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206: Details on Peloton Tread Recall plus our interview with CJ Albertson
John Mills joins us to discuss the Tread recall.
We cover the earnings call.
We recap Homecoming all the announcements.
We have a Tonal winner and raised almost $15,000 for Make-A-Wish.
Dr. Jenn – How to strike the right exercise balance.
Peloton’s API was revealing member data.
The instructors celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week.
The Peloton blog spotlights the 10 products instructors have in their dressing room.
Angelo joins us to talk about how to deal with sugar cravings.
Robin has a virtual event with Nordstrom and Hyperice.
Robin also has a new series on Master Class.
Jenn Sherman is hosting a Facebook Live event for IT Cosmetics.
Emma Lovewell takes us behind the scenes on her Under Armour commercial shoot.
Christine D’Ercole celebrates her mother’s 100th ride.
Jess Sims has created Strength Stacks.
There was a new boutique drop to commemorate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
All this plus our interview with CJ Albertson!
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here
Details on Peloton Tread Recall plus our interview with CJ Albertson
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I know that Peloton has had a rough week, but I would at least like to offer them one little shining ray of gratitude for announcing their recall before we recorded this.
That was kind of them. I don’t think it’s so much had to do with us though. It was a kind coincidence that had more to do with the fact that it’s their earnings call.
I would tend to agree, but it did make our lives a smidge easier. That’s going to get a deep dive on, but before we get to all that, here’s a little tooting of our own horn. We won two awards. It’s the communicator awards. It’s from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. We received an award of excellence in not one but two categories.
Let’s go over what the categories were.
The categories were hosts. Although technically the category is just said the host. My guess is you won an award and I’m your Ed McMahon. That’s what is going on.
It listed both of our names.
We also won an award in the best individual episode. These are under the podcast category, the best individual episode in health and fitness for our Monica Ruiz episode, which is pretty cool. That was very cool. We’re excited about that. We thought we’d share that. Beyond the tread recall, what do you have in store for people?
We’re going to talk about the earnings call, which is going to be wrapped up within the tread.
There’s no way to disentangle those two at this point.
In full disclosure. We’re recording most of the podcasts now. We’re going to record the other half after the earnings call. It’s going to be a little weird. We then have to cover Homecoming because, despite the fact that this horrible craziness is occurring, there was also this amazing weekend we want to cover. We have our episode with Dr. Jenn, where she talks about how do you find the balance between too much exercise and too little exercise. We have MetPro. We’re talking all about sugar cravings, and then tons of little things that were coming up in the news for Peloton, and instructor news. I think that is all.
Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn, wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and leave a review. If you would be so kind to help the people that come along after you, know that we’re worth checking out. We have a new review. This is from Sarah 11055. She said, “This podcast always brightens my day. Tom and Crystal are awesome and always have fun and interesting info on all the new Peloton updates/drops/releases. I blame them for my most recent Tonal purchase as well. I always look forward to a new episode.” The leaderboard name is Run for Chocolates and it’s Sarah from North Virginia.
Me too. I run for chocolate.
Since you got a Tonal. You can also check out The Superset, which is our podcast all about Tonal. It’s just like this, except we talk about Tonal.
Thank you for the kind review, Sarah. That was nice.
You can also find us on Facebook, Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page, join the group, sign up for our newsletter at TheClipOut.com, where you’ll get all the pictures and links and whatnot sent directly to your inbox. You can also follow us on YouTube, YouTube.com/TheClipOut where you can watch these episodes in HD glory and see what fancy nerd shirt I have on this week. There’s all that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?
Joining us is John Mills. John, how’s it going?
I’m doing great. How’s it going?
It’s been a weird week.
Let’s jump right in and talk about everything that’s going on with the tread that we talked in the last episode about the fight with the CPSC. I guess we talk about that for a couple of weeks. Peloton did a 180 and decided to completely recall both versions of their tread.
For two different reasons. We’ve got the Tread+, which we already have talked about. That’s the one where we got the safety issue, the horrible video of the child being sucked underneath.
There have been injuries and death.
The injuries went up from a reported 39 to now it’s 70 injuries and one horrible death. On the regular tread, that is about the monitor that we talked about has been coming off. That is due to the screws, coming out of the console while running, no injuries reported. This is more like preemptive.
It’s like a manufacturing issue, a quality control.
I think the way that it’s connected, I don’t even want to say it’s quality. It’s more like not taking into consideration how much slamming somebody is going to do on that tread. At any rate, they’re going to preemptively fix that. No one’s been injured. That is their attempt to get along well with the CPSC, given how things went down the first time. That’s where we are, then from a numbers perspective, we know that there’s 125,000 of the Tread+. We know that there’s approximately 5,000, maybe 5,400 of the treads out there.
The Washington Post reported that there are a little over 5,000 treads out there. Only 1,000 of them are in America and the rest seem to be primarily in Canada and the UK.It is impossible to casually run on Peloton at a 15% incline for 45 minutes. Click To Tweet
Because they rolled out in the UK and Canada before they rolled out here. They’re only in select markets in the US. To give everybody the rundown and John jump in, both treads are completely taken off the market. They’re holding them until repairs are done. The software is going to be rolled out. There’s going to be a change where an access code is put into your tread. It completely shuts off after 45 seconds of non-use. It is locked and there will be an access code that you’re not supposed to give anybody the code to.
Don’t write it on a Post-it note and put it on your computer screen.
No, you should not do that. I think that access code is going to eventually be on the Tread and the Tread+. I don’t actually know that. I know it’s directed for the Tread+ right now. There’s going to be a hardware change to the Tread+ as well. They’re expecting to do some kind of add on to the back. They haven’t designed it yet, but I’m envisioning it’s going to look like the stuff we’ve already talked about, which is those pieces that fit on there. They’re going to try to avoid any pinch points. Let’s see. Am I missing anything from covering how things have gone?
We should probably talk about how the recall works if you want to get rid of your tread.
You’ve got three options. One, you can get a full refund and you have up until November of 2022.
We should point out also that that refund does not include tax delivery or your warranty.
That is correct, your extended warranty. You also can choose to have Peloton come to your home free of charge and they will move it into a room that is more secure. You can do that. You also can choose to do nothing and wait for this hardware repair to occur, and then they will put it on. In the meantime, they’re saying, don’t use it. They’re saying that you also get a 90-day free waiver. They’re giving everybody three free months, proactively.
You don’t have to do anything. If you have a Tread+. It’s going to happen. Crystal immediately rolled it into leggings. She’s like, “That’s $120.”
It’s a pair of leggings, guys.
I saw the email during the call that laid out some of the stuff we’re talking about, but I wasn’t sure if some of those items had been delivered prior. I knew about the three months, but I’m not sure how I knew that. Was it just word of mouth?.
It came out in dribs and drabs. I think that you were getting that information via screenshots from people talking to customer service reps. Some customer service reps were putting that out in the world. I had the same problem. I’m like, “I know I saw this but I don’t know where.”
I don’t know where, and then I got the email now.
An email list of that size too, they could have started sending that out in the morning.
I think they waited until the earnings call. I think that they started sending it out during the earnings call.
Even then, it’s going to take a while. I have an email list with 100,000 people on it and it can take 15, 20 minutes to go through that. I’m sure theirs are larger.
Apparently, it’s millions because they said that they’re up to 5.4 million users. It’s substantial. It’s going to take a little bit. People are freaking out. There was a lot of negativity. There’s a lot of stuff. It did not help matters that for whatever reason, Peloton removed the names of all of the tread instructors. That caused freaking panic like legit panic.
I think there’s some sort of way on their website to when they post things in the background, they tag it, “This is tread related. This is bike related. This is yoga-related.” They were like, “Pull all the tread stuff.” They were like, “Delete tread,” and it deleted all the instructors who were tread-only because you could still see Matt Wilpers whose bike and tread and other people who do both.
In totality, that small error or however that occurred, or the dribs and drabs of the information with regards to the three months, and the messaging of how CPSC, I probably worded with them to say, “You should not use your treadmill,” to go along with that but then classes are still going. I think all of it was confusing. It needed some type of clear synopsis or something that just told the community exactly what it is.
They’re in a weird spot that on the one hand, it’s bad optics to say, “Don’t use your tread, but we still have tread classes.” On the flip side of that flip side, there are lots of people who are using that content on a non-Peloton tread.
If there’s no content being produced, then I’m going to send it back. Otherwise, it’s just a ginormous paperweight. I don’t know that they could come out with a response faster than that. I don’t know how everything went down, but we know that there are all these lawsuits against them. There might be hands tied about what they can say and when they can say it. The CPSC might have been like, “Because you all did this last time, we want to okay everything before you send it out.” Who knows what was out there and then they knew the earnings call was today. I don’t think that helped, but regardless, was it the best call to have all that happen without any clear direction? No, that was not the best.
I was pretty critical of that. I heard a lot of folks that were concerned about the content and the instructors. My concern is more financial. I was concerned about what is this going to mean for the companies, how they’re perceived in the marketplace? What is all this confusion going to say?
