This is a varied profile that is ideal for an extended ride when you are not looking to engage riders in a base-building or periodized training program and you have HIIT junkies who are craving some anaerobic intervals, as it carefully balances the use of higher intensities over a longer period of time. In order to reduce that overall intensity, a proportionate amount of recovery time is strategically placed between intervals. The majority of the profile is spent at a sub-threshold intensity, building aerobic and muscular endurance in Zones 2–3 with brief surges to Zone 4 at the tops of the hills. That is combined with a smaller chunk of time devoted to higher-intensity intervals, which allow riders to cross the lactate threshold to Zones 5–6 then recover in low Zone 2. Following this format is a bit of a ruse—in the end, riders leave thinking they worked that hard the entire time!
To give credit where credit is due, this profile is built upon a 90-minute endurance ride template created by Jennifer Sage. It is described in detail along with valuable information about teaching endurance rides/classes longer than 60 minutes in her article Teaching a 90-Minute Class, posted on November 22, 2015. In addition, she offers a 90-minute sub-threshold option without the high-intensity intervals.
This is also a theme ride with a playlist of songs across several genres that were released between 2010 and 2019. While the chosen music is representative of some of the releases by the biggest musicians from the last decade, not all of the selections appear in the Top 10 list from each year. This is because songs were selected based on their fit within the parameters of the terrain, cadence, and duration of the intervals called for by this endurance profile. I scoured Jennifer’s playlist, Short Recovery Songs 1–3 Minutes, to find music for recovery. That is how more of the influential musicians from the last 10 years were included. Identifying songs for the high-intensity intervals was the most challenging. In the end, I picked lesser-known, higher-energy songs that followed the timing. Luckily for me, they were released during this past decade. In addition, several of the songs appeared in ICA’s Weekly Music Suggestions.