Quick Profile: Just Breathe

Take a breath…you are going to love this profile! Your riders may hate you for it…but only until afterward when they love you for helping them reach their fitness goals!

Julianne has created an outstanding profile targeting Zone 5, the training zone that helps improve the body’s VO2 max. VO2 max is the highest volume of oxygen your body is able to process and convert to energy. Performing at your best during these intervals is enhanced by better breathing techniques, as is the recoveries. Julianne assembled her playlist using songs that focus on breathing.

A recent ICA article on minimal effective dose (MED) from Lenita Anthony taught us that in order to truly benefit from a specific training objective, there is a minimum amount of time working in the associated training zone(s) that is required. Piggybacking off of Lenita’s article, this profile will consist of 15 accumulated minutes in Zone 5 with equal recovery for each effort.

It’s your choice whether you want to dive into the physiology as you coach riders through this workout—you can give as much or as little of the explanation described below. Keep in mind, however, that it is helpful for your riders to know the why behind a workout and it may even give them a greater reason to push themselves.

Be warned—this is a very hard workout. If your riders have all done FTP tests, they will each be working at the same proportional level of difficulty; however, less fit riders may not be able to hold Zone 5 for more than 3 minutes, and perhaps might not exceed even 2 minutes. That’s OK! Let them know they are not alone and that they have three ways to modify the workout. Let’s discuss what those three modifications are.


  1. Can you give us some tips on how to teach our members to breathe from their bellies?

    1. Great question Stacey! Thanks! I am putting together info to do a mini training on this topic (either a webinar or a FB Live) so stay tuned for more info. I t will include ways to coach more effective breathing in our cycling classes. Due to my pretty full plate, it will probably be mid-summer-ish that I’ll be able to get to it.

      In the meantime, here are a few links to peruse and a video.




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