When that slightly off, possibly body shaming but not really body shaming, Peloton commercial came out around Christmas 2019 many of us stuck up our noses at the bougie-ness of it all. However, when COVID closed down our favorite gyms (which we pay for but rarely attend) in March 2020, I think all those same judge-y folks (myself included) were wishing we had at least bought some Peloton stock when it went public in December.
For myself, owning the bike itself was never really a need or interest. My husband and I almost exclusively ride outside all year round, and if I’m really desperate I’ll throw my bike on a trainer. Plus, spin class was never really my think once I started to ride “real” bikes outside. I did appreciate from early on how the Peloton bike was a game changer for giving folks, especially women, the confidence to change their fitness, and the content seemed fun. While I did not want a stationary bike I was pretty jealous of my friends who were enjoying some cool themed rides. This recent YouTube parody video from The Holderness Family really sums up the Peloton fervor accurately:
In the first few months of COVID I downloaded the Peloton app (3 free months) and really enjoyed the content. I used it for some outdoor runs, stretching, yoga, and core work. As someone who works in tech as a data scientist, I think the app and the content are incredible, diverse, fun, and highly effective. In my opinion, Peloton is a CONTENT company more than a fitness equipment company. After many months of running on a $400 Amazon treadmill and jealously watching more and more friends get their Peloton Bike delivery, I was determined to join the Peloton cult…I mean community with more than just the app membership.
While many women may buy themselves a nice pair of designer shoes when they get a new, fancy job I went out and ordered myself a fancy treadmill….the Peloton Tread+. I’ve had the Tread for over 2 months now and here’s my top 10 reasons why I LOVE it:
- New content every day. When I wake up for early morning run every day, there’s always a new selection of content to choose from to get me through whatever workout on my schedule for that day. I can choose by length of time, focus (endurance, speed, hills, etc.), music, instructor, etc. It never feels repetitive…unlike running the same 5 or 10k loop around my neighborhood everyday. In a COVID world where every day feels like Groundhog Day, fresh content to start each morning is key.
- Effective and efficient speed work. Depending on my prescribed training workout I either follow the Peloton instructor queues or just use them as motivation while I follow specific workout queues on my Garmin watch (i.e. hitting interval or fartlek sets). Either way, setting a speed on a treadmill and then committing to it is a really great way to work on cadence/turnover, form, and maintaining a steady pace. I’ve noticed my cadence and pace on outdoor runs in particular have greatly benefited from all the time on the Tread.
- Less decision paralysis. Getting up at 5am when it’s cold and dark and trying to figure out where to run is really daunting. Add in the challenge of figuring out what to wear and the likelihood of just staying in a warm bed increases. Now, I get up, throw on shorts and a singlet, and head down to the garage to run “nowhere”. #NoExcuses
- Say ‘no’ to cold, dark mornings. So much less gear and clothes required == much easier convincing myself to get out of bed.
- Safety. Continuing the theme from #3 and #4, as much as I love my neighborhood, no matter where you live I think most folks, women in particular, are not super excited about running by themselves in the dark at O’dark thirty. One thing that I think cannot be understated about Peloton is its effect on empowering women to feel safe running and cycling. That said, I’m acutely aware that the bike and tread are expensive, luxury items to which many people do not have access. Considering what we’ve seen in the last year, I think Peloton can be an even more powerful tool in the homes of more women of color. In their recent “Peloton Pledge” the company stated a goal of “increasing accessibility to our products and content in underserved communities,” although it’s unclear how they plan to achieve that, I’m interested to see what happens moving forward.
I could probably write a much longer list but I’ll continue my Peloton Tread+ sing-a-longs/sufferfests for a few more months before coming back with a part 2 of this list/review. If you have any questions about the Peloton Tread or Peloton in general, please chime in. If you end up joining the Peloton community with either the Bike or the Tread (or both!) you can enter my referral code: BZCYNU during purchase, and get $100 towards bike accessories.
Have you experienced the “5 stages of Peloton”? Chime in with your favorite Peloton classes, stories, instructors, etc.? Plus, find me and follow me: FunSize_Athlete. Happy Running/Pedaling!