Windtrainer Session

Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Stuart Payne’s Pyramid

Utilising a combination of both VO2 max and threshold intervals within a workout will develop your cycling fitness and ability to sustain power. This session from Stuart Payne delivers both and can benefit all cyclists whether road cyclists, a triathlete, or mountain bikers.

Each Wednesday I’ll post a Windtrainer Workout 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.

This session was inspired by a session described by Stuart Payne from Brisbane’s Ready To Tri in a recent interview with me.

Stuart Payne’s Pyramid

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 1min Level V, 1min RI Level II;
  • 2min Level V, 2min RI Level II;
  • 3min Level V, 3min RI Level II;
  • 4min Level V, 4min RI Level II;
  • 5min Level V, 5min RI Level II;
  • 6min Level IV, 6min RI Level II;
  • 7min Level IV, 7min RI Level II;
  • 8min Level IV, 8min RI Level II;
  • 9min Level IV, 9min RI Level II;
  • 10min Level IV;
  • 10min CD Level I-II;
  • 10min Stretching

The Warm Up (WU) should be done at an intensity that is steady but not overconsuming at Level II. Ride for a minimum of 10 minutes.

The main set involves working your way up the side of a pyramid. From one minute effort to ten minutes effort increase each repetition by one minute, taking the same amount of time for the Rest Interval (RI) as you do for the actual repetition. Start with a one-minute effort at Level V, before taking your Rest Interval for one minute. The second rep is two minutes long also at Level V, followed by a two-minute Rest Interval (RI). The third rep is for three minutes duration at Level V, followed by three minutes Rest Interval at Level II. The fourth and fifth reps are the last at Level V and are four and five minutes long respectively, with four and five minutes Rest intervals (RI) following them.

For the sixth rep ride at Level IV for six minutes (by this stage you’ll be extremely grateful for the decrease in intensity) and then at Level II for six minutes for your Rest Interval (RI). The seventh rep is seven minutes in duration and like the remaining reps is done at Level IV. It is also followed by a seven-minute Rest Interval (RI). The eighth, ninth, and tenth reps are eight, nine, and ten minutes in duration respectively and all at Level IV intensity. Follow the eighth and ninth rep with eight and nine minutes of Rest Interval (RI) at Level II respectively and after the tenth rep go straight into your Cool Down (CD).

Conclude the ride with a Cool Down (CD) of ten minutes riding at levels I-II.

Finish with 10 minutes of stretching to assist with the recovery.

Check out a snippet of the interview here where Stuart discusses this cycle session. The full interview can be found here.

You can contact Stuart through these:

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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Download the Garmin (.FIT) and Zwift (.ZWO) files for this workout for FREE

If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: 4x 6 minute Threshold Intervals

Get my 6-week FTP Cycling Plan through Training Peaks. Over these 6 weeks improve your FTP by following my sequence of intervals. Results Guaranteed. Purchase here.

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