Cycling Coach

Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: 12 Days of Christmas

This session is a great way to develop your pedalling efficiency. Perfect for draft-legal triathletes, road cyclists, and 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 I got from Triathlon Magazine Canada, it’s too good not to share with you today. It does go over the 60-minute mark but hey, it’s Christmas time 😃

12 Days of Christmas

  • 12min Warm Up Level II;
  • 11min Cadence ladder (1min riding at each of 100Rpm/105Rpm/110Rpm…..125Rpm/120Rpm/115Rpm…….105Rpm/100Rpm);
  • 10min Max Sprint for 12sec every 2min;
  • 9min single leg drills 1min right leg/1min both legs/1min left leg maintaining moderate wattage but low cadence (55-65Rpm)
  • 8min Alternate between 115+Rpm & 85-95Rpm for 1min each;
  • 7min Level IV maintaining 95+Rpm;
  • 6min Level II RI 100Rpm;
  • 5min High Cadence 110+Rpm;
  • 4min Level II;
  • 3min BG Interval Level IV-V 55-65Rpm;
  • 2min Level II RI;
  • 1min Plank off the bike;
  • 10min Cool Down Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

The first 12 minutes of the warm-up should be done at an intensity that is steady but not over-consuming at Level II.

The main set is made up of eleven sets after the twelve-minute warm-up descends in duration of eleven minutes for the first one. ten minutes for the second and so on down to one minute.

The eleven-minute set is a cadence ladder. Start by riding at 100Rpm for 60 seconds, then increase it to 105Rpm for the next minute. Continue to increase the cadence by 5Rpm every minute until you have ridden for 60 seconds at 125Rpm. Then decrease the cadence by 5Rpm each minute back to 100Rpm.

The ten-minute set starts off with a twelve-second maximum sprint (Level V), this is repeated every two minutes until the ten minutes is completed. Ride easily at Level II between sprints. Effectively you are doing 5x 12sec Level V, 1:48 Level II RI.

The nine-minute set involves repeating a three-minute set three times. Within the three minutes spend a minute riding with your left leg only, then both legs for a minute before finishing with your right leg only. This is all done at moderate intensity (Level III) and a low cadence of 55-65 Rpm.

The eight-minute set is made up by alternating for a minute a piece riding at a cadence of 115Rpm or higher then at a more natural cadence of 85-95Rpm. This is all done at an easy intensity (Level I-II).

The seven-minute set is one solid Time Trial (TT) effort of Level IV for the duration maintaining 90Rpm or just above.

The six-minute set is recovery at Level II maintaining a cadence of 100Rpm or above.

The five-minute set is working on your high cadence. So make sure you are in a low gear and see how high you can maintain for the full five minutes. Aim for 110+Rpm. This should all be Level I-II.

The four-minute set is an easy recovery also at Level I-II.

The three-minute set is done in a Big Gear (BG) and maintaining the highest power (Level IV-V) output in a low (55-65Rpm) cadence that you can.

The two-minute set is another recovery set, so Level I-II.

Tri Training NZ
Prone Bridge

The final minute is done off the bike performing a prone bridge (also known as a plank) exercise. In this exercise, you are maintaining a bridge position from your forearms to your toes without any other body part resting on the floor.

Conclude the ride with a Cool Down of ten minutes riding at Level II.

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

Here is my data from when I did the session:

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. Make sure you sign up for my informative newsletter.

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