I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it takes a little bit of the confidence away when it came across as chaos. I don’t know if they’re true, but I heard stories that employees found out via the CNBC article. That’s not cool. I feel like somebody missed the boat on timing.
They need some crisis management, which is weird because they have an artist collaboration with Shonda Rhimes. Just have her call Olivia Pope for you and everything will be okay. They shouldn’t need me to tell you to call fictional characters to help you.
It’s interesting because after the information on the earnings call, along with how John Foley and his talent is in order and how he’s a leader and how he delivers the message, along with the email, everything’s all clear now.
We just needed to wait 24 hours. It’s like after a horrible tragedy occurs in the news and everybody rushes to one opinion or the other. I feel like that’s what happened. I feel like I was the person going, “Can we just wait a second? Everybody, wait for a second, just a God damn minute.”
I’m curious, now that we’ve laid out all that, here’s what you can do to get rid of the death machine in your basement. I’m using hyperbole. It’s got teeth now. Is anybody going to do it? Do you think very many people are going to do it?
Those people who were already not happy for whatever reason are going back.
These are their get out of the jail free card.
For someone who purchased it and then they weren’t really using it, a solution just fell out of the sky.
Who else benefits from this? Somebody who had it delivered and was like, “I don’t really know that I like it in that way.” I don’t think very many people are going to take advantage of it. Most people that have it like it. Most people know that that there’s an inherent risk with any product of this nature. There will be some who are like, “You brought this to my attention and they’ll send it back or we were talking about people that are like, “I didn’t use it as a thought I was going to,” but in the grand scheme of things, the damage to Peloton here is more reputational than financial long-term because there’s just not that many treads out there compared to bikes.
The 125,000 is nothing. How many bikes are out there, John? Do you know?
I don’t know. I just know the totals of connected fitness subscribers, but I don’t know the breakout.
It’s a shit ton. It’s a whole bunch compared to 125,000. It is a small number, then it’s only going to be a small number of those that return.
A lot of those people that have treads also have bikes. They might be returning the product, but they’re not necessarily losing a customer. They might turn around and repurchase a tread when they push out a new one with modifications. That could very well occur too. I don’t know that the damage financially is all that awful.
I want to clarify because I started to talk about this, and then I went another way and I am going to get an email about it. I just want to clarify all the instructors are back on the website now and they’re fine. They didn’t go anywhere because somebody is going to be like, “They’re all on the website now.” I know they’re back up. That’s my point. It was a mistake.
Your point, Tom, that has always been my concern and it still is, reputational. My statements are all about that. It wasn’t ever about the instructors or whether they’re going to be there or not, or whether they’re going to do another content or not. It’s just the confusion and the issues, and what that’s going to do from a reputational perspective to Peloton. That’s still a concern at the back of my head. How’s that going to play out?
A lot of it is going to come down to what they do over the next few months and how they respond. I have to say, it’s not off to a good start.
It was rough, but the steps they have taken.
The three weeks are rough when they tried to stand up to the CPSC, and then they had to walk that back. They didn’t have their ducks in a row ready for an announcement when they did walk it back. I just think it’s not something they were prepared to handle the big picture.
That’s true. John, I know you and I have talked, and maybe you and Tom have too. I know we all have our own little conversations going. Part of it is the perception that they didn’t foresee what was going to happen when they took this crabby stance with the CPSC. That leads to what you’re talking about. That’s part of what you’re concerned about with this reputation thing. At the end of the day, companies have this issue all the time. Assuming everything is above board going forward, I think it’s going to be fine. It’s a blip.
Here’s what a lot of people are unaware of, companies have recalls all the time. There’s not a major corporation you deal with that doesn’t have a recall in process. There’s also not a major corporation you deal with that hasn’t inadvertently caused someone’s death. That’s a dark thing to say, but when you’re putting out millions of products and some of these companies have been around for 100 years, it’s just going to happen. There’s going to be a TV that fell off a dresser and hit a kid, or there’s going to be a stove door that fell down and somebody got burned or there’s going to be somebody who got locked in a fridge. We all remember the Punky Brewster episode.
My thing was, it was not only the response. It’s the combination of there was the issue, the response, the acknowledgement of another issue with a different product, then the chaos relative to the second. It’s a series of things. In general, you could align all this type of stuff to any company. A lot of us had come to a place where I know I had for a while that you kind of saw Peloton in this place and then how they speak about themselves of being ahead of the curve, and being so forward with their technology thinking and creative. They had been so successful with this plight for so long. Even though these series of things, maybe they’re common across other industries or other companies, but this series of things here, that looked like a new thing to me. That gave me concern.
Just because you’re good in one area doesn’t mean you’re good in another area. You see this a lot. This is where crisis management teams come in handy. They can hold your hand and create a plan for you.
There’s stuff that’s happening in the background that we can’t possibly know. It leads to it. I agree with what you’re saying, John. It’s all those things strung together. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m like brushing that aside because the chaos had happened was chaos. That was the tipping point for a lot of people. That’s why we got the response that we got. There were original responses to the CPSC. When you go back and you reread the original letter that came out, it has this feel to it like they want us to give these names and we’re taking a stance that we’re not and because of that, they’re going to recall it.
If something like that is what’s happening, that’s not doing the right thing for the right reason. That’s throwing your weight around. I can understand from a personal standpoint, wanting to stand up to that. I can see myself being like, “I’m not allowing this to happen, full stop,” and then realizing there are all these things that you couldn’t see around the corner because how many of us deal with Congressmen every day? You want to do the right thing. If they’re trying to do the right thing, then It’s difficult to anticipate what other fallout and what other levers these people can pull.
I can appreciate their original response. It sounds something like I would do. It’s your baby, your thing and somebody’s trying to take it away. I’d be like, “What?”
John’s like, “That’s why I don’t run a billionaire-dollar company.”
“I can’t hear nothing you said, but you need to leave immediately,” I would be like that. You can appreciate that. I also appreciate the second response. The humility in it and the direct acknowledgement in it. To me, that I could truly appreciate it. I thought that was the right way to play this. I give them kudos for that. That to me was the right thing to do.
It takes a big person to be able to stand there and say that and say it without a trace of, “I want to punch somebody.” That’s hard. That’s a lot of crows to eat. To both of your points, crisis management would have been able to point these things out from the beginning.
I do think that it’s like what I was saying earlier about people are good in one area. It’s a thing in Psychology and Behavioral Economics, the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is if you have a low ability to task, you tend to over-estimate your ability at being able to do it, especially if you’re good in one area. Peloton is full of people who are really good at what they do. Now they were given this other task unexpectedly and you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s always a difficult thing to wrap your head around.
Having said all that, they talked in the earnings call that they’re doing this 90 days for free for people. They’re accepting these returns. They have budgeted $50 million for returns, which if you’re counting is approximately 10% of what’s out there. That’s what’s probably going to be the end of it in my opinion. What other highlights did you catch from the earnings call? To me, it was a lot about the tread.
Going in to, I read their shareholder letter prior to the call. That came out an hour before. It was very interesting that in the shareholder letter, they talked literally nothing about the tread. There were maybe three references to even the word tread in the entire shareholder letter. They didn’t talk about the issue with the tread, no issue conversation. They gave no forward-looking guidance in the shareholder letter. When I read that, I thought, how is this going to go? Because anybody looking at that is going to think they’re kind of avoiding something. Immediately I looked aftermarket and the stock was dipping. It closed at 83, and by the time I’m looking at the shareholder letter, it was down to 78.
It was moving, but when the actual call started, it was all good stuff. The numbers were great. There was the beat in revenue. The revenue was $1.2 billion for the quarter. There was the beat with connected fitness subscribers. They were up to two million subscribers. That was more than what they expected was. They took a loss but that was expected, a loss of somewhere around $8 million for the quarter. The expectation was somewhere around $30 million in losses. They beat that. The members were up from 4.4 to 5.4 million. They gained a million members in the quarter. To me, it was all great stuff. It was all good. While I’m listening to it, I’m like, “Okay,” and then they gave a guidance.
Even though it wasn’t in the shareholder letter, they gave the guidance. Not only did they give the guidance as they’re explaining their guidance, which is lower than this quarter. We’re going into their 2021 Q4 and the following year’s Q1 is normally the slow season. It’s during the summer. Revenue is going to go down during the coming quarter. I think their guidance was somewhere around $900 million for Q4 and last Q4 in 2020, it was $600 million. There’s still an improvement even with the lowered guidance. They gave estimates on what it was going to cost them from a connected fitness hardware perspective to do all of the recalls. It was somewhere $160 million or something. Somewhere around there. You build that into the equation and you’re like, “That’s not that bad.” It was like $10 million for a subscription loss. You’re like, “That’s not that bad either.” They started talking about the fix for the tread and they’re expecting that it will be ready by July. They were planning to go live on May 27th. I don’t know. I don’t know, they’re laying for two months.
