How To Use Peloton Marathon Training (Explained)


Marathon training often includes doing running sessions and strength training with a progressive overload. This helps to get the body used to the running volume and prevent injuries. In this review, I will explain how effective is peloton marathon training and if you can train for a marathon with a bike.

As a whole, the peloton marathon training is effective because it includes different types of classes ranging from strength, running, and even recovery. It also includes gentle progression where you slowly increases your training by adding duration every 5-6 weeks.

Keep reading to learn more about how does peloton marathon training works, and what you can do if you have a bike instead of a treadmill.

Peloton Marathon Training

As a whole, the peloton does have marathon training called the “Road To Your 26.2”. It’s an 18-week program for peloton tread that includes series of running, weight lifting, and cardio workouts that help to build up strength, endurance, and aerobic fitness necessary for long-distance running.

What I love about peloton marathon training is it applies well known 10 percent rule, which not only helps to get stronger but also prevents muscle fatigue.

What is the 10 percent rule? Overall, the 10 percent rule in marathon training is the general rule for progressive overload. It works by adding 10% more mileage from the previous week to your next week. This gradual increase helps to slowly build up the training adaptations, without injury risk.

Can peloton help with marathon training? Overall, the peloton can help with marathon training because it offers several running and cycling classes that add mileage to your weekly training volume. It also offers dedicated resistance training classes called “strength for runners” that improve muscular endurance.

Does peloton have a learn-to-run program? Overall, the peloton does have a learn-to-run program called “You Can Run”. This is a series of classes that teaches you the correct techniques, gives essential tips, and helps to build a foundation for the longer runs. In the first 4 weeks, all classes are 20 minutes. In the last week, classes are 45 and 60 min long.

Is It Worth Training For a Marathon?

In general, it is worth training for a marathon because sufficient preparation not only increases the chances of getting to the finish line but also reduces the risk of injury. Running a marathon without training often leads to muscle strains and stress fractures.

Recent studies have shown that 30% of people who participate in marathon report injuries. It also shows the biggest factor for decreased risk of injury was a regular weekly training volume of around 40 miles per week (Mohseni et al. 2021).

In other words, you can make it to the finish line without any preparation, but the juice is not worth the squeeze.

What is the best marathon training class on the peloton? Overall, the best marathon training class on the peloton is tempo run and recovery run. Alternating those classes helps to build weekly mileage without overtraining. Also, adding a recovery run helps to improve muscle perfusion and restore optimal range of motion.

I always find that when I run hard for more than 4-5 days a week, my muscles get tight and I feel sore.

However, if I reduce the intensity to only 2 hard runs per week, and the rest of the classes are just recovery and fun workouts, I can stay more consistent.

Peloton Marathon Training Plan

As a whole, the peloton marathon training works by doing the same classes across the 18 weeks time with a slow progression. The progression happens once every 5-6 weeks by increasing the duration of the class by 15 minutes.

Also, the class selection remains the same week by week, but the exercises within the classes change. This helps to increase the variety of workouts and avoid a plateau.

Below you can see the peloton marathon training program for the first five weeks.

DaysClass
Day 1
Day 210 min Pre-Run Warm Up
30 min Tempo Run
Day 330 min Strength for Runners
Day 410 min Pre-Run Warm Up
30 min Marathon Race Prep
Day 530 min Strength for Runners
Day 620 min Pop Fun Run
Day 710 min Long Run Warm Up
Peloton marathon training plan week 1-5

As you can notice, after the first five weeks, the only change is happening in the duration of the Tempo Run and Marathon Race Prep.

Initially, the classes run for 30 minutes and after the first 5 weeks it ramps up to 45 minutes.

Here is how the training schedule looks like between weeks 5 and 10.

