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What Is the Orangetheory “Catch Me If You Can”? -Tips & Guide

Catch Me If You Can Orangetheory refers to a treadmill exercise where you compete against yourself. It takes twenty minutes in 2g and twelve mins in 3g, divided into two-minute intervals. You have to hit different distance goals at each interval, which increase as the session progresses.

You can also take it at the treadmill alternatives available at OTF: the strider and the indoor fitness bike.

“Catch me if you can” describe you against the clock, with the goal of completing as many “checkpoints” as possible before being caught. Every two minutes, your coach will announce the Time and Distance. If you are not at or beyond this Distance when called out, you have been caught by the finish line. This run will require you to pace yourself. It will become more difficult to beat the clock as time passes.

In 2G- 20 min on treadmill

  • Run distance: 2.8 mile
  • Power walk distance: 1.4 mile

In 3G- 12 min on treadmill

  • Run distance: 1.5 mile
  • Power walk distance: 0.75 mile

When you get caught, it turns into a fun little run/row! Most people get caught! It’s always a high-energy fun time!!

Note: The strider multiplies the treadmill distance by three, while the bike multiplies the Distance by four.

But since most of you guys use treadmills. In this article, I’ll discuss only the treadmill.

Catch Me If You Can Summary Table for joggers/runners and Power Walker

Goal: Clear as many checkpoints as possible, accumulating your farthest distance.

Clock time (min)Checkpoint needed to continue. (Joggers/runners)  Checkpoint needed to continue. (Power walker)
Checkpoint #1 (2:00)0.15-mile Push0.08 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #2 (4:00)0.3-mile Push0.15 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #3 (6:00)0.5-mile Push0.25 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #4 (8:00)0.7-mile Push0.35 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #5 (10:00)1-mile Push0.5 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #6 (12:00)1.3-mile Push0.65 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #7 (14:00)1.6-mile Push0.8 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #8 (16:00)1.9-mile Push0.95 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #9 (17:00)2.1-mile Push1.05 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #10 (18:00)2.3-mile Push1.15 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #11 (19:00)2.5-mile Push1.25 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #12 (20:00)2.8-mile Push1.4 mile Incline 5% or Greater
Checkpoint #13 (22:00)Tread for Distance until the time is calledTread for Distance until the time is called

If not caught by distance Run for distance until 22.00

If caught by distance:

200m Push Row

.2 Mile Base

(PW.1 Mile @ 1-3%)

Repeat until time for finisher

A Typical Catch Me If You Can Session at Orangetheory

Let’s take a typical example of a Catch Me If You Can session at Orangetheory;

Once you get on the treadmill, you get a low checkpoint goal that welcomes you into the session. 

So, you are expected to hit 0.15 miles within the first two minutes. This distance is achievable at a low running speed of 4.5 miles per hour, and every user gets past this point without being caught. In the Catch Me If You Can sessions, you are caught if you don’t get past the checkpoint within the set duration.

Next, you continue running into the second checkpoint, where you must get to the 0.3 miles mark within the next 2 minutes. Good thing you can maintain the speed of the first segment, as the Distance is the same. This milestone is also achievable and gives most people the mindset they need to feel they can achieve challenging goals.

However, at the next checkpoint, you should get to the 0.5 miles mark within 2 minutes. Now your Speed has to increase to at least 5.2 miles per hour. Most people will also get past this checkpoint successfully.

Next, you should reach the 0.7-mile mark in two minutes, taking a speed of 5.5 miles per hour.

Then, you will get to the next checkpoint, which requires 2 minutes to reach the 1-mile checkpoint in two minutes. Here, your Speed has to go beyond your comfort zone to approximately 6.2 miles per hour. Honestly, at this point, a significant number of members start losing and get caught.

Then, you will go to 1.3 miles checkpoint, which requires a speed of 6.7 miles per hour.

Next, you go to the 1.6 miles checkpoint at a minimum speed of 7.1 mph. 

After the 14 minutes, your Speed should increase to 7.4 mph, given that the Distance increases to 1.9 for the 16-minute mark.s

The Distance increases per minute between 17 minutes and 20 minutes, further intensifying your exercise. Therefore, you should add your speed gear from 7.4 mph to 7.7, all the way to 8.6, to get a successful final checkpoint. And finally, your final distance checkpoint will be 2.8 miles within 20 minutes.

Important note: Most people WILL get caught! That does not mean you had a poor performance. You just log the distance when you got caught, and keep working hard until the next time we have this workout so you can see how much improvement you make!

When Is the Catch Me If You Can in OTF?

“Catch me if you can signatures repeat every 3-4 months”. If you already missed a session that was in February, you can prepare for the next big day.

“Catch me if you can” Pacing Guide and Tips

As a whole, Orangetheory has two types of group classes, namely OTF 2G and 3G. In 3G, three groups of people are in a class; hence a group is available at each station per unit of time. In 2G, there are only two groups in class, meaning that one station may be vacant in each unit.

Usually, the type of class you get in may dictate the Speed required during the Catch Me If You Can challenge.

Catch me if you can in 2G Pacing Guide

when I did it the first time last summer (2021) I got 2.24, and then in February, I got 2.65.  At that time my push pace was 8.1.  In June, I  was up to an 8.3 push and went for it, running the whole CMIYC at 8.6.  I didn’t get caught and got 3.10 miles total!  It  is such a mental challenge.