It’s not that bad.
As I’m listening to it, “That’s pretty good.” John Foley speaks. He’s just feeling comfortable. That’s how he was playing out as I was listening to it. They didn’t give us a lot of information with regards to when we were going to get the correction for the Tread+. What I found interesting about that conversation was John Foley talked about how no matter what they come up with for the correction for the Tread or Tread+, they got a 6 to 8 week period for the CPSC to approve whatever it is they do. It may even be a little bit longer. It feels like they bake that into the tread being corrected by July. They’re not quite clear what the Tread+ because they’re still developing this hardware solution. They don’t quite know, but even though I’m going, “There’s got to be a hardware solution.” We got an idea of the timing. Maybe it takes two months for them to build something, get it into manufacturing, and then you add another month or two on top of that. Four months from now, maybe five months. Everything just started to feel like maybe a year from now, we’re back to the same thing
It makes you wonder when you see it through that prism, what were you fighting about in the first place? Companies have these issues all the time. I had a Battlestar Galactica toy that got recalled when I was a kid because it shot a little rocket and some kid choked on it. Your mom sends it back and you’re like, “That’s a collector’s item now.” Nobody was like, “I’m never buying a Mattel toy again or Kenner,” whoever made it.
The people that are being the loudest. I feel like those are the people that already had issues. They’re already mad. I’m not saying they don’t have reasons to be mad. It’s legitimate to feel how you feel. If you haven’t had the best experience, I don’t blame you for being upset. The panic button for the average person was like a four and the panic button for those people was a ten.
I don’t feel like it was panic as much as it was a joy.
I’m being nice. Yes, Tom. That is what it is.
It’s like if my ex-wife got struck by a lightning, I’d be like, “That makes sense.” I’m surprised it’s a little sooner.
While my mind was kind of processing this, I’m watching the market. As I said, it starts at 83, then aftermarket, it starts to dip to 78 as John Foley’s given the statement about, “This is what happened. We made the wrong move. Now we got a better statement.” He’s saying his own thing and it drops 78, and then as I listened to it, I’m watching it and it started going back up. By the time I got off the phone, it was 87, 88. The market was reacting in the same way that I was perceiving.
Your mental feelings, everybody else was experiencing.
My mental process was like riding the wave of the market. It was crazy. In the middle of the call, I get the email with all this clarity. I’m going through this wave of going back up and I get an email that goes, “You know what, John? Here’s everything laid out for you. This is exactly what’s going to happen. Have a nice day. Thanks, John Foley.” He was in my email and all my computer, and I feel better. You texted me and said, “We got to record.” I was like, “This is a great day.” I went up there to get my grandpa shirt. I didn’t even iron it. I just felt so good. I think it went good. The earnings call was extremely helpful. During the call, one of the analysts asked the question about what we were talking about their perception in the market. He was very direct about it. I thought, “This has gone so well. What would you ask that for?”
He’s an investor. He wants to make sure he’s going to get a good answer.
He was one of those people in the opp at a ten.
That goes three-way. He just came out with, how are you going to get back the confidence of the community? John Foley did all his leadership order person thing. He casually and confidently answered that question, “It’s going to be challenging.” The humility, that was all good.
At the end of the day, people still want the instructors. Ultimately, the brand is the quality of the instructors.
I think what John Foley is saying is we need to earn the trust back. To John’s point, that was the humility there.
That’s true but I don’t think that there’s going to be this mass exodus because people still want to take an Ally Love ride or a Jenn Sherman ride or an Alex Toussaint ride. They don’t want to give those up. In the grand scheme of things, most people are unaffected. Most people are on their bike looking over at this tread story going, “How about that?”
I never expected a big effect of people returning all these things, but even if there was going to be something grander than I thought, anybody who listened to that, that would’ve limited that a little. It feels like based on the numbers and the guidance and the information now that you have, we recognize that they’ve got a challenge with regards to regaining confidence in some scenarios, and maybe fixing how they react to a crisis as we were talking about earlier. It feels now more like a bump that six months to a year from now, we’re just fixing this.
We’re not going to be talking about it. It’ll be a tiny footnote in the Peloton history book.
What I found really interesting is the 20% conversion from digital to connected to fitness.
What I found interesting was, what did they say, 171 workouts per person? It was like, it was cool.
It was like 26 a month. The average user is using it almost every day.
It’s up from eighteen last year. It’s gone up that much in a year. No other workout platform on the planet has had those kinds of numbers ever.
Put that into perspective. I must not be the average user because I’m not using it, but I am using it a good 4, 5, 6 days a week.
You’re probably close to that number then.
You’re probably right, but put it in that perspective, it’s not only for me, 20, 25 usages a month, but that’s after five years in. We’re talking about year one and this is five years in.
Those numbers are probably also inflated. It sounds not true or they’re gilding the Lily, but with yoga and meditation.
Now they have twenty-minute rides, so people stack rides and they stack strength. The purists out there can’t stand it.
They’re counting days.
They‘re counting workouts. You could do three workouts in a day.
You can do a cool-down, a ride and a meditation and that’s three.
John, thank you so much for joining us to drill down on all this because there’s a lot. Until next time, where can people find you?
They can find me on Facebook and my Run, Lift & Live group. They can find me on Instagram @RunLiftAndLive or RunLiftAndLive.com.
Nice seeing you, guys.
Another homecoming has come to a close.
It was bitter bittersweet. It was not the same. I miss being in person. That’s not Peloton’s fault. They did a great job making it a virtual event and making it fun.
I’m sure there were lots of feedback that were less than positive. They had to throw that together at the last minute. There are a lot of moving parts and things like this for being virtual. It’s still not as fun as being there in person, but realistically not everybody can be there in person anyway. This was a giant leap forward.
I agree. It’s never going to be the same for me because I love those events so much. I love getting to see the people. It energizes me. It makes me come back and have renewed vigor for the show. That’s been two years without it. I miss it. Regardless, I thought they did a great job. Everybody knows all the new features now, but just in case I’ll do a quick overview. All the features that drop with John Foley’s big address, they had scenic rides and runs. They completely changed them up. They took all of the ones that were on the tread and the bike, and they chucked them. They started over from scratch and now they have it broken down into guided distance and time-based. The big thing is that these are no longer available on the app. Their rationale is, “We are now using the metrics from the machine and we weren’t before. Therefore, you can’t get it on the app anymore.” There are people who don’t think that that’s true. They think there are ways they could have walked around it. They could have offered both, but they don’t want to offer both. They want this to be a better feature.
There are also a lot of people that say, “If so much is available on the app, why am I paying more for my subscription when I also bought a major piece of equipment, and the people that didn’t, get it for $15?”
On the other hand, you have people that say, “I have the bike. I am paying the higher price and I don’t have a tread, now I can’t get it there either.” You didn’t buy the piece of equipment that goes with it. It’s just a better, best kind of thing. It is what it is, whether people agree with it or not. As far as the actual scenic rides, the scenic rides and runs are cool. The ones that are guided by the instructor are very short because this is their very first offering, but it’s great to have the instructor talking to you the entire time. They’re telling you where to go. They’re like telling you how fast to go. It’s like class, but you see them outside running and it feels like they’re running with you. The ones that change the speed as you go faster or slower will get better with time, but I didn’t feel like I noticed a huge difference. Maybe I just don’t go fast enough to notice a huge difference. That did not impress me as much, but it’s a cool feature. That it’s necessary for them to have. As far as the time-based, the downside of that is it seems to loop like it’s a short window of scenery.
It’s like the background in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
Not having the money app though, people are mad. Also, there are a lot of classes that were only available outdoors. Let me just go with this next feature which is called Programs 2.0. They had all these programs that were like, Toad to the 5k, Powerzone, Getting Started or that kind of thing. They added new ones and they refreshed everything that existed. The good thing is now they’re not just like, “Here’s a collection of classes, just take them whenever.” That’s what it was before. Now it’s like, “We recommend you take them on these days. We recommend you take this many classes a week,” and they don’t let you progress until you finish those classes in a given week. The downside is they had all these outdoor classes that you could take, especially for running, there weren’t that many outdoor classes that were long, to begin with. Now they’re locked up within the marathon program. You can’t get them unless you’re in the program and you can only access them one at a time. You don’t get to go to the next one until you’ve completed the first one. You can look ahead to see what the classes are. You can get an idea, but that’s the downside. It makes for a more cohesive experience. That’s prescriptive rather than just do whatever you want. I don’t know, you can’t have both, at least at the moment.
You then have strive score, which was announced and that’s a personal score to track your fitness. For the people who may not have watched all of the things, I want to reiterate here, you are not supposed to use that score to go higher and higher. The idea is that you take it class to class and in theory, if your heart is getting healthier, you should be able to do a higher output and keep your strive score exactly the same or lowering. Your heart should work less while you’re going harder. More output equals less strive score is what you want. There are people who do not understand that, and they are not going to use it correctly. I’m just putting that out there. You can hear all the details from actual doctors and staff, telling you that if you go to the health and wellness council panel and you listen to it, which is up until the end of the day, Saturday.
