Peloton For Runners (Strength, rides, and tread workouts)


Regardless if you’re a competitive runner doing 10k a day, or you just getting started. To fully optimize your results you need more than just running. For the best results, you’re looking for strength training, flexibility training, and a variety of running routines.

Is peloton good for runners?

In general, the peloton is good for runners because it helps to train muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility that allows for better time, stamina, and faster recovery. The peloton app has hundreds of classes that can be used as a main workout or as a supplement to your existing routine.

But that’s not all. I will walk you through the best peloton workouts for runners and explain one of the most important (yet often neglected) components of running – strength training.

Does Peloton Have Running Programs?

In general, peloton does have running programs that range from beginner training to marathon training. In the peloton library, you can choose from thousands of running classes, as well as strength and cycling classes that help you become a better runner.

Is a peloton good for endurance? As a whole, the peloton is good for endurance because it has several endurance workouts that work on slow-twitch muscle fibers, increases aerobic capacity, and help to build up stamina. It also has pre-made running programs that help to train for endurance events.

Does peloton have a beginner running program? In general, peloton does have a beginner running program with pre-scheduled series of classes or with single sessions. The program is a combination of short and long-distance running with speed intervals and walking.

What are the best peloton classes for beginner runners? For beginner runners, the best peloton classes are the combination of running and strength training. Running classes helps to increase the level of fitness, where the strength classes build the foundation of muscle strength and allow for more efficient workouts.

Peloton Running Program

Before I show you the best peloton strength classes for runners, let’s talk about pre-made running programs. Up to now, peloton offers three comprehensive running tutorials that combine running with strength training and helps to become a better runner.

Whenever your goal is to run your first 5k or train for a marathon, the peloton strength for runners program offers series of workouts that ranges from 1 week all the way to 18 weeks, depending on your goals.

#1 Train Like Allison Felix

Train like Alisson Felix is a 1-week program to enhance your track and field performance. This class consists of 10 strength, yoga, running, and meditation classes.

This program is designed to improve both your running skills and strengthen the muscles that help you become more efficient.

#2 Road to Your 5k

Peloton does have a 5k program called the Road to Your 5k. This is a 6-week challenge where you will do a combination of different forms of running (intervals, sprints, endurance run) together with walking and strength training.

This series of classes starts with beginner to intermediate level, and it builds up the overload by adding more durations with each week.

This class is perfect for energy beginner who would love to get started with running and is looking for a comprehensive guide that covers strength and cardio components.

#3 Road to Your 26.2

Road to your 26.2 is the peloton’s most comprehensive marathon training program. It is divided into three sections, each last for 6 weeks. Within each section you will find long-distance, as well as short interval, runs that strengthen both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

You will also find a variety of strength training classes that helps to increase the load-bearing tolerance, strengthen your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.

Peloton Strength For Runners Classes

Peloton strength for runners is a whole separate “class type” with over 70 classes that all target your lower body strength. Classes vary in length and intensity, but the primary goal for all is to help you address the areas that need to be strengthened to make you a better runner.

Obviously, peloton strength for runners can only go so far because you don’t have access to heavyweights to create this beneficial mechanical tension and really load up the muscles and tendons. Nevertheless, it’s still a great program because it helps to work on other essential components like:

Lateral exercises

Lateral work help to reach those muscles that runners often forget to address. Lateral work strengthens the adductors and gluteal muscles that not only help to extend the hip but also stabilize the pelvis and give you unilateral balance.

Many runners do a lot of straight-ahead stuff, forgetting to work on the side-to-side exercises. In peloton strength for runners, you will get to train in all planes of movement.

Lower leg exercises

To really get that effect of springiness in your legs you need to spend some time working on your lower leg complex. This includes plantar fascia, Achilles, calf muscles, and the ankle joint. During the running, the gastrocnemius-soleus complex gets a lot of load and tension.

The only way to reduce the impact and minimize the injury rate is to regularly strengthen this area, increase the physiological adaptations and improve tolerance for the load-bearing.

In other words, if you won’t be spending some time doing heel raises low-level plyometrics, or some explosive movements, over time the lower leg area gonna get overloaded at some point.

Core Strength

Having good core strength is critical in running because it helps you to maintain the correct position throughout the race. To improve that you’re looking at some core endurance types of exercises that are done with low intensity but high frequency and volume.

A strong core also helps to maintain a good pelvis to lumbar relationship and prevents faulty biomechanics during the run. Changes in the position between the pelvis and lumbar spine lead to muscle compensation and inefficient movement pattern.

