I started using this profile about 10 years ago in my own classes and posted it on ICA in early 2014. Since then, it’s been one of the more popular profiles on the website. When I ask ICA members which is the profile they turn to when they really want to impress their class (subbing, for example), this one comes up a lot.
At the new boutique studio where I am teaching, I recently taught this profile and it was a big hit all three times (I used it to sub a class as well). I have updated and modified the profile slightly by adding a “practice round” at the beginning and changing the playlist.
Progressive Meritage consists of four 9-minute interval sets with efforts that increase in length as the recovery remains the same. The cadence and focus change for each of the first three sets, and the final set is a “blend” of the previous three. I use long songs of 9.5–10 minutes to maintain a similar focus throughout. I have to say, I LOVE the latest playlist for this profile—the long songs work so perfectly with the objective of this ride. (If you have trouble using long songs like some instructors tell me they do, I provide tips on how to blend two songs in the set so transitions happen at a specific point.)
So, you may be asking, what does “Meritage” mean? The title comes from the world of wine. The American wine industry invented the word to describe a wine that is similar to a Bordeaux-style blend. Meritage is a portmanteau of merit and heritage. I like it because they emphasize that it’s a quality blend. A winery cannot use this term for any old cheap mixture—and like the wine, this profile is a quality blend of movements!
The wine theme is just for fun and is optional. I came up with this theme while sharing a Meritage one evening (you might even say I was inspired by the wine!). However, you may decide to drop all cueing references to wine and simply call this a “blended” intervals ride.
I’ve rewritten the original master class (long-form) profile and updated the cueing and the playlist. Below you can find both the original profile (short-form express profile) and the newly updated profile in both the long-form and express profiles. Both the newer and the original Spotify playlists are also posted below.