That would be Saturday, May 8th. For those people who will read this later, they know what that is.
Thank you for clarifying. The other thing that they did is one the panels was all of these different champions that they had, Usain bolt was one of them. The cool thing about that is that Usain Bolt was then on the Ride to Greatness. He was on the leaderboard. A new little detail with that, he was on there as a special guest. It didn’t show you his actual leaderboard name. It said special guest, then it said Usain Bolt, people could follow along and you could filter just on him to see how you compare with Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world when he runs, not necessarily on the bike. That’s pretty cool that they did that. Also, they announced that they were going to be putting out the pause button later in 2021. I’m not even going to go there. Many are happy, many are not. I don’t care.
The leaderboard, I don’t understand. Is there a side betting pool on the leaderboard that I’m not familiar with? Why is anybody that invested in it?
To me, it’s not about the leaderboard. It’s just about like give yourself 30 minutes. If I have to hop off the bike and grab something, I hopped off the bike and grab something. I don’t need to pause my ride.
At the same time, then don’t hit the pause button. What do you care?
People don’t want one. They want our rides to be the same. It’s not a 30-minute ride if you pause it for 15 minutes, but we don’t even know what the parameters are going to be. Are they going to let you pause it for a certain amount of time? Is it going to be forever? These are things we don’t know. Plus Tom, people don’t deal well with change. Have you not noticed that? Do you remember the complaints we got when we changed our sweepers? You try to do something nice for people. Seriously, you can’t please everybody. I’m teasing you guys who complained. I’m not trying to pick on you.
There were lots of other panels. I’m not going to go into all of them. I do want to mention that the Homecoming member meets were the breakout surprise hit this 2021. People were scared of them. They weren’t sure what to think, especially for those of us who were a little shy, but people had a ton of fun and it was only two minutes you could extend, but you didn’t have to. I have to give a special shout out to Adam who everyone he met on the member meets, he had them do ten burpees with him. In our Clubhouse, he claims and he was very confident that he had over a 90% success rate.
He kept track. He had an exact tally of like he did 45 of them. He had real numbers, not make up numbers. He had clearly kept a tally or he’s a good liar.
At the end of the day on Sunday, he had over 1,000 burpees from the weekend. My hat’s off to him. I thought that was cool and a creative way. Although I’m glad I didn’t come up against Adam because I would have declined. I would have been one of his negatives.
It was cool that in the member meets there were surprise appearances from instructors and people got matched with instructors.
That’s a good point. I know that several people were blown away whenever they had the instructor show up. I don’t know if all the instructors did it or just some. I heard that Ally Love, Denis Morton, Kristin McGee did it. I know there were several, but I don’t know if it was everybody. Some of the other panels, Usher and Ally Love, talked through how fitness, dance and music all come together. Also at the end of it, they announced that there is going to be a cardio dance class with Usher. That was the big takeaway from that. We talked about the health and wellness council, the mom panel. The big takeaway in that one was talking about mom guilt. It’s nice to know that even our instructors suffer from mom guilt. We’re not alone.
Kristin McGee and Jewel, the artists, were my favorite panel. They were my favorite panel because I’m from the ‘90s were my high school time. Jewel is a special time for me. The thing is even if you don’t know who Jewel is, hearing her talk candidly about her childhood trauma and how she went through that, she took all those experiences and she used meditation and yoga to be in a better place. She did it intuitively. It’s not like someone said, “You need to practice meditation. Do these things.” She just started and in fact, her writing was a form of meditation for her. That is how the very first song she ever wrote told the whole story about her.
The song Hands, she wrote that. I guess it was a song she wrote at that time. It wasn’t the first song, but she talked about how she was going through this kick and she was watching her hands and what they were doing because it was showing her how she felt. She was reading her feelings through her hands. She was just being aware, but she didn’t know that’s what she was doing. She didn’t have that language. It was a fascinating conversation, then she sings songs at the end. It was like you got your own private Jewel concert. That was amazing. That was cool. That was my favorite one. If you didn’t get to watch those, you have until the end of the day on Saturday, May 8th to do that. Homecoming boxes, you guys probably already know. If you got one, you’re excited about it. If you didn’t, you were salty and I get it.
The things that were in the box, with all due respect to Peloton, they were cute, fun, little trinkets. It was fun to get a surprise in the mail. I’m certainly not talking it down, but it’s not like some people won the lottery and other people have to go pay tribute for District 12.
The thing is that I’ve had people argue this with me. They don’t think that I’m right. I’m pretty sure that it was for people who got special emails that said things like, “You were one of our top high-five givers,” or “You were one of the people that got the most badges or completed the mos programs” or whatever. People who got those seem to have gotten the boxes. I’m not saying that was the only people that got it, but there are others that claimed it was everybody. I assure you, it was not everybody.
Anecdotally, there seems to be a correlation.
That was Homecoming in a nutshell. If you didn’t experience it, I hope you will in 2022. I hope that you enjoyed the classes at the very least. They were a lot of fun. I took a ton of them and that’s all.
Joining us is Dr. Jenn Mann, licensed marriage, family and child therapist, and sports psychology consultant. She was a five-year national team member in rhythmic gymnastics and sports psychology for USA gymnastics. Dr. Jenn, hello.
We have another question for you from The Clip Out community. I hope you’re ready. This one is from Elise Wilson. First of all, she loves you. She says, “I love Dr. Jenn.”
Thank you, Elise.
“I’m trying to figure out what’s too much and what’s too little regarding workouts.” Sometimes she feels like she’s overdoing it. How can she tell the difference?
It’s a great question. First of all, if you’re questioning if you’re overdoing it, you’re probably overdoing it. That’s a sign that your instinct is kicking in and it’s important to check in with yourself. What I recommend is to find someone who you trust, who is a trainer, someone who has a background, education and experience in this, and work with them. It should ideally be someone who was familiar with Peloton or whatever it is that you were doing to come up with a weekly plan. That way, you’ve got some guard rails so that you don’t overdo it. Sometimes, and anyone in the Peloton community has done this, we go down the rabbit hole of like you take this class and then, “Here are some suggested class.” “Yeah, that looks good. That has my favorite tune,” then you do that one. Before you know it, you’re late to work or the day has gone by, your weekend has flown by and you’ve spent hours in the gym.
Some of that is the magic of Peloton. The classes are so fun and engaging, the music is so great that it’s hard to stop. At the same time, part of good self-care is having those boundaries. I recommend meeting with someone on the phone or via zoom or whatever you want to do, going through answering some questions about your fitness level, your injuries, what you like doing and what you don’t like. You then can come up with a weekly regimen, and also talk to that person about how often should you be taking breaks. How often should you take a day off, a week off or do an active rest day? What do you need to incorporate into your workouts to help you to recover better? Whether it is doing hot Epsom salt baths or whatever it is, but what else can you do to help your recovery if you’re finding that you’re not recovering well.
That’s great advice.The key in starting to run is the strong desire for consistency. Click To Tweet
A lot of people struggle with rest days. I know you had in the past. It gets lazy or it’s not a real thing. It’s just an excuse for the week.
Also. I’m just going to bring up a ladies-only issue. Do you ever struggle with your cycle? I have times of the month that I’m super energetic, and then I have other times where if I do anything, it’s like, “I can not be bothered today.” I try to squeeze in as much as I can when I’m feeling good because I know there’s going to be at least a week where I’m feeling like shit.
If you know that that’s how your cycle goes, you want to talk to your doctor and find out if there’s anything that you can do to help that. If it’s mood-related, there a lot of people who will work with their doctor and take like 10 or 20 milligrams of Prozac. They can help PMS symptoms or who will take some Advil if they get bad cramps, or go on birth control pills to manage cramps and side effects. It’s important when you know that your cycle impacts your workout to talk to your doctor and see if there’s anything you can do. In terms of the psychology of it and dealing with it, if there’s a clear pattern, then you may want to even look at your workout in terms of a four-week cycle. Instead of just doing the same thing every week, do different things at different weeks in your cycle.
I hope we got enough of Elise’s question answered. Until next time, where can people find you?
You can find me on social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the works @DrJennMann, and my weekly InStyle magazine column, Hump Day with Dr. Jenn. I’m all over. I show up everywhere. You just never know.
TechCrunch wrote about Peloton’s leaky API and some privacy issues that Peloton was having. At least they found a way to keep this story out of the news.
We got bigger news. Do you know what an API is?
It’s like coding magic that makes things talk to each other.
I didn’t want to assume that everybody doesn’t know or does know that, but that’s exactly what it is. It’s how all of our products talk to each other.
It’s how the Apple watch still knows how to talk to the Peloton, or the Peloton knows how to connect to your Bluetooth headphones that were not made by Peloton. It’s like, “Here’s a little code, a little back door,” and it works.
