Not long ago I was creating an interval profile that ended up with an odd number of intervals because I ran out of time before I needed a cool-down. Nothing wrong with that; who says there has to be an even number? No one! However, I was alternating fast flats with climbs, and I wasn’t sure what the final one should be. I decided to let my students choose. I was going to just let someone write down their preferences, then do a game of sorts to decide if we do that or not. I came to class with the idea that I’d figure it out as I came to the last interval. I put two songs at the end of my playlist, one for a climb and one for a fast flat, and would simply select the one that the class picked.
Just before class, as I was writing the profile down on the whiteboard, I used two dry-erase pens: a red one and a blue one. The caps of the pens looked like a red pill and a blue pill, which gave me the idea from The Matrix. I only used it on the final interval of my profile, and had no other reference to The Matrix, but everyone loved it, and from that idea spawned this profile, Red Pill Blue Pill.
I think you’re going to really enjoy this one! The efforts are hard to harder (two-step intervals), and the theme brings in a few of the concepts of The Matrix, specifically the concept that there are two scenarios, the blissful ignorance of life in the Matrix or the painful truth of reality outside of the Matrix. The red pill keeps you in the ignorance, and the blue pill takes you out into the painful reality. Other than that I don’t delve deeply into the movie theme.
You’ll have to line up the second half of your playlist so that you can quickly select whatever terrain your students choose, via the Red Pill Blue Pill method.
If you are a big fan of the movie and come up with other references to The Matrix to add to this profile, or have other perfect songs to use, please add them to the comments. This is one of those profiles you can do again and again, using some different songs, and every single time it will come out different. I’m quite sure this will become one of your go-to profiles!