Matt Wilpers, Peloton

Ali on the Run Show Episode 398: Matt Wilpers, Peloton Instructor

“I want you to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I want you to believe in the mission, and I want you to have fun. I want you to enjoy the process, and I want you to know that what you’re doing is a worthwhile endeavor.”

Like many of us, Matt Wilpers grew up wanting to be a marine biologist. (“I was really into whales,” he recalls.) Ultimately, he pursued a career in finance, working as an analyst and auditor with KPMG and, later, Goldman Sachs. When he realized the NYC finance lifestyle wasn’t for him, Matt decided to go to medical school, and, as a lifelong athlete and former collegiate runner, started teaching fitness classes on the side. Then, just as he was getting ready to pursue his medical career full-time, he got the call from Peloton. Plot twist! Today, Matt is one of Peloton’s most popular cycling and treadmill instructors, and has his own coaching business. On this episode, Matt talks about why he’s so passionate about coaching, and why getting to help people on their own fitness journeys is “the dream.” He talks about coaching actress Lena Dunham, sharing stories about how while he was hired to help her, it was Lena who changed his life. Plus, he shares loads of qualified running advice about overtraining, race day anxiety, and how to “run arrogant” and more confident. Matt is a 2:54 marathoner, 1:17 half marathoner, and 10:38 Ironman who lives in New York City.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On being a great coach (6:10)
  • What’s making Matt happy right now? (8:15)
  • Matt’s thoughts on returning to full studios (10:00)
  • On being nicknamed “The Baby-Faced Assassin,” and how Matt connects with the people taking his class virtually (11:30)
  • What Matt was like as a kid, and how he got into the finance industry (14:00)
  • What it was like coaching Lena Dunham (20:40)
  • How Matt got the Peloton job (23:30)
  • All about Matt’s coaching philosophy (29:00)
  • How Matt would describe his Peloton classes (36:00)
  • What a day in the life looks like for Matt (37:20)
  • Power Zone Endurance 101 (40:45)
  • The most common mistake Matt sees runners making, plus how to avoid overtraining (43:30)
  • How to “run arrogant,” and what that means (50:00)
  • Matt’s pre-race pep talk (53:50)
  • What’s next for Matt? (56:45)

What we mention on this episode:

Becs Gentry on Episode 379 of the Ali on the Run Show

Jess Sims on Episode 261 of the Ali on the Run Show

Tunde Oyeneyin on Episode 311 of the Ali on the Run Show

Olivia Amato on Episode 344 of the Ali on the Run Show

Matty Maggiacomo on Episode 350 of the Ali on the Run Show

Precision Nutrition

Jenny Donnelly on Episode 193 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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