Do you know how on our profiles, you can say, “I want a private profile so not just anybody can follow me?” It turns out on this API, people could totally go in and get all the information that’s on your profile even if you had it marked private.
It’s not that they shouldn’t fix it or trivialize it, but is there anything all that private in your profile?
It’s a fair question. There isn’t. It’s your age, weight, maybe your hometown, and your workouts. The concern is that there are a lot of bad people out there. In theory, they could take that and match it up with your social media information, figure out who you are, and then steal your identity. That’s the big concern about it. It’s not that they see these things and they’re going to do anything with that specifically to you, but it’s that they could specifically take it and use it to do something on social media, especially when we have a lot of very high profile people out there. It’s a little concerning.
There are a lot of celebrities on there that I’m sure don’t want the whole world to know, but for the average rank and file person, are you freaking out that somebody knows you’re 48 and you weigh 160?
I wouldn’t be freaked out about that, but there are people who would. On the other hand, we’ve been doing this for a long time. There are people who have information about me out there that I’m not exactly cool with. For example, there are people who know my address. They’ve given out that address to other people without my permission. Let’s say you had somebody out there who doesn’t like me, who wants to take some kind of action. This is giving them a way to do it. Do I think I’m at high risk for that? No. Am I super concerned about it? No, but some people are. The bigger issue is what else is out there on these APIs that’s not protected the way it should be. I guess there’s some kind of review board that security people would go in and check out this stuff, and then they report it back to Peloton. There’s a 90-day window that they have that they don’t put anywhere. They don’t report it out in the media. That 90 days came and went and Peloton said nothing, then they fixed it. What they did is people outside of the Peloton world couldn’t get to it. People who were inside the Peloton world could. Another member could use it, but a non-member couldn’t, which is easily gotten around by signing up for the digital app for $12 a month.
Also, during a free trial. There are so many people who are members at this point. It’s not like that’s a very exclusive club.
They then held the article. That person went and got a journalist involved. The journalist went and talked to Peloton and then it got fixed, which is not a good look for Peloton. They fixed it within seven days and they held the article and tell, so nobody could take that and then let you go and do anything ugly with that, which is why I feel comfortable talking about it. It wasn’t a good look.
The problem has been corrected. If you’re worried about it and nothing’s happened to you yet, you’re probably okay. Peloton posted on their Instagram and presumably on other channels about Teachers Appreciation Week.
Each of the instructors gives a shout out to a teacher who has made an impact on their life. I’m curious, Tom, did you have a special teacher that stood out to you in a good way?
I had an English teacher in eighth grade. I’m friends with her on Facebook. I enjoyed her class a lot. She made reading fun and I was always a reader as a kid. I still am as an adult, but we got to read The Hobbit in her class. It was just funny because I hate those books. I like The Hobbit, but the rest of the books. What about you?
I had a special teacher. I had an art teacher. She was just lovely. She took me in and took me to art museums, and one of my good friends. She helped me and she encouraged me in my art. Anything that I did that was different from other people, she always put it in this positive light. It took a shitty childhood where I got bullied a lot and she made it so much more tolerable. She was special.
It was nice that they did that during the Teacher Appreciation Week. I saw a meme that I thought was funny in light of teacher appreciation week. They were like, “You know when a profession has an appreciation week that they’re underpaid.” The Peloton blog had 10 Products Peloton Instructors Always Have in Their Dressing Room. Anything big and exciting here, anything surprising?
Nothing really shocking, but I like seeing the products they actually use. It was basically like hair products. Everybody has some other things that they use, pomade, gel, hairspray. The Dyson does not surprise me. That Dyson is amazing. There was nothing super shocking in it, but I like seeing the fun stuff.
They have hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes so you can wipe down the bottle of hand sanitizer.
The Post-it notes, I love that. They leave notes for each other in the dressing room. I think that’s adorable.
Joining us once again is Angelo from MetPro. Last time we were talking about how it reduced your craving for chocolates and sweets, and that leads to this episode’s question.
Michelle Turner wanted to know, she can’t stop the sugar snacking after supper to bedtime.
I love getting super real on these conversations. It’s super truthful when it comes to sugar. Do you know why it’s hard to break the sugar habit? Do you know why it’s hard to stop eating chocolate?
Because it’s delicious.
It tastes great. That’s the truth. You made a comment, which made me think of this, Crystal. You said that you really love chocolate, but since you’ve been on MetPro, your sugar cravings have reduced. I’ll explain the science behind that. There are two things that make us want to eat chocolate. The first is chocolate is delicious. We enjoy eating it, which makes us want to have it. There’s a second reason. There’s a biological addiction that our body gets to sugary foods because our bodies run off of sugar. It’s called glucose or glycogen. What happens is especially when our blood sugar stabilizes, that’s when we can get hit with some pretty nasty cravings. We destabilize our blood sugar and there are a number of ways you can, but there are two primarily from a day-to-day basis.
One is going too long without eating or eating balanced meals, and two eating sugar, oddly enough. When you’re in a routine of eating smaller meals throughout the day or eating at least at regular intervals, it has a side effect of stabilizing your blood sugar, which means that now you only have to combat one challenge. That is the fact that chocolate tastes good. You don’t also have to deal with cravings from chocolate tasting good. Also, your body is telling you, “I need sugar now.” That’s why we hear this so often that when somebody’s following a program, that they’re reasonably consistent with, the sugar cravings go away.
Let’s also be honest. It doesn’t mean you’re never going to have sugar again. I don’t want to live in a world without chocolate personally. That’s just me, but I don’t want to live in that world. When we have an objective, how do we break that habit of having chocolate every day or every night? That can be a little bit harder, but it can be done. Most people find, and everybody’s a little different here, but most people will tell me once they’ve kicked the sugar, if they stay off of it for 72 hours, they see a radical reduction in craving for it.
That seems quick.
Think of it this way. You may notice when you go on vacation or you go on a trip or you have an off weekend, it can take Tuesday, Wednesday, and then it’s like, “I’m back in my routines.” A lot of people notice that the hardest day is Monday. Sometimes people will tell me they went on vacation. They made it through their whole vacation with maybe just 1 or 2 blips, then they got back Monday, their first day at home, they had all these cravings.
It’s human nature, but usually within 2 to 3 days of consistency and why, because it takes out the big ebb and flow of that blood sugar of, “I just got that sugar hit.” Your body releases a bunch of insulin. It brings that sugar level back down in your system. All of a sudden, it overshoots and now you’re craving sugar again. Instead of having this go on where it swings up and down, you have these tiny little ripples instead of these major waves in your blood sugar. That’s why having meals throughout the day and a strategy of getting those meals and coming back to time management and good, quick prepping techniques and things like that all play a part in helping you gain mastery over it.
That’s interesting because we were on a little vacation that you might remember. I definitely enjoyed all of the things that I wanted to enjoy. When we got back and I went back to my regular routine, it wasn’t as difficult to shift back. That that speaks to what you’re saying because coach Dallas drilled into me, “You must have the snacks.” I think that because I had that more even playing field, it was easier for me to jump back in, to your point. That’s fascinating.
It’s just basic math that it’s going to be easier to avoid cravings when you’re not hungry.
I’m just saying that it’s never been a problem for me in the past. I can be not hungry and definitely crave. It’s not a problem.
Normally when we go on vacation, it’s not unusual for me to come back and get on the scale that first day and go 10, 12 pounds. This time I came back and I’m on the scale, I’d gone up 2 pounds, which for a week away enjoying myself. I also found when I was there, I didn’t want the things I normally wanted.
That speaks to what you said at another point in time about the momentum because he is motivated. He is seeing results. It was much easier to keep that momentum. That’s all great things.
The coaching and the strategy come in because I don’t want to mislead people. Tom, had we been on an aggressive cutting cycle and then all of a sudden, you had a vacation. I don’t think you would have seen 10, 12 pounds, but you would have seen more than 2 for sure. That’s where the strategy of having a coach that’s saying, “We know that you have this coming up at the end of the month, we’re going to adjust your body.” Most people are unwittingly slaved to what their metabolism is doing to them versus them controlling their metabolism. You can control much of it. It’s just having the pieces and the strategy to do so. That’s why in this case, for you, Tom, we plan for that vacation. We cook you out of carb sensitivity prior to it. We then plan to enter a cutting cycle shortly after. All those pieces made sense and that’s the benefit of looking down the road and planning a few weeks in advance.
That is why it’s important to have a coach because we would have done exactly the opposite.
I would have done it very wrong. We would have crashed diet beforehand to figure we were bracing ourselves. It’s very counterintuitive.
That’s how most people do it, “I’m going on vacation. I got to diet now.” There is something to be said about that, but there’s a metabolic consequence on the other end.
That’s fascinating. Thank you so much for joining us until next time, where can people find MetPro and all of this information?
MetPro.co/tco for The Clip Out.
Lots of instructor news as is per usual. We’ll kick it off with two Robin Arzon stories. She has something coming up at Nordstrom.