Best Peloton Strength Classes For Runners

Now lets’ talk about how you can utilize all other strength classes from the peloton library and elevate your running game. Obviously, to optimize your running you will need more than just a couple of medium-weight dumbells.

If you want to mimic the gym environment and somehow substitute heavy squats and deadlifts with on-demand classes, you need to step away from the full-body workouts.

Full-body workouts are great to burn calories but to really strengthen the tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones) without adding mechanical tension to the area you need to start looking at isolating the muscle groups.

What is isolation work? Isolation work means you spend more time on either one exercise or one muscle group. This allows you to create more time under tension, and implement a higher eccentric load, which is essential for most optimum muscle adaptations.

#1 Glutes and Legs Strength

Peloton has over 200 glutes and legs strength classes that all target the lower body and moves in a variety of directions. The exercises include a lot of squats, lunges, and hip hinges, but also several single-leg stuff.

This helps to fire up all the stabilizers and add more mechanical load without adding extra weight. Doing single leg work is also an extremely simple yet effective diagnostic tool to see assess any discrepancies between one leg and another.

What I like about the peloton glute and legs strength series is the workouts are all different, exercises come with multiple modifications and target muscle from all planes of motion. They also implement isometric hold exercises, that are often forgotten in gym workouts.

#2 Lower Body Strength

The lower body strength series combines strength works together with stretching and mobility components. This type of class is great for beginners and older people because the volume is low, the rest between sets are long, and gives enough time for muscle adaptations.

As a general rule, people who are just getting started with either running or strength training have different physiological adaptations to physical activity than people who have been doing it for years. The most obvious is recovery time.

During muscle contraction, the muscle fibers produce so-called byproducts (lactate, carbon dioxide). High accumulation of those compounds leads to muscle soreness and DOMS (delayed once muscle soreness).

Studies have shown that people who are new to training have a lower capacity of clearance of those byproducts (Cheung, et al. 2003).

Want to know more? Click here to read about the best peloton strength classes for beginners

Best Peloton Cardio Classes For Runners

Peloton offers a lot of cardio workouts, something similar to T25 or Insanity. Those workouts offer a lot of jumping, plyometrics, and explosive movements.

I highly recommend adding those classes for your running training for that exact reason.

What is the best peloton cardio class for runners? The best peloton cardio class for runners is HIIT Cardio. Those classes target muscle fibers in a different way than regular squats and deadlifts. The engage your hip flexors, lateral side (TFL, IT band), gluteal muscles, and calf muscles.

I wouldn’t build my running program based on those classes alone. But adding 1 class per week overtime will have a huge impact on your stability, speed, and performance.

Best Peloton Bike Classes For Runners

Just like strength training and mechanical tension on the muscles, bones and ligaments are important for the runners, working on aerobic and anaerobic capacity is another critical component of training.

Peloton has thousands of bike classes that are a great fit for runners. It’s not only the perfect alternative for running during the off-season but also a decent way to work around the lactate threshold.

Is peloton bike good for runners? In general, the Peloton bike is good for runners because it works the same aerobic systems, the same muscle groups and allows them to work on improving the fitness level, with less impact on the joints. It is also an effective alternative for off-season practice or recovery days.

Can you train for a marathon on a peloton bike? As a whole, you can train for a marathon on a peloton bike because it offers several long-distance rides that build up stamina and improve your aerobic threshold. It also reduces the number of injuries because it lowers the impact of running.

What’s better peloton or running? In general, a peloton is better than running because it can be done by everyone, regardless of their level of fitness. Running in itself is an intermediate form of exercise, and people who are just getting started may not be ready or fit to run.

Here are my best peloton bike classes for runners.

#1 Power Zone Max Ride

Power zone max ride is a series of classes that help you train at your aerobic threshold. This 45-minute class gradually builds up both resistance and cadence to get your heart rate high, just under your lactate limit.

With high intensity, muscles produce metabolic waste byproducts that lead to muscle fatigue (such as carbon dioxide or lactate).

Exercising under the lactate threshold means your body’s ability to eliminate those compounds is just under the borderline before it reaches the moment where the accumulation exceeds elimination.

This conditions the muscle and improves lactate clearance efficiency so you can exercise longer at a higher intensity. A similar effect you have from the tempo run where you go as fast as you can for 30 – 45 minutes.

  • Good for 5k and 10k runners
  • Good for people who want to run faster with better time

#2 Power Zone Endurance Ride

Power zone endurance ride is more focused on working your slow-twitch muscle fibers and reaching the submaximal intensity. In endurance-type workouts, the main goal is to exercise not as fast as you can, but as long as you can.

