4 Best Peloton Rides for PR (Everything you need to know)


One of the most effective ways to stay motivated on the peloton bike is to regularly challenge yourself and try to hit new PR. In this article, I will explain what is PR on the peloton, what are the best classes and give you tips on training methods that help to work smarter, not harder.

As a whole, the PR on the peloton stands for a personal record, and it’s a measure of your training performance, intensity, or total volume. The personal record can be in form of doing harder rides, having a higher output, or simply training more frequently.

In addition to seeing the list below, please read carefully the recommendations and tips on how to stay

Best Peloton Rides for Personal Record

In general, the best peloton rides for PR include a variety of sessions that allow you to sample different intensities and training durations. That leads to adaptations in both the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system, improves your endurance, as well as strength and power.

How can I improve my peloton PR? As a whole, to improve your peloton PR you need to progressively increase your training frequency, intensity, time, or change the type of workout that you do. Progressive overload stimulates muscles and the cardiovascular system, which results in training adaptations.

This means you can do the same amount of work with less effort. This also means you can do more work than you couldn’t do before.

Keep in mind that doing PR on peloton doesn’t always have to be hard (like doing an FTP test to improve your power output). It can be as simple as switching regular 30-minute classes into 45-minute sessions.

How often do you try PR on peloton? As a whole, you can try PR on the peloton once a week, depending on your goals. If you train for endurance, you can add each week a little extra mileage to your workouts. If your goal is body composition or health, you can add more HIIT and Hills to your sessions.

What I like about focusing on PR in peloton training is it allows to focus on the performance, rather than weight loss or weight gain.

Losing weight is a long process, which can feel out of reach in the beginning if all you think of is the transformation day.

However, aiming to get better performance week by week is more tangible, more realistic, and helps to see quick results that create motivation.

I did a survey among all my clients who use peloton at home and I’ve asked them about their current goals. Here is the list of the most common goals.

Reduce Excess Body Fat/ WeightImprove Athletic Performance
Maintain WeightPhysique Competition/Modeling
Gain Lean MassRun Faster or Longer
Improve Overall HealthReduce Medications
Get StrongerLower Cholesterol/Blood Pressure
Have More EnergySomething Else
Peloton PR goals

As you can see, there are several reasons why people choose to use a peloton bike. However, looking towards the end results may feel discouraging because it takes longer than you think.

After you see the list below, please read carefully the recommendations and tips about how to improve peloton PR.

Here is the list of the 5 best peloton rides to help you improve your PR.

#1 Power Zone Max Ride

The peloton power zone max ride is a series of classes that use power zones as an intensity measurement. This helps to get a more direct and immediate reading from the power output, which is a strong indicator for performance.

Why peloton power zone max ride is good for PR? As a whole, the peloton power zone max ride is good for improving PR because the class involves training at multiple intensity levels like tempo, VO2max, lactate threshold, and anaerobic capacity. Each of those power zones stimulates different training adaptations.

In other words, you get to train in both aerobic and anaerobic zones.

This means you get the benefits from both zones like hypertrophy of fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers or increased aerobic and anaerobic capacity (Patel et al. 2017).

What I like about peloton power zone max rides is they are only 20 to 30 minutes long. This means you can get a good workout, without spending an excessive amount of time. This also means you can do them more frequently.

#2 Power Zone Endurance Ride

The power zone endurance ride is another class from the peloton power zone series. This class is more for the people who want to train for long-distance rides and don’t look for getting out of breath. Currently, this is the most popular cycling class on the peloton.

Why power zone endurance ride if good for PR? As a whole, the peloton power zone endurance is good for improving PR because it focuses on training at power zones 2 and 3 for long periods of time. Each class is between 30 to 90 minutes long, which challenges the aerobic threshold and allows to improve PR for stamina.

This class is good if your goal is to ride for longer, but not necessarily faster. It is also good for weight loss as some of the classes last 90 minutes.

However, studies have shown that in preparation for a marathon or half-marathon high volume training and long endurance rides are correlated with faster finish lines (Fokkema et al. 2020).

I think the most difficult part about this class is the length. There is a big difference between doing 20 and 90-minute rides, even if they are at moderate intensity.

The bottom line is that you improve your PR by aiming for longer rides, instead of adding more output or trying to improve your FTP.

#3 Heart Rate Zone Threshold Ride

The heart rate zone threshold ride is part of the peloton performance classes. The difference between the heart rate zone and power zone rides is that the heart rate zone uses heart rate monitors as an intensity indicator.

Why HRZ threshold ride is good for PR? As a whole, this class is good for improving PR because it trains in the heart rate zone 4, which is considered a very hard and challenging effort. In zone 4 you have to maintain your intensity at 85-95% of the maximum heart rate for multiple minutes intervals.

Not only that.

The class lasts for 45 to 60 minutes. Which is double, compared to the similar HIIT and Tabata workouts. So you can imagine that by doing HRZ threshold rides 1-2 per week you can quickly get out of your comfort zone (which is good for improving PR).

NOTE: Training at heart rate zones is difficult because you have to maintain your effort level based on the feedback from your heart rate monitor. And apart from the slight delay, there are several factors that can influence your heart rate like heat, hydration, lack of sleep, stress, etc.

