I hope you enjoyed the video of how I present the reset to my classes (I use the last example, of course). What I realize is I have the benefit of knowing exactly what this reset actually looks like in terms of profiles. In order to give you this benefit and resulting confidence, I’m going to provide an outline of five profiles I use during the first three months of the year. There are numerous variations to these profiles, which keeps things fresh and fun. Speaking of fresh and fun, although I give them relatively functional (and boring) names like “Aerobic Conditioning,” feel free to get creative with your approach and names. Here is the first profile outline: Aerobic Conditioning (Lung Love).
For Your Fitness Enthusiasts
Everyone needs cardiovascular fitness. Everyone wants stamina to keep it going, regardless of task at hand (yes, I was smirking as I wrote that). Aerobic fitness is one of the primary reasons people work out and a profile with this focus will not disappoint. I emphasize short 20- to 60-second aerobic intervals targeting Zone 4 and longer 2- to 4-minute steady-state aerobic intervals targeting Zone 3, often referred to as tempo. At first glance, some may incorrectly assume that a workout that only targets Zones 3 and 4 will be easier than high-insanity intervals. This is a common mistake made by those blind-sighted by the drastic lack of recovery; recovery strategically reduced to emphasize prolonged stamina and conditioning.
For Your Outdoor Cyclists
I’ve said it hundreds of times and I will say it again (and again in part 5…6…7): many outdoor cyclists are under the incorrect assumption that early season “base” training consists only of long low-intensity hours in the saddle. Although long steady duration (LSD) is a healthy portion of early season training, it is not the whole story. The different aspects of holistic fitness that I will explore in each of these profiles are important building blocks of solid cycling fitness. Outdoor riders can do their necessary long mileage or extended time in the saddle (90+ minutes) in a more appropriate environment—outside the time constraints of an indoor cycling class. Outdoor cyclists need this Zone 3 tempo work, along with shorter Zone 4 efforts to condition their bodies in preparation for the greater demands the unforgiving roads and “friends” will inflict on them.
Sample Profile Outline—Aerobic Conditioning
For aerobic intervals I use rock and pop songs that provide multiple choruses and a rpm/bpm between 80 and 100. For longer tempo efforts I use music that has a steady energy so riders are discouraged from surging or increasing intensity. Cadences below 80 rpm can place greater emphasis on muscular strength, while speeds faster than 100 rpm may distract riders with the need for pedal-stroke technique. We will focus on the strength and technique perspective in the upcoming articles.
TIP: For short recovery segments, I use a small portion of the same song. Many are breathing too hard to notice, plus I’m usually talking over it anyway.