Profile: This Is How Legends Are Made

This profile and playlist are on fire! I originally created this ride for the Tokyo Olympics and refer to Olympic athletes throughout, but it doesn’t have to be a profile you use just during the Olympics. Use it anytime you want a motivational, empowering ride. It makes a great “master class” for a special event. You can modify it for an upcoming championship for your favorite sport, internationally, nationally, or even locally. 

The profile highlights many of the qualities that make up a “legend,” an athlete of considerable talent who is coached and supported to bring out the best in them. Some of these qualities include preparation, courage, commitment, tenacity, focus, perseverance, patience, belief in oneself, willingness to go the extra mile, teamwork, and so much more. One of the early Olympic mottos was Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” These three elements are some of the physical attributes highlighted in this ride, along with endurance and explosive power. Almost every sport has some combination of these skills and attributes, some more than others; the more a sport relies on endurance, the less it requires strength and explosive power, and vice versa.

The profile includes segments that highlight all of these skills and qualities; it has hard, steep climbs to signify strength, it focuses on getting to the top and going “higher,” it has an endurance segment where patience and focus are necessary, it has an explosive power segment with three sprints, and of course, it includes some speed segments. The final push is as if you are running the mile and need to work hard while still holding back somewhat, then release a final kick for the finish.

The crowning glory of this profile is the songs that help send the message of the attributes described above as well as the profile title. The working parts of the profile are sandwiched by two songs that describe the making of a legend, and several of the interim songs also talk about legends. Each song has a message to tell. For each song/segment in the profile, I highlight what the focus is based on the lyrics, and even include some of the more powerful lyrics. However, I recommend you listen to the entire playlist first and jot down what you get out of the songs. You may find some additional cues to extract from the songs and inspire your riders.

Below you will find a PDF of the Quick Profile and the Express (shorter) Profile as well as an Excel file for those who want to write their own cues and maybe change up the songs or shorten it. When I teach, I usually take the Express Profile, print it out in portrait mode (so it’s smaller), and cut it down to the size of the profile itself, making it easy to have on my bike as I teach. This works when the profile is simple and the coaching is easy to remember. However, when it’s a more complicated profile or one with a lot of coaching cues, I prefer to create index cards for each song. This has served me well; I write down the things I personally need to remember—the song title and length, the rpm, the intensity, any timing for standing or sitting, and specific coaching cues for that song. 

I would love to hear from you after you teach this profile. Please let me know in the comments how your riders reacted! 




  1. Great profile and playlist!! Thank you. Unfortunately, I need to pare it down to 45 minutes. My first thought is to cut out the endurance chunk. Does that make sense? Feedback appreciated.

  2. I did this ride at home today to check it out and it was FANTASTIC. The playlist is so, so good and the profile structure is great. Can’t wait to do it with my classes next! 🙂

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