Many keep seeing that you have to maintain an 8.4 for the entire 20 min in order to hit 2.8 and not get caught but there are some charts that say it’s 8.6. That’s quite a difference. So, which chart we should follow?

I’ve physically watched (as a member) people fail at running 8.4 the whole time. I’ve run it myself and only had 11 seconds to spare running it at 8.5.

Since 20 minutes is 1/3 of an hour, you can multiply the last checkpoint by 3 to get the answer. 2.8 miles in 20 minutes should be 8.4 mph. But since the treadmills take ever so slightly to get up to speed, it helps to bump it up to 8.5 or 8.6 to get there. That having been said, running at exactly 8.6 means that you get there just barely in time! A quick bump up to 9 towards the end gives you some buffer.

8.4 will get you caught. It really is 8.6. I run 8.5 the entire time until the end I take it up a little.

So, 8.4 but with the tread ramp up 8.6 to be safe.

For example, in 2G classes, the groups are in the treadmill station longer, which is not different even in the Catch Me If You Can day. It takes 20 minutes on the treadmill, during which your highest Speed should not go below 8.6 mph. The total number of miles you run is 2.8 miles.

In order to give you an idea of how far off you are if you vary your Speed, I added a column to show how far along you should be in each segment if you’re running the 8.6 mph required to continue past minute 20.

Time (min)Minimum Distance you need to reach (miles)Speed to get this far (Mph)

Just to be clear to go 1 mile in 10 minutes, you will need an overall pace of 6.2mph. If you start out at the slower pace of 4.5 mph, then you will need to go a lot faster than 6.2 mph right? You will keep this up as long as you can and, if you miss any of the checkpoint goals which are spaced two minutes apart all the way up to 20 minutes. you’ll have to get off the treadmill and go to the rower for the remainder of the block.

The first 10 minutes is one mile and, the last 10 minutes is 1.8 miles. So you see you have to go faster and faster and, to make it all this way you will need an average speed of 8.6 miles an hour for 20 minutes.

orangetheory Catch me if you can” Pacing Guide

Catch me if you can  in 3G Pacing Guide

On the other hand, in 3G classes, groups spend the same amount of time on the treadmills, rowers, and the floor. Usually, the duration is below 20 minutes for each station. During the Catch Me If You Can day, members are expected to be on the treadmill for 12 minutes and run for 1.5 miles. Usually, they will require at least a high speed of 7.7 miles per hour to manage the Distance in the set time.

In order to give you an idea of how far off you are if you vary your Speed, I added a column to show how far along you should be in each segment if you’re running the 7.7 mph required to continue past minute 12.

Time (min)Minimum Distance you need to reach (miles)Avg. Speed to get this far (Mph)

Some Tips: That I  gotten from Otf Coach

If you are a beginner, start somewhere between a base and a push speed. If you are more intermediate or advanced, it might be beneficial starting at a push and progressing from it.

Coach Mel , Orangetheory Fitness (Melbourne)

You start out with a conservation push and build from there. As you move through this block, your checkpoints are gonna, your checkpoint intervals are gonna get closer together and it’s gonna be more challenging to hit those distances. Ultimately, out goal here is to get through as many checkpoints as possible. You’re ready for this. You’ve trained for this. Challenge yourselves. Have fun.

She also said, The first couple distances are meant to be fairly achievable, so TAKE ADVANTAGE! Get wayyyy ahead of that distance so that, when that fatigue builds up, you can dial your intensity back and still have so cushion. You don’t want to get in a situation where you have to crank the speed in your last 15 seconds to meet a distance and then have to stay there for another 1-2 min; the challenges each round get exponentially tougher!

From Coach, Orangetheory Fitness Bearden.

Pacing guide for Power walker

If running speed is an 8, walking speed should be a 4… half distance = half speed.

5% incline was required for Powerwalkers. In a 2G class you need to do 4.3MPH speed to not get caught. But just do the best you can

Started at 4.2. Increased to 4.3 about mid-way, then increased to 4.3 when checkpoints became every minute.

How to Prepare for Orangetheory Catch Me If You Can

The Catch Me If You Can exercise on Orangetheory is usually on the treadmill, the strider, or the indoor bike. Either way, your lower limbs are the most active parts of your body.

Therefore, preparation will involve strengthening your lower body and practising at a higher speed, especially on the treadmill.

Besides that, you will have to eat well, with minimal fats and more protein-packed meals to ensure that you can handle the exercise without risking an injury. Also, hydrate more often during the preparation period, in the session, and after the session.

What Happens If I Lose the Catch Me If You Can Challenge at OTF?

You lose the Catch Me If You Can challenge if caught, which means not hitting the checkpoint within the set limit. However, getting caught does not mean anything negative about your OTF results. Some people find the strength to increase the Speed to recover the Distance and not get caught up again. Others do not have a problem not completing the Distance within the set time at all. After all, you are competing against yourself and not other members.

Therefore, if you don’t hit the checkpoint mark in the said duration, just continue with the run at your pace or a higher pace. It is all up to you to challenge yourself within your means.

Also, failing to come to class during the challenge is not really necessary. Even if you feel that you may not manage, it is always nice to give your body a challenge, especially when there’s no extra cost attached.


Catch Me If You Can is an Orangetheory activity that occurs every 3-4 months, where members challenge themselves on the treadmill, strider, or indoor bike. It feels good to run against yourself and even better and exhilarating to beat yourself in your race. So, do you want to try it out?

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