This week marks a 100 week streak for me on Peloton. I got the bike late February 2020 when news of the coronavirus was starting to make me nervous about jam-packed studio classes, and even though the company is taking a beating in the markets and the press these days, I’m as steadfast a Peloton believer as ever.
In the first lockdown, before we knew how much safer it was to be outdoors, I’d go for 10 to 15 days at a time without stepping outside the flat. I made up for it by bingeing Peloton. I found Facebook groups that organised challenges: weekly group rides, month-by-month checklists to complete, “Tours de Peloton” that string together hours of classes, “Pelofondo” long distance events. On weekends, I’d easily spend 3 to 4 hours on Peloton per day.
When things opened up more, I went for outdoor runs with Peloton. I worked my way through the marathon training program, 4 or 5 runs a week, strength for runners classes mixed in. I got bored when the long runs got up to half marathon distance, but then I switched to music and theme runs and there’s been plenty more in the catalog to keep my interest still.
At some point I discovered the Power Zone Pack and committed to doing the challenges, 6 to 8 weeks at a time, 5 to 6 classes a week. Day to day, it was nice enough to not have to think about what classes I was taking, but over the weeks, the most compelling part of the program was seeing how much stronger I got. My power output is easily 50% more now than when I first got the bike in February 2020. A popular refrain amongst the power zone training crew is: “Trust the process. It works.” For me, as someone who’s never worked with a coach or followed a structured, personalised training plan, it’s been a revelation and very motivating to see how much I can improve, if I care to. (Sometimes I don’t, all I want to do is sweat and listen to some good music, that’s fine too.)
I’m on a strength kick right now with the “#hardCORE on the Floor” calendar, from yet another community-organised Facebook group. There’s a 40 minute stack of strength classes every day, which I’ve been working through religiously. I’ve had to muster a bit more motivation to get through these classes recently, but I always feel enough pride in accomplishment that it keeps me going. I haven’t missed any days in December or January yet.
The last two years have been tough for everyone, in so many ways. Sometimes I wonder what I’ll have to show for all these years of my life claimed by the pandemic. If nothing else, I have a Peloton habit and this investment in my health and fitness.