I Tried It: Peloton Road to the 5k

Straight from the Peloton Website:

Run a 5k you’re proud of with this six-week training program designed for first-time racers or those getting back into racing. 

So did I?


The Program
It’s a six week course, with usually five workouts per week — although some weeks have an extra workout.

  1. Week 1: Runs ranging from 10 – 30 minutes. 1 run also had core work.
  2. Week 2: Runs ranging from 10 – 30 minutes, 1 run had legs & glutes work.
  3. Week 3: Runs ranging from 30 – 45 minutes, 1 bodyweight session.
  4. Week 4: Runs ranging from 20 – 45 minutes, 1 run had hill work & 1 run had core work.
  5. Week 5: Runs ranging from 10 – 45 minutes, 1 bodyweight session.
  6. Week 6: 3 20 minute runs — because it’s race week!

Some of the runs do repeat (hello, run + core), but mostly there’s quite a variety, including fun runs, recovery runs, HIIT runs, even run/walk in the beginning.

I didn’t follow the program to the letter. Not even close. Because I’m only running 3 x week at present. I jumped in at week 2, in fact, and skipped week 6 entirely. Usually I only ran two workouts from each week, because I didn’t want to do all my runs (including a longer run on the weekend) on the treadmill. Sometimes only one run from the program.

I was “training” for a virtual 5k at the time, and I enjoyed not having to think much about my training, the variety of the workouts, and the variety of instructors — there were videos from 5 different instructors.

What I didn’t like was that it very explicitly says it’s a program for your first 5k, yet there are several intermediate runs and even one advanced. The one fun run I took wasn’t at all what I would have considered a fun run — it was intervals and it was not easy.

I realize that Peloton is trying to appeal to a wide audience, and I realize how difficult that can be. It would be great if they put out a program that is truly aimed at beginners. The instructors often give suggested paces, too, and as a slower runner — yup, that can be off-putting.

It’s not really that bad for me, I know where I should be. As a new runner though? I might have believed their suggestions, and I could very well have ended up injured. It’s hard to say what they should do, though; plenty of beginners can run those paces. Maybe a better thing to do would be to talk about how you know you’re running too fast (talk test, feeling lousy after the run, etc.).

This program got me to the “start line” feeling strong

Final Thoughts
I do think this is a nice program for the more experienced runner. I’m still not convinced that it’s really right for beginner runners. I didn’t PR, not even close, but I wasn’t trying to or training as if I was trying to. I felt as though I got to the “start line” feeling strong and ready to push through my 5k.

The real question always is: would I do this program again? The answer is yes, I may very well may revisit for the next 5k.

GWY Sleep Course 2
ICYMI: The second short video Yin Yoga practice designer to stretch you out — or help you sleep — is being released today and you’ll find it here. Don’t skip that meditation that’s linked up at the end if you’re using it for sleep, either. Interested in joining a private Facebook group to talk about Yoga, running, general fitness and healthy living? You can join here.

Have you ever used an online course to train for a 5k other than C25K?

Have you tried this Peloton program? Thoughts? 

Do you have some sort of holiday 5k on tap? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


25 thoughts on “I Tried It: Peloton Road to the 5k

  1. Thank you for this review, Judy. It’s interesting to compare the Peloton 5k to the Garmin 5k.
    They are so different!
    – Garmin allows you to pick between 3 virtual coaches, depending on your level.
    – The training is 14 weeks.
    – You have to tell them how many times a week you can run and your program adapts accordingly.
    – Some runs were over an hour.
    – It didn’t have any cross-training elements – which I think Peloton does better.

    Maybe you should try a Garmin 5K program? It would an interesting experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are interesting differences! The problem with the Garmin program (which sounds great, although I doubt I’d want to devote 14 weeks to 5k training) is that my phone just won’t keep a connection to any type of bluetooth earbuds. And I hate running tethered to my phone.

      It would definitely be an interesting experiment though! Knowing me, I probably wouldn’t follow Garmin’s plan to the letter either, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the review.

    I have mentored with C to 5k. There are many flaws with that one as well.

    I don’t typically train with any program for races.

    I do know that there are many free ones out there if I want one. Even though Peleton is trendy.

    I did try it and it was fun but as I’ve said even if you download before you run, it still uses a lot of data. Unlike with music or podcasts you do not. And I do my running outdoors.

    No more races unless in person ones happen. Even if I do another virtual it’s just a run for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, C25K isn’t perfect, and there’s one I came across & linked up to a while ago that I thought was better — but I have no idea what the name of that is now.

      I don’t expect to be doing any in person races for quite a few months yet. Doesn’t mean there won’t be any, but I prefer to wait until — hopefully — races can be more normal. Which is why I like the idea of a virtual here & there.


    1. I really do understand how difficult it can be to reach such a varied audience. I just think that for a truly beginner runner, this may not be the best program — so it shouldn’t be described that way.

      I do think they *could* come up with a more beginner-friendly one, and I bet if they did, it would get a fair amount of use.


  3. That definitely does not sound like a beginner program. That’s unfortunate because that could really be discouraging. Anyways, no official holiday 5K’s on the calendar, but I’m planning a 5K run on Christmas Day…and just registered for a new-to-me virtual 5K for January.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t tried this program, but I think having true “beginner” workouts is something that Peloton struggles with – I’ve heard about the same issue with some of their strength classes. I do a lot of the tread and bootcamp classes and when they call out their “jogging” speeds sometimes I laugh because those are my running speeds!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just think it’s not really a program aimed at beginners, although beginners also want to know what range to shoot for (they do suggest ranges, not specific paces, and they do also emphasize you do you).

      Still. Merry Christmas!


  5. I mostly do the Peloton Outdoor runs, which don’t have any queuing on specific paces. Interesting they do that for outdoor runs, but give specific targets for the treadmill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably wasn’t clear that the pace suggestions are a range, but yes, almost all treadmill runs they’re suggesting pace ranges. Many beginner runs suggest ranges that would never have worked for me as a beginner runner — and not even really now!


  6. Sounds like a good option for some people, but definitely not everyone. I guess that’s part of the challenge with a one-size-fits-all training plan- they will never be perfect for everyone! But there should be another way they assign paces rather than with times, since those will vary so much from one person to the next. Glad it worked out pretty well for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the review! I don’t do Peloton, though it seems like people are enjoying it a lot. I was first concerned about the idea of 5 workouts a week. For a beginner that seems like a lot, unless they’re mixing it with cross training. I’m glad you enjoyed it, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s frustrating for newer runners. It’s one of the reasons, I was always so nervous to start a training program: what if I couldn’t hang???

    I’m glad you found it worthwhile!

    I ran a Santa-themed 10K a few weeks ago, and will take on a New Year’s 5K on January 2. The holidays are a great time for running.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the review. Just like any program, it might be a good option for some people but not everyone. I have not tried any of their programs at all because I never fully took advantage of everything Peloton offers. 😦

    Thanks for linking up with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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