Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Bicycling Magazine’s Ladder Intervals

This is a windtrainer session that is great for developing your sustained speed.  It is perfect for triathletes, road cyclists, and mountain bikers alike.

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 is inspired by an article from Bicycling mag.

Bicycling Magazine’s Ladder Intervals

  • 10min Level II WU;
  • 2x
    • 4min Level IV;
    • 3min Level V;
    • 1min Level V+;
    • 5min RI Level II;
    • 1min Level V+;
    • 3min Level V;
    • 4min Level IV;
    • 10min RI Level II (between sets)
  • 10min RI Level II CD;
  • 10min Stretching

The warm-up (WU) should be done at an intensity that is steady but not overconsuming at Level II for ten minutes.

This workout is made up of two sets. Within each set there are many parts; the easiest way of thinking about this section is having two hard parts with some easy riding between the hard parts (hard, easy, hard) and then having a good Rest Interval (RI) before doing the hard, easy, hard segment again.

The first hard part is made up of three sub-reps: four minutes at Level IV, three minutes at Level V, and then another minute where you lift your effort again to Level V+!!!! Then cruise and recover at Level II for your Rest Interval (RI) for five minutes. You then repeat the hard segment but in reverse, starting with the minute at Level V+. After 60 seconds you will be suffering and more than likely fade down into Level V but hold that for another three minutes. Then you need to hold Level IV for four minutes!!!! This is VERY hard to achieve, but if you commit and focus it can be done, especially if you keep your cadence above 90Rpm (as that won’t sap your legs too much).

Spend ten minutes recovering at Level II for your Rest Interval (RI) between sets.

Now it is time to repeat the hard (four minutes Level IV, three minutes Level V, and one minute Level V+), easy (five minutes Level II RI), hard (one minute Level V+, three minutes Level V, four minutes Level IV) again. Once you complete that go straight into the Cool Down (CD).

The Cool Down (CD) is at low intensity (Level II) for a minimum of ten minutes.

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

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

I am the Head Coach and 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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Do this workout with the Qwik Kiwi Squad Today

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Simple as 1, 2, 3

  1. Click this link and enter your details including FTP and weight (no cheating).
  2. Select “Full Access Membership” and search for & click on “Bicycling Magazine’s Ladder Intervals” in the workout section, then “Start this Workout.
  3. Connect your trainer, power meter, and/or heart rate monitor (make sure they are disconnected from your trainer app, Zwift, Rouvey, etc… first), then come ride with us.

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