DaysClass
Day 1
Day 210 min Pre-Run Warm Up
45 min Tempo Run
Day 330 min Strength for Runners
Day 410 min Pre-Run Warm Up
45 min Marathon Race Prep
Day 530 min Strength for Runners
Day 620 min Pop Fun Run
Day 710 min Long Run Warm Up
Peloton marathon training plan week 5-10

As you can see, the peloton marathon training method doesn’t involve any changes. It’s all about doing the same thing and stay consistent over many weeks.

Is the peloton marathon training program good? In general, the peloton marathon training program is good because it includes 8 classes per week that challenge both aerobic and anaerobic capacity. It also implements gentle progressive overload, where you increase training duration only a couple of days per week.

Also, please pay attention to the class selection. Right off the gate from the first week, you can see 2 strength training classes every week.

Is peloton strength good for marathon training? Overall, the peloton strength classes are effective for marathon training because adding weight lifting and plyometrics exercises helps to improve the running economy and allows to run longer with less effort.

Below you can see the last 6 weeks of the marathon training schedule.

DaysClass
Day 1
Day 210 min Pre-Run Warm Up
60 min Tempo Run
Day 330 min Strength for Runners
Day 410 min Pre-Run Warm Up
60 min Marathon Race Prep
Day 530 min Strength for Runners
Day 620 min Pop Fun Run
Day 710 min Long Run Warm Up
Peloton marathon training plan week 10-18

As you can see, only 2 out of the 8 classes changed the duration across the whole 18 weeks. The rest of the classes remain the same for the whole program.

This shows that to implement progressive overload load and training for marathons effectively you don’t have to add intensity each week.

Peloton Marathon Training vs Run-Walk-Run Method

Overall, the difference between peloton marathon training and Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run method is that peloton doesn’t include any walking breaks in their classes. Peloton uses run/walk classes in their “You Can Run” series, but not in the marathon training.

The Run-Walk-Run method is about implementing several walking breaks every 2 miles for 45 seconds in both training and racing.

Adding walking breaks helps to reduce stress on the body, which is helpful for both beginner and advanced runners.

What I love about the run-walk-run method is it allows you to do the body-mind scan and adjust your posture every couple of miles. This not only helps with better technique but also significantly improves body awareness and reduces injury risk.

Peloton Marathon Training vs Hal Higdon

The peloton marathon training and Hal Higdon marathon training are completely different but are based on the same idea; training with slow progression. The popular Hal Higdon training is personalized and includes 14 different plans.

This means you can choose the training program based on your fitness level:

  • novice
  • novice supreme
  • intermediate
  • advanced
  • personal best
  • senior
  • multiple marathons

Plus, the Hal Higdon also offers several other running programs for 5K, 10K, half marathon, and even post-marathon training. On the other hand, the peloton marathon offers only one series of classes the same for everyone.

Peloton Treadmill For Marathon Training

Please keep in mind that peloton marathon training is made for tread classes. However, if you have a bike you still can add peloton classes to your schedule to help you improve your performance (more on that later).

Is a peloton bike or tread better for a marathon? Overall, the peloton tread is better for a marathon because it mimics the running environment and allows to train at set speed and intensity. However, the Peloton rides are non-weight-bearing workouts, which can add training volume, without adding extra pressure on the joints.

Can you run a marathon on peloton tread? Overall, you can run a marathon on the peloton tread by either choosing the just run mode or by selecting a series of running classes. Choosing the just run mode will allow you to constantly run, without having to stop, as well as enjoy the variety of scenic runs.

Peloton Bike for Marathon Training

One of the best things I did that helped me train for the marathon was getting a peloton bike. Not only did it helped me with consistency but also allowed me to explore different types of classes that made me run longer and recover faster.

Does Peloton bike help with running? Overall, the peloton bike does help with running because it allows exercising within different power zones, especially at higher intensities, without weight-bearing impact. This way you can train around the anaerobic threshold, without putting too much stress on the tendons and ligaments.

Running at tempo or lactate threshold pace is effective, but it also comes with a cost. For skilled runners, this is not a problem because their body is already used to training adaptations.

