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Workout Profiles: Build Specific Fitness



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Workout Profiles give you a more detailed view of the intervals needed to build the specific fitness required for your goals. This guide will cover everything you need to know about Workout Profiles.

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What are Workout Profiles?

Every TrainerRoad workout is categorized not only by training zone but also by Workout Profiles. Workout Profiles offer a more refined level of detail for each workout’s interval structure and type. Why is this important? Varying interval structures can profoundly affect how a workout feels, and most importantly, how intervals build specific fitness.

With structured training, there can be a massive difference between individual workouts. When discussing these in a general fashion, we often refer to the training zone like Endurance, Sweet Spot, and so on. But even within each training zone, the structure and type of the intervals can vary. This is because workouts, even with the same zone, have particular goals that depend on your cycling discipline and the phase of your training. Let’s take a look at an example.

The image above shows three VO2 Max workouts. Each one is an hour-long with similar Workout Levels, TSS, and IF. While each one has the general aim of increasing your power at VO2 Max, they have different specific fitness goals on closer inspection. Workout Profiles give you a more granular way to see the fitness goals intended for the workout.

With an Attacks profile, Peters features anaerobic bursts to address muscle activation quickly, which in turn improves your ability to open a gap or power over technical terrain. On the other hand, Gendarme +3 focuses on spending more time in the VO2 Max power zone with short, repeated On-Offs. Of these three workouts, you’ll spend 25 minutes at VO2 Max with this workout compared to 21 minutes with Mount Deborah and just under 15 minutes in Peters.

Finally, Mount Deborah features longer intervals just above threshold to get you to maximum oxygen uptake. By working at mildly suprathreshold power outputs, you can push your FTP higher while gaining some meaningful aerobic adaptation in the process. On top of that, intervals that induce & sustain high levels of lactate work well toward lifting your physical (and mental) lactate tolerance.

Training Plans and Workout Profiles

Different types of racing require unique and specific fitness. Every TrainerRoad training plan already uses Workout Profiles to develop the fitness needed for your goals. As you progress through Base, Build, and Speciality, each workout becomes more specific to your event. While two different plans could develop the same energy system, they each do it in ways that will benefit your performance for particular types of racing through the use of Workout Profiles. Let’s look at an example.

This is week 2 of the Criterium Specialty Plan. The Sunday workout is Kuhe, a Sweet Spot workout with the Hard Starts profile. These race-start intervals take on a more race-like tone, preparing you for the explosive accelerations needed for crit starts or jumping on a wheel.

However, on the second Sunday of the Rolling Road Race Speciality, the focus is on building the muscle endurance necessary to power up short hills repeatedly without flooding your muscles with acidic fatigue via long Sweet Spot intervals and minimal rest periods.

How to Use Workout Profiles

Workout Profiles are available on the web and in the new mobile app. There you can filter each training zone and Workout Profile. Not every training zone contains every workout profile.

Example Workout Profiles

Here are some of the most common Workout Profiles.

Continuous

Found in Endurance and Tempo training zones, you’ll spend almost the entire workout completing one long interval.

With Bursts

These workouts feature short, high-powered efforts during the interval.

Hard Starts

You’ll start the interval with a short burst of high power.

Over-Unders

Over-unders will have you working in one zone, then briefly transition you into another and back again.

Short Recoveries

These workouts maximize your time in zone with brief recovery valleys.

Mixed Intervals

You’ll see intervals in multiple training zones.

Attacks

This Workout Profile simulates the repeated efforts needed to attack, sustain a high output, then recover and do it again.

Float Sets

These VO2 Max intervals “float” just below FTP in between efforts.