Quick Profile: Powerful Women

We’ve been receiving some fantastic theme ride submissions in response to our contest. This profile by Lisa Piquette channels the power of inspiring women and asks riders to hold a steady-state effort in Zone 3, known as the “tempo” zone. The challenge will be both physical and mental as you hold an effort straight through for about 40 minutes without recovery. Staying strong, focused, and in control, you will build both aerobic power and endurance.

For cueing intensity, you can use power Zone 3, heart rate Zone 3, or an RPE of 4–5, moderately hard.

This is a steady-state effort with an extended warm-up and a 6-minute cool-down. Feel free to modify this profile to incorporate recoveries every 12–15 minutes, yielding three total Z3 intervals. Keep in mind that Zone 3 has a fairly wide range from 76% to 90% of FTP (or 84% to 94% of LT if you are using heart rate). Don’t be afraid to gear up and add a little surge when riders come out of the saddle. They can take the gear off when they return to the saddle. Remind them that they are targeting a zone, not a precise number. Small fluctuations are OK. But do not let intensity creep up too high—this is an extended effort.

One of the key challenges in this type of profile is helping riders to focus. I have offered some suggestions for keeping their minds on the ride. I offer coaching tips you can give to them to help keep their minds from wandering. I also intersperse a few suggestions (bolded) on how you can draw from the powerful lyrics of these songs to help riders stay connected and focused.

And if you’re looking for some additional songs for inspiration, then check out our International Women’s Day playlist called Girl Power!


  1. Hi Leslie, I did a 45 minute version as well. One of the great things about a tempo class is that you have a lot of flexibility to cut when you need to do a shorter version. The intensity stays constant, so you don’t need to focus on maintaining the length of particular intervals when you make the cuts – you know what I mean? You can use a couple of parameters to make your decision. For example, would you prefer to emphasize climbing? Then cut out a couple of flat road songs. Prefer to focus a bit more on speed? Keep the flats and get rid of a couple hill songs. Or you can just keep your favorite songs and adapt the profile to accommodate your new mix.

  2. Love this and the 3 divas profiles but wondering where to cut for a 45 minute class (can hold them for 50 max). As a new instructor, I find it challenging to maintain the integrity and goal of these well planned profiles but reduce them for my drop-in class.

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