She’s going to be talking. It’s going to be Hyperice at Nordstrom. Robin is going to talk about her life as a new mom, how it changed her workout routine, and what she does to refuel. That includes using Hyperice products.
She needs Hyperice to refuel. Isn’t that what that’s about? Also more Robin major news, according to Instagram.
She is going to be doing a Master Class on mental strength. That’s through the Master Class program. I feel like that’s a pretty big deal, but the cool thing is for Mom’s Day, they’re offering a 2 for 1 deal where you get one membership and then you can get one free for your mom.
How about that? I bought that Steve Martin one, I never got around to watching it. I’m awful.
Now would be a good time for you to do it. You could go ahead and get me that one and then we’d have the 2 for 1 special.
While we’re speaking of instructors inking deals, Jenn Sherman is now working with IT.
It’s cosmetics. She is going to be a guest host for their Go For It Speaker Series for Confident Moms Edition. It’s on Facebook live. By the time this is published, it will have already occurred. It’s cool though. It’s going to be her doing all of the guest hosting for this major event, all for Mom’s Day. That’s awesome.
Emma Lovewell is doing something with Under Armour.
She’s been working with them for a while. I enjoyed this video because it was seeing all the behind the scenes as she recorded it. She was like, “Whenever we do these videos, the work is real. I left this shoot sore, sweaty and tired.” It’s fun to see the behind the scenes.
Christine D’Ercole was gearing up for Mother’s Day.
Over the Homecoming weekend, she had a very special ride that she talked about with her mom. Her mom was doing her 100th ride on Christine’s ride. How awesome is that?
Did she hand-deliver her the century shirt?
I don’t know. I would think that that’s a very good possibility. Her mom had rheumatic fever when she was a child. She was not allowed to exert herself. That would have been risky to her heart, but science has come a long way since then. She’s been able to get better. For her to complete 100 rides on the Peloton is amazing. This is a huge deal. That’s just awesome. She was on the 30-minute Powerzone ride. I believe it was Saturday at 1:00 PM. If you didn’t get to take it, you still can and give Christine’s mom a little congrats.
They should have used that special guest for her mother. Jess Sims took to Instagram to tell everyone about Strength Stacks, which now makes me think of pancakes. I think I’m just hungry.
Each instructor from the tread has been curating Strength Stacks each month, and May is the month for Jess Sims. This post is about her specific one and she is super excited about it. She alternates between a 45-minute full-body strength and shorter hit cardio with core and bodyweight burner. All of them include a warmup and a stretch afterwards. You can get all of the things you need from these Strength Stacks. I think that’s cool. I like seeing how much the instructors enjoy putting these together. Also, she’s a hard instructor. I bet that’s very challenging of a stack.
Finally, there was a new drop in the boutique on Monday, which is why I’m insisting Hyperice pay us before I say their name right because I need the money after Monday.
I thought it was funny because people are always like, “When’s the drop happening?” I know they’re coming soon, but this one has been all over the place. It was like, “It’s going to be last week. Nope, it’s gonna be next week. It’s going to be soon.” When it finally dropped, lately, what they’ve been doing is they’ll drop it over in Europe first. We have eight hours over here in the US to peruse the shop, prepare and be ready for the drop. Monday night they were like, “Just kidding,” and they pushed it out ten minutes after they pushed the one out in Europe. I had to do some fancy finagling, but don’t worry everyone. I was able to get everything I wanted.
I’m sure they were very concerned about that.
I bet they were all holding their breath. I bought everything I wanted. In fact, it was almost the entire collection, but here’s the thing, I’m going to slow down on my shopping this 2021 because an organizer helped us around the house. I have come to the conclusion that I might have too many exercise clothes. It’s time to purge. In the coming weeks, I’m also going to be selling specific older clothes that I no longer wear as much. I’m going to be pulling out some unicorns and I’m going to be putting them up for sale. It’s going to happen.
Keep an eye on her Instagram and our Facebook page. She will be cleaning them first, you pervs. I got to say it. There are weirdos out there.
You made it weird.
Joining us is CJ Albertson. I feel like I got to set up who CJ is. It’s a pretty impressive list of stuff. He’d set an unofficial treadmill record by doing a 50K in 2 hours and 41 minutes, a marathon in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 58 seconds. He also did a 50 mile run at a 7-minutes, 6-second pace. He also topped the Peloton tread leaderboard 57 times in 28 days. I’d say about 30% of our readers are going “bullshit.” Here’s the next part. He was seventh at the 2020 US Olympics Marathon and holds World Records in the 50K and indoor marathon. He’s the real deal. Ladies and gentlemen, in all points in between, CJ Albertson.
It’s nice to be on.
I’m surprised you’re not winded. I would think you would always be winded. If you were always winded, then you wouldn’t be in the Olympics.
You’re like the Road Runner. You’re so fast like the old cartoon.
It was the Olympic Trials. Not quite the Olympics but hopefully, that’s foreshadowing in 2024.
Where is 2024 going to be held? Have they announced that?
It’s Paris. My wife has told me many times I have to make that one because she wants to go.
“I am going to the Paris Olympics, whether you are or not” is what she’s telling you.
How did you originally get into running? Is this something that you’ve done since birth?
I started playing sports pretty much from birth, but I got into running in fourth grade. Our elementary school had cross country. I didn’t know that running was a sport at the time. As a fourth-grader, it’s the only thing that you can do. I joined the school team. You go out to practice and run around the school. I loved it. From the first season I started running and getting in races, it felt natural to me. I loved both running by myself and running as hard as I could, but then I also love the racing aspect of it being competitive with other people. Pretty much it’s everything about running. I enjoy it. From that moment, that first day in fourth grade, I pretty much haven’t stopped and been running ever since.
In those early years, 4th, 5th, 6th grade, before you started to get to high school and college where you start to weed people out, were you winning everything or was it like not even a contest? Did overtime you got better and you started to pull ahead as it were?
Everyone develops differently. I was pretty good as an elementary school runner. I remember the first race I won and then I ended up winning in our school district championships. That was as far as you go. I’ve done 28 elementary schools in our district. I won that meet and that was big. I did some NAU type meets that are a little bit bigger outside of our area. I lost to a couple of people in those races. I was fairly good from a young age. That’s part of what kept me in it. I liked to win. I grew up in a competitive environment a lot, in a competitive household. I was raised to enjoy winning. Most people do things that they’re good at because it’s a little bit more enjoyable.
I’m hyper-competitive, but I’m not the least bit athletic because I suck at it. I had a similar experience where they would put me out there. I’m like, “I’m bad at this. I don’t ever want to do this again.”
I never competed in any art fairs or anything like that. I knew I’d be about last.
As you went through the process of your life with running, I don’t mean this in an arrogant way. I know it’s hard to say this without sounding cocky, but based on your achievements, was there a moment in time where you were like, “I’m just not good at this. I’m really good at this?” Was there a moment when that clicked for you that you’re next-level good at this?
I feel like somewhat from the beginning, but then I more realized that in high school, my freshman year of track, I had the second-fastest mile time in the nation. They had national lists of everybody that had run the 1,600 but basically a mile. I was a second range freshman. I was like, “I’m second in the nation. That’s pretty good.” There’s always been this thing in my mind that has said, “You’re going to be one of the best in the world. You’re going to do something great with running.” I’ve had some up and downs, but I feel like that voice has been in there from a fairly young age. I’ve had brief moments where I’ve been ranked high in the nation or done some good things to where that voice has become more realistic. I also had some times where I’ve had some seasons that were not very good. That voice seemed super unrealistic. It’s like I’m very mediocre. Like anyone, I have ups and downs. That freshman year is when my eyes were opened up to where I ranked on a national scale.
In the grand scheme of things, is there that much of a difference at that level between one of the best and having a mediocre season?
Is it like two-tenths of a second?
Are the metrics so narrow at that point between what makes good and mediocre?
There’s a pretty decent range. It’s not like the Olympics in the 100 meters. Two-tenth of a second is massive. For example, like my freshman year of college, I wasn’t running that good. I was running 5-mile races at roughly 5, 10 paces or so or 5, 15 paces. My 50K World Record was at 5, 14 pace. What I was running in college for 5 miles, I’m doing that for over 30 miles. I’m running a marathon at about a five-minute pace way faster than I was running the five-mile race. It’s a pretty significant gap compared to what I was doing. It’s not that close.
Your marathon time blows me away. All of your times do, but especially your marathon. I walked to the marathon on my tread in 2021. Spoiler alert, it took eight hours and to think that you did the same. That’s insanely fast to me. I’m slow. I didn’t even start getting into anything athletic until I was in my 30s. We’re talking about very different backgrounds of how we got there as far as being able to do that kind of distance. My mind can’t even comprehend that you did it a fourth of the time. I did it. That’s insane.
He ran a marathon in less time than it takes to watch Avengers: Endgame. I waited longer to ride Avatar.