This helps to build up the respiratory and cardiovascular capacity to be able to do the work for a prolonged time.

The more you condition the body to sustain exercising in a long period of time, the more efficient your body becomes to utilize oxygen.

The peloton class goes for 75 to 90 minutes so you have a lot of time to progressively moving towards the anaerobic threshold.

  • Good for long-distance runners

#3 HIIT and Hills Ride

HIIT and Hills ride is all about interval training. Studies have shown that adding HIIT training to endurance running helps to improve peak oxygen uptake, capillary density, and decreases the resting heart rate during exercise (Kubukeli, et al. 2002).

In other words, it makes long-distance running a lot easier. In HIIT and Hills rides the intervals vary in speed and resistance. For speed, you keep the resistance medium and you increase your cadence as fast as possible.

For the hill climbs, you keep the cadence low, but you crank up the resistance. My favorite class is with Tunde, where she back and forth with both. Her class is 45 minutes.

  • Good for 5k and 10k runners
  • Good for people who want to run faster with better time

#4 Pro Cyclist Ride

Pro cyclist ride is a class series where you train with Christian Vande Velde, the former American professional cyclist.

His class is all about high intensity and climbing. His routine is targeted to work on the glutes and reduce the pressure from the quads as he stays out of the saddle for most of the time. This routine is perfect for anyone who runs trails and needs to work with different energy systems.

Obviously, apart from a good workout, doing a ride with Christian is like a dream come true for all people into sports. I love how he shares his knowledge, tips, and stories. This makes you go harder and push it to the limits.

  • Good for 5k and 10k runners
  • Good for trail runners

#5 HRZ Threshold Ride

Heart rate zone threshold ride is all about intervals where you reach your anaerobic threshold, followed by recovery time. The intervals range between 4-6 minutes and the rest period is up to 3 minutes.

According to studies, the world-class long-distance running performance is best conditioned by the high volume of easy runs, short intervals, and tempo runs (Casado, et al. 2019).

A heart rate zone threshold ride is perfect for runners because it helps you to combine short intervals with a tempo workout. The total class lasts for 60 minutes but there are only 4 rounds where you go hard for 4-6 minutes, followed by 3 minutes recovery.

  • Good for 5k and 10k runners
  • Good for long-distance runners

Ready for more? Click here to learn about peloton rides that burn the most calories

Best Peloton Tread Classes For Runners

Let’s talk about peloton running classes because if you want to up your running game, you can definitively choose from some of the best types of workouts.

Peloton also offers a series of tread and outdoor running session that ranges from tempo runs, high-intensity sprint intervals or long-distance.

Can you do peloton running workouts outside? In general, you can do peloton running workouts outside, as long as you use the Peloton digital app. All peloton tread workouts are led by the instructors that give you instructions, which can be modified when you’re running outdoors.

Can you do peloton tread Bootcamp outside? As a whole, you can do peloton tread Bootcamp outside, as long as you organize the weights somewhere close by. Peloton tread Bootcamp consists of 5-7 minutes of running followed by 5-7 minutes of weight training so to do the class outdoor you need to have easy access to weights.

#1 Intervals Run

Intervals run is a class series where you’re challenged from all different angles. Run intervals mean you are either adding more speed, or you add more elevation. Adding more speed helps you to reach the anaerobic threshold and really work on improving respiratory capacity.

Adding more elevation activates different muscle groups, especially the glutes and gastrocnemius-soleus complex. Some advanced classes combine the two.

If you’re choosing the running intervals, I recommend doing a 20 – 30 minute session.

#2 Tempo Run

A tempo run is all about maintaining your max output for as long as possible. This class is good for all levels because it doesn’t really require any set number of mph, but it challenges you to reach your limits.

This is bread and butter for all the 5k and 10k runners who want to get the best results because it conditions them to be able to maintain their peak speed just under the high lactate threshold.

The duration of the class will vary from 10 to 45 minutes and thanks to the leaderboard you can track your progress each time when you do it.

#3 Progression Run

A progression run is one of my favorite peloton tread classes. It all about adding more speed with each mile. This class is perfect for all runners because you can literally start whenever you feel comfortable and gradually build up from there.

Class duration ranges from 20 to 45 minutes and when you subtract the warm-up, you have 15 to 40 minutes of work. I like this class because it not only helps you to improve your speed but also helps to identify all “blind spots” or weak points that you can work on.

A progression run starts slow and you should be around your maximum threshold by the end of the workout. There is no “rest” or recovery time so it mimics the 5k or 10k competition runs.

