Escape from Your Rut
Instructors, does it feel like you’re in a rut when creating new profiles? Are your rides beginning to all seem the same, with only slight variations of the playlist? Do you suffer from “writer’s block” when you start to plan a new class, taking hours to complete one?
Don’t worry, it’s not you. It’s your ride creation process. All of these problems can be fixed by simply adopting a new approach to planning your classes. If you’re used to first generating a playlist from the most current mainstream hits, then pairing each song with a “drill,” invariably you will run out of ideas, each class will be a mishmash of drills with no overarching purpose, and your classes won’t offer the variety that will keep things fresh.
It may be time to completely change your approach.
Using the process outlined below, I have created over 100 unique rides (200 counting the variations of the playlists).
I start with what I refer to as the “3 Ps.”
Profile creation process = Purpose, Profile, Playlist
The first step in the process is to establish the purpose of the ride.
What do you want your riders to get from the class? The answer should not be “to get their sweat on” and “to groove to the music.”
It may be to create physiological adaptations, such as building anaerobic power, greater aerobic capacity, increased functional threshold power, or improved muscular endurance. Or, it can relate to developing a skill or technique, such as improved climbing ability or a smoother pedal stroke. It may be a mental goal such as focus, patience, or increased tolerance to discomfort.
By varying the purpose of your rides, you provide your riders with a more balanced approach to their fitness. Offering only HIIT workouts for every class will primarily promote anaerobic development and increase the potential for burnout or injury. On the other end, teaching solely sub-threshold sessions will only build aerobic endurance.
Providing a wide variety of objectives in your class offerings also has a physchological benefit. When you do the same old song-and-drill routine every time, it will become repetitive and monotonous. Varying the purpose leads to a completely different structure for each ride and will keep your riders more mentally engaged and physically challenged.