However, for beginner runners, adding more cycling at a higher pace not only helps to maintain fitness level but also reduce the impact on the joints.

Can you train for a marathon on a peloton bike? Overall, you can train for a marathon on a peloton bike because it helps to improve aerobic capacity and running performance. Plus, using a peloton bike also allows maintaining training volume during the winter season or bad weather conditions.

How To Train for Marathon with Peloton Bike

You can use a peloton bike for your marathon race prep by either doing power zone classes as an alternative to tempo runs or by doing recovery and low-impact rides to enhance lactate clearance. Some of the best peloton rides for marathon include the power zone endurance ride and Bootcamp core.

If you don’t own a peloton tread, you can also mimic the original peloton marathon schedule and replace running classes with cycling.

Here is the example.

DaysClass
Day 1
Day 210 min Warm Up Ride
30 min Intervals Ride
Day 330 min Strength for Runners
Day 410 min Warm Up Ride
30 min Pro Cyclist Ride
Day 530 min Strength for Runners
Day 620 min Walk + Run (Outdoor)
Day 720 min Power Walk
Peloton bike marathon training

As you can see above, we replaced all tread classes with outdoor run/walk and cycling. From there, you can add progression in the same way as “Road To Your 26.2” does – adding 15 minutes more duration every 4-5 weeks.

Peloton Half Marathon Training

Training for a half marathon also requires preparation, especially for beginners. The difference between a marathon and a half marathon is in the total duration of classes. Half marathon training requires less mileage and less total training time.

Is there a peloton half marathon program? Overall, the peloton doesn’t have a separate half marathon training program. However, it does offer a series of running classes that can be used to prepare for a half marathon. It also has several recovery and low-impact sessions that help enhance the healing process.

Which peloton class is good for half marathon training? As a whole, the best peloton classes for half marathon training include tempo and endurance runs. Those classes emphasize training at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate, which is just below your OBLA threshold.

What is the OBLA threshold? As a whole, the OBLA threshold stands for onset blood lactate accumulation. It’s the point during the training when the intensity is high enough that the body produces more lactate than it can eliminate.

Tempo training, just below your OBLA threshold, helps you to run as fast as you can, without overtraining.

How long should you train for a half marathon with a peloton will depend on your previous running experience. People who just getting started may need to train at least 3 to 6 months, where people who are running regularly need only 12 to 16 weeks.

Can I run a half marathon with 3 months of training? Overall, you can run a marathon with 3 to 6 months of training, depending on your fitness level. Beginners who have never run a marathon before need at least 4 to 6 months with a gradual increase of the mileage by no more than 10% per week. Advanced runners can get away with 3 to 4 months of training.

Peloton 5K Training

Overall, the peloton does have a couch to 5K training program designed for everyone who wants to run their first 5k with the best possible time. It includes series of sessions like intervals, HIIT and Hills, as well as tempo and recovery runs.

What I like about the peloton 5K training plan is it’s intense and packed because it has 5 classes per week, which compared to “you can run” is more than double.

The schedule includes everything you need not only to finish 5K but also to run at your best performance.

How long does training for a 5K take? Overall, the training for 5K with peloton takes around 6 weeks. The program includes several runs + walk classes, as well as Bootcamp core and bodyweight strength sessions to build up the strength and muscle stamina. It also implements interval and recovery runs.

The difference between 5K training and marathon training is in workouts intensity. 5K runners need more anaerobic threshold training. The marathon training needs low-intensity but high mileage endurance type of workouts.

This program has set many sessions per week for the entire 6 weeks. While the frequency of the sessions doesn’t change, the intensity goes up, thanks to more difficult and longer classes as the weeks go by.

Conclusion

As you can see, Peloton marathon training is divided into 3 programs. Every program lasts for 6 weeks and is designed to gradually increase the intensity and workout duration.

What I like about this strategy is it’s suitable even for beginners. And if you’re just getting into running, you can start from programs like “You Can Run” or “Road To 5K”.

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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