Chrissie Wellington’s favourite bike training session

This bike pyramid training session was a favourite of four-time Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington.

19161-b860f7e-ace7739.jpg

Although steady riding’s important, mixing up cadence and speed helps maintain fitness and power while staving-off boredom. It also helps develop a better understanding of how resistance and effort impact form and power, and interval sessions are great for testing limits and reminding you to dig deep.

Advertisement

I was a creature of habit and had some go-to sessions in my career, including this one, prescribed by my first coach Brett Sutton. It’s a pyramid, gradually building cadence (and speed) while increasing duration of the effort interval until a 10min race-pace effort is reached, before decreasing all variables. For efficiency, keep your bike ready with a towel and shoes clipped in. A mirror, to check form, and a fan, to limit sweaty conditions are also beneficial.

THE SESSION

WARM-UP

10mins easy @90rpm 

MAIN SET

4 x 1min vigorous @60rpm

60secs easy @90rpm

3 x 2mins vigorous @70rpm

60secs easy @90rpm

2x3mins vigorous @75rpm

60secs easy @90rpm

5mins vigorous @80rpm

2mins easy @90rpm

1 x 10mins vigorous @90rpm

2mins easy @90rpm

5mins vigorous @80rpm

60secs rest 

2 x 3mins vigorous @75rpm

60secs easy @90rpm

3 x 2mins vigorous @70rpm

60secs easy @90rpm

• 

4 x 1min vigorous @60rpm
60secs easy @90rpm

COOL-DOWN

5-10mins easy @90rpm

Adapt for beginners

Only do the first half, and double the recovery if necessary.

Adapt for Ironman

Advertisement

Increase the number of reps at each rpm and/or increase the duration of the 10min segment  (i.e. to 20-30mins).