The last time my wife and I went to Disneyland, we talked about that. We run a marathon at the time we’re going to sit in this line. I don’t particularly love Disneyland for that reason, but my wife loved it, so I go.
I bet it’s hard for you to sit still since you’re that active. I bet it’s hard to stand there that long.
I’m good at sitting still, laying around and doing nothing. Standing is probably the hardest activity in the world. I’m sure there are some manual labor jobs I would disagree with. I feel so tired when I would stand around for a few hours. I’m the guy that naps on the benches at Disneyland.
How you came across Peloton and win, but also why you decided on the Peloton treadmill specifically?
I live in Fresno, California. Pretty much the whole West Coast had tons of fires. That made it difficult to run. You’d walk outside and there are ashes falling on you. I had to do a lot of treadmill running. I had never run on treadmills before. I didn’t like them. I was using some friend’s treadmills because I didn’t have one of my own. One of my friends had a Peloton treadmill. Honestly, I never even heard of Peloton treadmills. I didn’t know they existed. I knew nothing about them. I walked into his garage. I was like, “This is the nicest treadmill I’ve ever seen.” I got on it. The first day I ran on it, I was like, “This is smooth. It runs a lot nicer than most of the treadmills I’ve been on.” A few days later, I came back and I did a 35-mile run on his treadmill because I had nothing else to do.
I like the feel of the treadmill. The slotted belts are nice. It gives more of a feeling like you’re running on the road. With traditional treadmills, the deck is bouncing up and down. That does reduce some impact, so some people like that. This feels awkward to me because that’s not how running feels when you’re running outside on the ground. The Peloton feels as close to road running as you’re going to get, but it’s still soft and forgiving. The slotted belts are nice. It’s a nice screen. The only similar treadmills are the Woodways. To me, they’re the same, but those are $10,000. $4,500 is a pretty good price. I felt like they were just as good. I wanted to get a Peloton for myself because I’m a professional runner. I should probably have my treadmill instead of calling up friends, trying to run it. I got one. That was somewhere around the end of 2020.
What made you decide to do your tread challenge? What inspired that?
The first few months I had the treadmill, I didn’t have a Peloton subscription. It was not even adjusted around. You hit the button and then you go on. I got a subscription for a month. I want to make the most of it and take as many classes as I can. I’m trying to post more on social media. Being a sponsored athlete, you’re supposed to be more involved in social media stuff. I’m not good at that. I’m trying to get more into it. I’m like, “I can create a little giveaway challenge, give out some shoes and have people guess how many leaderboards I can get. Maybe that’d be fun.”
I ran it by my wife first. I’m like, “Is this dumb or is this a fun idea?” She’s like, “It’s fun. Do it.” I like making up challenges on my own. I was going to do it for my own personal but I made it more of a public challenge. People found out about it. Some articles were written and stuff. It was mainly just I like making up challenges. The day I signed up, it popped into my head. I’m like, “I’m going to do this.” The next day, I started. That’s the whole grand scheme of it.
Do the instructors irritate the living hell out of you? You don’t need that motivation.
They’re queuing a quarter of the speed that you go.
Going into it since I hadn’t taken my classes, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t expect to enjoy them that much. I did expect them to annoy me a little bit. I enjoyed the instruction a lot more than I thought I would. I don’t listen to the number cues. In running, I feel like there’s a lot less of that. They’re not super specific about the miles per hour. They give you general guidelines. I didn’t always follow the instructions exactly. I just ran. For the most part, they’re telling a story. They’re encouraging you. There are times that they’re talking to you. I found it fun. I liked pretty much all of the instructors. When I did that 50-mile run, I had class stacks. I went through fifteen classes. It was fairly entertaining. I had the sound on the whole time. It doesn’t annoy me. Even for me being a professional runner, I find them motivating.
One thing that stood out to me within the Runner’s World article was that you went into classes. When you could tell people were cheating to be at the top of the leaderboard, you were like, “I’m out.” You went to a different class immediately.
What tip you of that they were cheating?
I don’t know how it is for biking but for running, you can see their miles per hour and their incline. When I’m looking at it, usually people cheat with the incline. If they’re doing 12% to 15%, nobody casually runs at 15% incline. Don’t do that. There’s 10 miles an hour. I can do that for a sprint, but you’re not casually doing that for a 45-minute run. That’s usually when I can see it. With the treadmill, there’s a sensor that picks up your weight. If you step off it for probably around three seconds, then it puts your output at zero. I’ll look at people’s output in it. Every ten seconds or so, it will go to zero for a couple of seconds. When that happens ten times, you know that they’re either stepping off or stepping back on, they’re holding onto the rails. They’re taking too much weight off, so it’s triggering the sensor. That’s how I can tell. Sometimes they’re so ridiculous. It’s humanly impossible. Since I was doing the challenge to try to get as many first as I could, that’s why I’d like to do a different class but I can’t.
My next question is can we get a list of all their leaderboard names so we can publicly shame them?
On one, I was doing a live class, so I didn’t get it off because I was already committed. There was one person. I got it to where we tied, but I screenshotted it. I put it on my Instagram story. I realized he had the same Instagram name because someone found him. He had posted it on his story. Someone that knew me sent it to me. I’m like, “People can find this guy’s Instagram.” I don’t want someone to get harassed. Don’t cheat. What’s the point? I don’t want to be involved in any of that. I erased his name. I don’t want that. Maybe their calibration is screwed up that screws up their income. Some people are always at 15%. Maybe their calibration got messed up somehow and there’s nothing they can do about it. I don’t know.
I like that you’re giving the benefit of the doubt. In the Peloton community and maybe outside of the Peloton community, I don’t know because I’m not a real runner, but they have a term for cheating. It’s called pieing. They have whole discussions on the tread Facebook group about pieing. They’ll step on. It surprised me. I didn’t know if you knew that or maybe that’s a runner thing.
It seems like there’s a lot more tuning in the biking. I don’t know what they do.
You can’t calibrate your treadmill, but you can calibrate the original bike. There are a lot of people that either they got their bikes and the calibration was already off or they’ve gone in to try to make it easier. The calibration can be wildly off on the bike. I never trust the leaderboards on the bike. Although I’m still at the bottom regardless, I don’t even pay attention to them because they’re ridiculous.
For running, there are not that many people. It seems like most of the people are pretty accurate.
You ended up making your challenge though. You hit 57. Was that the goal? You said as many as you could do. Did anybody guess that number?
One person had guessed 56. That was the closest. There were 56 and 58. I had a tiebreaker. They had to guess how many miles I’d run over those 28 days. I ran 340 miles and the guy that won had guessed 336.
Tell them what they won. What did they win?
He won a free pair of Brooks shoes that he got to choose from. He was smart and pick the most expensive, the best ones, the Hyperion Elite 2. Brooks is racing shoes with the carbon fiber plate and their best foam. He got those. The shoes I race in, they’re pretty. They’re one of the best shoes out there.
Speaking of shoes, are there some shoe brands that you feel like, “This gives me an edge I didn’t have before?” You’re not just going to go into Payless and buy a $15 pair of shoes. When you get to that level, what’s the difference in shoes in terms of how it impacts your times?
The past few years have been a shift in shoes. There’s been this big change in the running community. Some people are upset about it. People talked about shoes a lot. They started inserting carbon fiber plates in them. Those stiffen up the shoes so that they’re more responsive. You can get more energy return. They’ve also improved some of the foam to get more energy return. When you hit the ground, you’re not losing as much energy but it’s being returned back to you. From 2016, every brand has started to come out with their version of a carbon fiber type of shoe. I feel like maybe several years ago, with the types of shoes you had, maybe it made a marginal difference but not too much. With these new shoes, you have to have a new carbon racing shoe to be able to compete at the next level. It doesn’t matter. You can’t run in anything. Brooks is in their second version of their carbon fiber plate. They have a foam called DNA Flash, which is a nitrogen-infused foam that’s responsive and gives good energy return.
A few years ago, everyone used the same ADA type of foam. Now they’ve come out with these different types of foams to increase energy return. They try to patent each time a type of foam. Every company is going to have their own foams that they’re using. It does make a difference. You want to have a company that’s competitive that’s staying up to date with the research and coming out with the best technology. As an athlete, you try to work with your sponsor to give them feedback and help them design shoes that will fit how you race. I give Brooks feedback on their new shoes and what I’m feeling. I don’t know tons about how to manufacture shoes, but I try to give input on what I’m feeling so they can try to make it the best they can.
I have to ask this. Do you have to change your shoes every month? If you run 340 miles in one month, that’s pretty much how often you should be changing your running shoes.
The sponsor helped with that. As far as changing shoes, it depends on what type of shoes you have, also your foot strike and how you land. Some people supinate a lot, so they land on the outside of their foot and they tear up the outside of their sole. They have to rotate through shoes faster. I land more in the middle, which helps spread out the damage on my shoe. That DNA Flash foam I was talking about, I don’t know all the signs of it, but something about like the 1900 fuse foam. It doesn’t break down as much.
