that is perhaps the most impressive: The expansive, 1,800-square-foot space is lined with 24 state-of-the-art Woodway treadmills, with televisions hoisted high above the space and interspersed throughout the gym-style room.

#But those TVs aren’t for watching the latest episode of “General Hospital” or your morning’s “SportsCenter” update. They’re providing data for the workouts themselves, which are led by trainers to keep the room on pace, similar to a cycling spin class. Along the opposing wall from the treadmills sit more than a dozen workout stations, offering a number of non-running options.

#Some classes are all running-focused, ranging from 60 to 75 minutes in length. But some spice things up even further.

#“We’ll also have a class called a tread-and-train class, where it’s split between running on treadmills and working out on our workout floor,” Hoffman said.

#Beginners need not feel too intimidated to take part. While every class is aimed at meeting participants where they are, there will also be a specific class just for newbies, DonVito said.

#“We are going to offer a beginner’s class as well, so while you can adjust any class to your skill level, we will have a beginner’s,” she said.

#After class, or on rest days, participants can take part in yoga, foam rolling and stretching classes within a separate studio. On nice days, the classes might move outside to the Formula Running Center’s outdoor space, which will also serve as an outdoor pit stop for running clubs, Hoffman said.

#Once a runner’s classes are done for the day, it’s time to recover. And there are a multitude of ways for athletes to do so, ranging from a stint in the infrared sauna to some time in compression sleeves, from the cryotherapy chamber to the cold-water soaking tub.

#“We can set (the tub) up as low as 42 degrees; it stays cool on its own, it’s essentially a one-person pod,” Hoffman said.

#Participants can gain access to the workouts, recovery spaces and biometrics consultations in several ways: On a per-credit basis, buying “credit packs” that can be spent on various classes or recovery options, or on an unlimited basis, featuring various perks of the program. Credit packs start at $142.50 a month and can be customized from there.

#The Formula Running Center is aimed at runners and athletes from all walks of life, from the elites to the rookies, Hoffman said.

#“We want to be open to everybody, whether you’ve never run a day in your life, whether you just want to get out and walk your first mile or whether you’re training for your ultramarathon, we can handle anything here,” he said.

#Formula Running Center, 3101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington
#Price: $30 for a single credit; packages vary up to $499.
#Try this: The cryotherapy chamber. “It’s essentially a two-to-three-minute cold freeze,” says owner Christopher Hoffman.”