Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Big Gear Pyramid Session - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Training NZ
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Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Big Gear Pyramid Session

This session is a great way to develop your ability to ride hard for 40km, as in an Olympic distance triathlon or a cycle Time Trial (TT).  It is also good for road racing and handling surges in pace when responding to attacks.

Each Wednesday I’ll post a Wind Trainer session that you can do in about 60 minutes to enhance your cycling. See a previous post about training intensity (Levels) to know how hard to work. If you are working directly with Coach Ray he will in most cases prescribe either a Power Zone or Heart Rate Zone to work within if you are training with these tools.

Big Gear Pyramid Session

  • 10min Warm Up Level II Cadence 90+Rpm;
  • 5x 1min SLD (30sec left leg:30sec right leg);
  • 10min Level II building to Level IV;
  • 1min BG Level IV, 4min RI Level II Cadence 90+Rpm;
  • 2minBG Level IV, 3min RI Level II Cadence 90+Rpm;
  • 3minBG Level IV, 2min RI Level II Cadence 90+Rpm;
  • 4minBG Level IV, 1min RI Level II Cadence 90+Rpm;
  • 5minBG Level IV;
  • 10min Cool Down Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

Start the workout with a warm up of ten minutes easy riding at Level II. Then include a set of Single Leg Drills (SLG). To do the Single Leg Drills (SLD) unclip one leg and pedal with a single leg for 30 seconds before clipping the leg back in and unclipping the other leg and pedalling for 30 seconds with that one. Repeat a total of five times. Complete the warm up with a further ten minutes as you build from Level II al the way up to Level IV.

The main set is made up of Big Gear (BG) intervals. Complete five reps at Level IV by putting your bike into the big chain ring and a suitable cog at the back that allows you to ride a cadence between 60 & 65 Rpm. Ride each of the five reps for a minute longer in duration with a minute less recovery:

  1. One minute with four minutes Rest Interval (RI);
  2. Two minutes with three minutes Rest Interval (RI);
  3. Three minutes with two minutes Rest Interval (RI);
  4. Four minutes with one minute Rest Interval (RI); and finally
  5. Five minutes.

After the fifth rep go straight into your cool down of ten minutes riding at Level II, keep the cadence nice and high (90+Rpm).

Finish with 10 minutes stretching to assist with your recovery.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 6 months ago.

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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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