ZooFit Workout of the Day- 1/21/20: Running the Zoo (Inside Edition)

A few weeks ago, I shared one of my favorite cardio workouts called Running the Zoo, a Conservation Hero Workout dedicated to the wonderful job zoos do to promote and contribute to conservation.

But I have a little secret to divulge. I sorta stole the concept of Running the Zoo from a very different program. Sorta.

Fitness creates all sorts of fascinating trends. Some of them gain popularity and stay in the spotlight forever (CrossFit and yoga, for example), and others gain popularity for a while and then go a bit more low-key (Jazzercise and P90X). They aren’t necessarily BAD, but you don’t see a lot of places still doing them.

A real craze popping up which I think is a trend that will stick around is a fitness “boutique” (I’m not sure how I feel about the description as boutique) called OrangeTheory. I saw my hometown in South Carolina just got one, and I nearly yelled at my family telling them how awesome it was.

I’ve only done a couple trial workouts with OrangeTheory when I was living in Oregon a few years ago. But if we had had a little more money (and, well, if the heart rate band you wear during class worked properly on me), I’m pretty sure we would have joined in a heart beat. (Read more about my opinion and review of OrangeTheory here).

What I really enjoyed about OrangeTheory was making running on a TREADMILL actually a lot of fun. For the record, not only do I normally hate running, but to do so on a hamster wheel and look at nothing and go nowhere? UGH! But OrangeTheory makes the experience fun, varied, and challenging. I mean, I SWEAT during their workouts.

When I created Running the Zoo, I used their terminology of “Base”, “Push”, and “All-Out” to develop my levels of running intensity. “Base” (or Sloth as I call it in ZooFit) is a pace you could go for a long time and maintain. At “Base”, you could easily carry on a conversation, and your heart rate stays pretty steady, raising only a little. At “Push”, talking becomes slightly labored, and you find you can talk but in a couple burst of words at a time. Your heart rate starts to climb, but you could probably still maintain your pace for a while, several minutes. I call this pace Giraffe in the Running the Zoo workout.

“All Out” is what it sounds like. You empty your tank and exert all your energy in your fastest pace. I call this pace “Cheetah”, and like the fastest land animal, we cannot maintain this speed for a long time. A couple minutes, TOPS. Breathing is hard, talking is impossible, and your heart rate shoots up.

OrangeTheory is quite masterful and keeping you going, without FEELING like you are spending a half-hour on a treadmill. And while I don’t prefer treadmills, I see their sometimes usefulness. During the lovely gray winters here in the Pacific Northwest, running outside isn’t always feasible.

So, if you would like to try Running the Zoo but want to stay indoors, here is my heavily-influenced-from-OrangeTheory-workout for the treadmill.

Running the Zoo (Inside)

Sloth: Slow; Giraffe: Push; Cheetah: All-Out

Set timer for 30 minutes (30:00)

  • 0:00- 2:00 Sloth (warm-up- get a little stretching while moving)
  • 2:00- 3:00 Giraffe
  • 3:00- 4:00 Sloth
  • 4:00-7:00 Giraffe
  • 7:00-8:00 Sloth
  • 8:00- 8:30 Cheetah
  • 8:30-10:00 Sloth
  • 10:00- 12:00 Giraffe
  • 12:00- 13:00 Sloth
  • 13:00- 14:00 Giraffe
  • 14:00- 14:30 Cheetah
  • 14:30- 15:30 Sloth
  • 15:30- 17:00 Giraffe
  • 17:00- 18:00 Sloth
  • 18:00- 18:45 Cheetah
  • 18:45- 20:00 Sloth
  • 20:00- 23:00 Giraffe
  • 23:00- 25:00 Sloth
  • 25:00- 26:00 Cheetah
  • 26:00-27:00 Sloth
  • 27:00- 28:00 Giraffe
  • 28:00- 30:00 Sloth (cool-down)


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