That’s why the heart rate zone class series is no longer updated in the peloton app but you still have access to the 38 sessions from the past.

#4 HIIT and Hills Ride

The HIIT and Hills ride is a collection of peloton classes available in the “interval training” tab. This class helps not only to improve your strength and power output but also allows you to engage different muscle groups because of the variety of riding positions.

Why HIIT and Hills is good for PR? As a whole, the HIIT and Hills are good for improving the PR on the peloton because most of the class is done out of the saddle with high resistance. Changing the positions engages more muscle groups, helps to build strength and power.

What I like about this class is it combines interval training together with climbing. This class is good for people who want to improve their power output or FTP score because you constantly adding the resistance.

This class also introduces multiple sprints where you reduce the resistance and increase cadence as much as possible for a short period of time. This allows to supply more oxygen and flash out the lactate from the muscles (Paton et al. 2009).

Improving Peloton PR Tips

Now let’s look at the practical methods you can do to accelerate your results, stay focused and become more resilient during any setbacks.

#1 Stay accountable

In general, accountability is important for improving PR because it helps to track progress and make informed decisions based on the gathered data. Not only it helps to identify the weakest links, but also helps to build intrinsic motivation.

The only way to know you’re heading in the right direction is by measuring. And the more indicators tell you you’re doing it right, the more motivation you get. If you’re not measuring, you’re guessing. Measure everything that you believe is right or important for you.

There are infinite things you can measure to know that you’re making progress. From body composition, heart rate, calories burned, training volume, physical health, performance, or sleep. You can even measure things like blood work, stress level, recovery, or how you’re spending your free time, etc (Keppel et al. 2010).

Things to measure for Peloton PRDescription
Body composition Body fat percentage, lean body mass, body weight, dry lean mass, BMI
Performance indicators Resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, power output
Training volumeNumber of workouts per week, duration of each class, peloton difficulty level per class
Skinfold and Girth Measured with calipers and measuring tape
Visual assessment Taking a photo from the front, side, and back, ideally in the same place, with the same lighting

As you can see, there are several ways to track your results.

But that’s not all.

You can also look at progress in a more subjective way. For example, being able to tie the shoes without any effort, walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, feeling healthier from the inside, walking “taller”, having less pain or feeling more focused.

This means you can also track things like sleep quality, mood quality, pain perception, energy levels or willingness to exercise.

NOTE: You don’t need to measure everything. And just because you can it doesn’t mean you have to. Pick up what you feel is appropriate for your goals.

#2 Improve your nutrition

As a whole, nutrition is important in improving PR because getting enough macro and micronutrients helps not only with energy levels and overall performance, but also impacts recovery. It also impacts sleep, mood, and stress levels.

Start from proteins. They are essential for the proper function of your physiological needs they will help you stay lean. They also help with satiety.

Eat carbs. Don’t worry about the low-carb thing. The more you train, especially at the higher intensity, the muscles will need glycogen.

Have some fats. Don’t skip this point. Fats are essential for your body to function properly. Foods that are rich in fats have also several fat-soluble vitamins that are hard to get from non-fatty foods.

I won’t be covering here all the details about proper nutrition for the peloton. I’ve already covered that in “peloton diet“, which I recommend you read.

#3 Set the right mindset

As a whole, having the right mindset is important for improving your peloton PR because it not only helps to stay focused on the task at hand but also builds the resilience necessary during the tough times.

Motivation is very fragile and it can evaporate if we don’t revisit our reasons why we train. A good way to stay on track is to use a simple method called Toyota’s five whys.

What is Toyota’s five whys? In general, the Toyota 5 Why is a system used to discover the reasons that underline specific problems. It allows finding the root cause of the problem or the deep reason why we’re doing what we’re doing by repeatedly asking questions of why.

Below you can see the example of five whys to the goal of running faster.

NumberQuestionAnswer
1Why do you want to run faster?I want to run faster to have a better marathon time
2Why do you want to have a better marathon time?I want to have a better marathon time to qualify for Boston Marathon
3Why do you want to qualify for Boston Marathon?I want to qualify for Boston Marathon because I want to prove myself I can do it
4Why do you want to prove to yourself you can do it?I want to prove myself I can do it because I want to fit in when I get older and I don’t want to be dependent on my kids
5Why? Because I don’t want to end up like my parents

This is just an example, but I hope that you can see the difference in the gravity of the goals that are in the first and last row.

Running faster is very vague and has no deeper meaning. On the other hand, being fit and not being dependent on the kids has more emotion, therefore, it can elicit long-term motivation to endure, even when things are tough.

In other words, knowing your why gives you the energy in the times that you gonna need it. And people who lose their “motivation” and give up is usually because they don’t have a strong enough reason why they want it.

Hope that helps.

Conclusion

Cycling at different intensities helps to trigger training adaptations and prepares the body to be stronger for the next time it happens. That’s how we improve.

I think that doing regular PR on the peloton and trying to beat your current best effort is extremely motivating, fun, and helps to move the needle faster towards your ultimate goal.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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