Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Russian Pyramids - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Windtrainer Session
Cycle Workouts Triathlon Training

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 Wind Trainer session that you can do in about 60 minutes to enhance your cycling (This weeks session clearly breaks this rule). 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 week’s session is a little longer than 60 minutes, however is a great tool when used in association with a Power Meter to determine your training intensities or as a workout to develop your cycling fitness.

Although I developed this session, I named it after a ‘Customer Success Manager‘ at Training Peaks.  After putting a bit of time into developing this session and researching a number of factors surrounding it, I wrote it up and loaded it into Training Peaks but lost it because I couldn’t remember what I named it (maybe I didn’t name it – who knows) but it got lost in cyberland. After a couple of days worth of emails with the CSM I started from scratch and loaded it up again. Who knows where the original workout went, but I named it after him.

Ward Special

  • 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 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, stay seated for this effort, then take a 55 second Rest Interval (RI). Each rep increases by five seconds and the Rest 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 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 prior to repeating the set of Russian Pyramids.

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

To assist with your recovery, do ten minutes 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 to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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

I have launched a new coaching service in the coming weeks and am now offering Initial Memberships at the lowest price that they will ever be offered for. You will gain access to ALL my training plans. The Foundation Membership is only offered whilst I build the site out and get my training plans built into the site. Join now for only $67 and gain access to Training Plans for beginner and recreational athletes:

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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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