Usually, I change my shoes every 300 to 400 miles. My wife put over 700 miles in her last pair. When you squeeze the foam, it’s still responsive. I have a bunch of pairs of shoes, so I’m always rotating through. I run in the Hyperion Tempos. It’s the same foam but without a carbon fiber plate. I use those for training. I rotate through shoes. I don’t know how many miles I put in each pair, but they last a long time. I’m not going through shoes that fast. We’re saving the landfills. I don’t know if they were. If you have a better foam, it’s less waste.
When you’re done with the shoe, do you throw it away? Do you donate? What happens?
Do you sign it and send it to people?
If anyone wants my old shoe, I can give it to them. Sometimes we donate them. Usually, at running stores, there are bins that you can bring your shoes. Some companies will recycle them. I don’t know that whole process, but they do something with them. Sometimes they’ll be giving them or they’ll take parts of it. I don’t know exactly what they do. They use them for stuff and they make use of them. If you go to your local running store and ask them, “What can I do with my old shoes?” They usually know something. They’ll take them and do something with them.
They improve the energy return. Is that something that you see in your times when you’re done? When you put on a shoe like that, are you instantly like, “That’s a good shoe?”
You can feel it. When you hit the ground, the foam is going to compress a little bit. Sometimes when we have 60% energy return and you hit the ground with 100 units of energy, 40% of that will be lost. It’s way more complex than that. Some foam can get up to 85% or so energy return. You’re going to get much more pump coming off the ground. It’s going to feel more responsive. It’s like riding a bike. If you don’t air up your tires all the way, you’re pedaling hard, you’ll feel like, “My tires are flat.” You pump them up to that optimal pressure. You’re just rolling smoothly on the ground. All that power that you put out, you get it back. It feels like that.
What’s a shoe like that run a fellow that doesn’t have a sponsorship?
For Brooks’, their training shoe with their best foam, that’s $150. The one that has the carbon fiber plate in it and their best foam, the Hyperion Elite, that one’s $250.
That doesn’t sound that bad. It’s like you buy a regular pair of shoes any more than $75, $80, $90 to get all the science that they cram in there. That doesn’t seem unreasonable. Let’s turn it into a commercial for Brooks. They should be very happy with it. Is there a promo code we should be giving out?Peloton leaderboards must not only be the reason why you are using the equipment. Click To Tweet
I don’t have any promo codes. For the training shoes, you have to look at it as how many dollars you are spending per mile of the shoe. If your shoe is only going to last 300 miles and it’s $90, what if your shoe lasts 700 miles and it’s $150? It’s cheaper and it feels better the whole time. It’s one of those quality analyses that they had.
Do you have a day job? Is this your job? How does that work?
I’m a community college coach and a professor. When I started as an adjunct professor and my first year coaching, I was 24. Whenever I walked on campus, everyone thought I was a student. I pretty much looked the same. I still look like I can be a student. Even sometimes in high school, I’ll go recruiting. It’s like they can’t. “Are you racing?”
Are you training for the next Olympics? I don’t know how all this works. I know that Becs Gentry, one of our instructors said that she’s going to the Olympic Trials for Great Britain. I don’t know how any of this all fits together. I thought it was just one Olympics, one place to go. I’m confused.
There’s one Olympics. In the Olympic Trials, every country does it differently. Some countries don’t have a trial race. They just select people. Usually, Great Britain does theirs at the London Marathon. The London Marathon is in April or so. Normally, they had a London Marathon and then all the Great Britain runners would run in that. They select their teams from there. The United States has a separate Olympic Trials race. We did ours on February 29th of 2020. We were planning on it being in 2020. That’s typical for the marathon because they want to do it early so that you’d have time to recover and then get a full training cycle in for the Olympics, whereas for trackers, swimming or any of the other events, typically their trials will be three weeks before so you’re in peak shape. You go right into the Olympics. With the marathon, they have to do it months in advance. We did ours on February 29th, 2020. That’s where I was seventh. I didn’t make the 2021 team.
If you didn’t make it at seven, who makes it?
What’s the cutoff point?
It’s the top three. When I first took one of Becs Gentry’s classes, she’s pretty fit. I didn’t know what she did or anything. I heard they invited her for the trials. I’m like, “I got to look her up.” I found her on Strava. I pretty much saw all her training. She’s in good shape. She ran 237 in New York, which is a pretty tough course. That’s a good time. From just judging her training, she’s a lot faster than 237 shape. The Olympic standard is 229, 230. She’s done all of her piecework for that. I’m a pretty big fan. The whole Peloton thing is weird. When I first heard of them, they’re like, “Peloton family.” I’m like, “This is weird.” After in it for a while, you feel like, “These are my friends.” You do feel like that.
I credit Peloton to the fact that I have gotten to the point where I work out 4 or 5 times a week. Peloton has changed my life. I’m a huge Peloton fan. I love all the instructors. The class, if you haven’t taken it yet, you should try one of either Beck’s or Robin’s version of the New York City Marathon. They go through and say, “This is what it’s like.” I would be curious what you think of that. It’s like they take a 45-minute class and they break it down miles 1 through 4 like this and miles 5 through 7 or like this. They take you through each section of the New York City Marathon. Robin did that. Robin’s version, I’ve done it a couple of times because I feel like it’s a super inspirational class. It feels good. It feels like you’re there. Every time I take that class, I’m this close to signing up for a real marathon into it. I come to my senses because I’m like, “That was only 4 miles. I still have the other eighteen to go.” You should try that if you haven’t taken on those classes. Are you keeping the Peloton programming?
I forgot about it. I’ve been doing a few more classes. I do some of the live classes because it’s fun.
Have you taken the Live DJ Runs with Adrian?
I haven’t taken a DJ Run. What are they called?
They’re called Live DJ Runs. They have DJ John Michael over in the corner and then Adrian. It’s usually Adrian, but it’s been other instructors. They’ll be running. It’s a party on the treadmill. It’s so much fun. It’s a great way to wrap up the week.
I’ll have to look for that one.
As a professor of running, I need your expert opinion. In a race with Speedy Gonzales or Road Runner, who wins?
I’d say Road Runner because I never watched Speedy Gonzales. I only saw Road Runner. I maybe saw one Speedy Gonzales clip.
I would think Road Runner because he’s got the legs spread. The mouse is fast, but it has little tiny mice legs.
To me, it’s the little cartoon dust that’s behind it whenever he takes off and the sound effect. That’s how I know he would win.
Flash or Superman?
Flash is running. I feel like Superman’s cheating because he’s flying.
That’s a fair analysis. Flash taps into the speed force, which could be classified as a performance-enhancing drug. I don’t know how bad it works.
I feel like that’s Amazon Prime feel.
Yes. They’re all taking that drug or whatever it is.
I haven’t watched that show yet, but I’m so happy they did because I have all of those issues. I bought them all when they came out. It was written by Garth Ennis. He’s great. If it’s Garth Ennis, I’ll buy it. They’re all $150 an issue. This is my 401(k). This is what do. Do you mind sharing your leaderboard name with people?
I heard you get a shout out. I was in a class.
I think it was a class with Selena Samuela. I want to say it was her Women’s History Month, but I’m not positive about that.
I think I did that one.
You probably get so many shout outs because everybody’s like, “Look at him at the top of the leaderboard.” That’s very cool.
Do you have any advice for people getting into running or getting a tread?
Stay consistent with it. That’s the biggest thing with running. When you first start, a lot of little things may hurt. Your body won’t feel that good, but if you can do it consistently. Try to run at least three days a week and then getting up to four days a week. That helps, that consistency over a couple of weeks and couple months then it starts to get easier. For the first six weeks, running is hard with how it is. It hurts. You wake up and everything aches. Your shin is all messed up. Once you get past that point, then you can casually run. You can run and talk at the same time. I felt like when we can get to that point, running is enjoyable.
The first six weeks are hard, which is why you should start it in the fourth grade.
It’s like learning a new language. If you don’t start in the primary or you don’t start when you’re four, it’s hard. There are lots of people that started later in life and have done well. My uncle does Ironman and has done tons of marathons but he didn’t start running until he was in his 40s.
Thank you so much for joining us. This has been a lot of fun. Before we go, where can everyone find you on social media so Brooks shoes will get off your butt?
Everything I have is CJ Albertson. There are not that many CJ Albertsons in the world, so I had to use my name. The two biggest things I use are Strava and Instagram. I’m @CJAlbertson on those.
I’m going to follow you on Strava, so I can feel sad every time I see how amazing you are. Thank you so much for doing this. We appreciate it. This has been a lot of fun, so thank you.
Thank you for having me.
I guess that brings this episode to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next episode?
We’re going to be talking to Karen Ready. She is the mask extraordinaire. She sent out a lot of masks.
Until then, where can people find you?
People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, the bike and the tread @ClipOutCrystal.
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page, join the group. Sign up for our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running.
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