Cycling Session

Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Russian Pyramids

This is a great workout for developing your VO2 Max within a longer ride. This is perfect for short-course triathletes and also road racers 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 it is 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.

Russian Pyramids

  • 60min Warm Up Level II;
  • Russian Pyramid (Stay seated for all efforts. Push as hard as possible, keeping in mind that each set will take 12 mins.)
    • 5 secs sprint/55 secs easy spin recovery
    • 10 secs sprint/ 50 secs easy spin recovery
    • 15 secs sprint/ 45 secs easy spin recovery
    • 20 secs sprint/ 40 secs easy spin recovery
    • 25 secs sprint/ 35 secs easy spin recovery
    • 30 secs sprint/ 30 secs easy spin recovery
    • 35 secs sprint/ 25 secs easy spin recovery
    • 40 secs sprint/ 20 secs easy spin recovery
    • 45 secs sprint/ 15 secs easy spin recovery
    • 50 secs sprint/ 10 secs easy spin recovery
    • 55 secs sprint/ 5 secs easy spin recovery
    • 60 secs sprint
  • 48min Level II, then repeat the Russian Pyramid;
  • 48min Cool Down Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

Start the workout with a warm-up (WU) of 60 minutes of easy riding at Level II.

There are two main sets made up of twelve reps each one minute long (including the Rest Interval (RI)).

The first rep starts with a five-second SPRINT at Level V, stays seated for this effort, and then takes a 55-second Rest Interval (RI). Each rep increases by five seconds and the Rest of the Interval (RI) decreases by five seconds. This makes the second rep ten seconds at Level V and the Rest Interval (RI) only 50 seconds. Keep increasing the duration of the effort and decreasing the Rest Interval until the twelfth rep which is 60 seconds long with no Rest Interval!!! Never fear the other way I could write this is to say that there is a 48-minute Rest Interval (RI) that follows it!!

Following the twelfth rep spend 48 minutes riding gently at Level II before repeating the set of Russian Pyramids.

Finish the ride with 48 minutes of riding at Level II for your Cool Down (CD).

To assist with your recovery, do ten minutes of stretching.

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

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