#4 HRZ Endurance Run

Heart rate endurance run is a class designed for long-distance. There are no speed or incline intervals. It’s all about being able to complete a 45 to 60-minute run in the best possible form.

For the endurance run, you want to be able to maintain your heart rate at the level where you can have a full conversation. This way you know you’re still in the aerobic threshold.

This class is perfect for all distance runners because it mimics the actual half and full marathon. You spread the energy throughout the run and you not trying to max out your pace.

#5 Advanced HIIT Run

Advanced HIIT run class is the best option if you struggle with time, but you still need a proper interval running session. I like to do this class when I’m up early in the morning. 20 minutes intervals are more than enough to get me out of breath and break a sweat.

This class is basically doing all-out sprints for 60 seconds, followed by 60 seconds recovery (walking). It kills the time, it helps to build up anaerobic capacity and it’s challenging whenever I’m doing it.

I’ve noticed that you don’t need to spend hours on the tread to really feel the benefits. 16 minutes run (excluding warm-up) gives you 8 minutes of sprints. That is plenty for the day.

Learn more: Click here to learn more about peloton tread classes

Best Peloton Yoga Class For Runners

Yoga is another important component of training for runners. Limited range of motion together with poor flexibility often dictate inefficient movement capacity, decreased breathing efficiency and is a strong indicator for knee or hip pain.

Does the peloton have yoga for runners? In general, peloton doesn’t have dedicated yoga classes for runners. However, most yoga classes are suitable for runners because they improve mobility and range of motion. Runners who maintain high training volume can benefit from adding 1-2 yoga sessions per week.

In other words, high training volume leads to more muscle tension and stiffness. Some studies have shown that greater muscle stiffness is associated with a greater running economy (Dumke et al. 2010).

However, over a long time, muscle stiffness and tension often lead to a limited range of motion, inefficient biomechanics, and compromised movement patterns (Schoenfeld, 2020).

In other words, yoga classes for runners are great, as long as you use the right dose. Stretching in itself is associated with a parasympathetic response. It means it pulls the blood away from the muscles (helps to relax), lowers the stroke volume (decreases muscle contraction), and reduces the heart rate.

This means you should not spend much time doing stretches before the run, but after. Before the run, you want to increase your sympathetic response.

This will increase your heart rate, increase stroke volume (improves muscle contraction), and increase vessel dilation. This is what you need before the run.

What is the best peloton yoga class for runners? The best peloton yoga class for runners is yoga anywhere because it allows you to stretch during the day, regardless if you’re stuck at work, on the bus, at the airport, or in the shopping mall. Yoga anywhere gives you ideas of how you can improve your flexibility on the go.

You don’t need sports clothes, a yoga mat, or yoga blocks. Classes are divided into chair yoga, desk yoga, standing yoga, or wall yoga.

Why this class is good for runners? Yoga anywhere is good for runners because it helps you to perform acute flexibility movements throughout the day to break the pattern adaptation. Pattern adaptation is when you spend hours in one position and your body adjusts its shape to fit that position.

In other words, the brain recognizes mechanical insufficient position as a pattern and its reinforced into a habit. This means once you stand up, you will feel tight, have a hard time squat and compensate in your hips, lower back, and ankles.

Obviously, if your regular position looks like that, this means your running will look like that as well. And your jumping. And all the other sports that you do.

Yoga anywhere breaks the chain and performs low-level stretches that help to re-establish a full range of motion and remind the body to stay mobile.

I’m not gonna cover here how you can synchronize your running with yoga practice. I’ve already done that in “peloton yoga“, which I recommend you read.

Best Peloton Instructors For Runners

Choosing the best peloton instructor for runners is a personal thing. Everyone is different and you won’t know which one “clicks” or connects with you until you try them all (or most of them). But in my opinion, my favorite peloton running instructor is Robin Arzon.

I like to listen to her because she always sounds inspiring, and even when I’m just getting prepared for the class, once I listen to her talking about motivation and challenges I’m already feeling like doing some pushups.

Learn more: Check out my article “best peloton classes for beginners” to learn more about best peloton classes to get you started

Conclusion

Many people think that because they run 5 to 10 miles in a week is enough for their legs. However, strength training and endurance runs are totally different.

Peloton strength classes help both beginners and advanced runners to accelerate their results, prevent injuries and gives a good framework to transform any running practice.

Peloton is a real gold mine for any aspiring runners because not only it has all the right tools to get you started but it also can walk you through all the way to the top. Regardless if you want to train for a marathon or you just want to lose extra pounds.

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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