Dear Downtown YMCA,
I have been a loyal member of your establishment for the past eight years (or so). I enjoy the cleanliness and the general upscale feel of the place. I am satisfied with the quantity and quality of the equipment. The only thing missing is a pool, and I understand that due to the location above a shopping mall, it is not feasible to add one. I love the spin classes, and that they are included with my membership. Overall I am satisfied with what I get for the money.
However, I do have one major issue. In an attempt to make sure that all members will have an opportunity to use the cardio equipment, you have imposed a 30 minute time limit on the treadmills. And to make sure that no one bends the rules, the treadmills are actually set to go into cool-down mode and shut off after said 30 minutes. This is where I have a problem.
The thing is, if all of the treadmills were full and there were people waiting to use them, I would have no problem adhering to the time limit and letting others use the machine after 30 minutes. It would only be fair. The thing is, I have never seen this happen. In fact, at the times I frequent the Y during the day, most of the treadmills are empty. The 30 minute time limit is a huge inconvenience for those of us hoping to run more than 3.5 miles.
I happen to be training for a marathon, and part of the reason I pay to use the Y is so that I can take my training indoors when the weather is bad. Take today, for example. The windchill is well below zero, and I had a 12 mile run on the schedule. I figured if I could make it 10 miles inside on a treadmill, I would be satisfied. I fired up an audio-book on my iPod and got to work. After 30 minutes, the treadmill went into cool-down mode. I had no choice but to clear it out and start over. Thirty minutes later, same thing. As a result, I do not have an accurate workout summary, and I have to do my best to guess on exact time and pace. Never once during my 90 minute workout was there a person on the two treadmills next to me.
Here’s the thing. People are going to use the equipment for more than 30 minutes one way or another, and as long as no one is waiting, I don’t see any problem with that. The fact that you have set the treadmills to stop after 30 minutes just pisses off your paying members. I urge you to take this ridiculous time constraint off of the treadmills so people like me can go about their training without being inconvenienced. Running 10 miles indoors is mentally challenging enough without the added distraction of worrying about a time limit on the damn treadmill.