Redline pyramid

Redline-pyramidAim of Session

A series of blocks working below and above the target race power

Session description

WARM UP: 15 minutes progressive warm-up, included in session duration

MAIN SET: 6 min blocks: 2 mins below 10 mile race pace, 2 mins above 10 mile race pace, 2 mins below. Two mins spinning between repeats

COOL DOWN: 15 minutes in zone 1/2, included in session duration


Notice the similar structure to the redline session. It is important, however, to remember that this session is working at a significantly higher intensity. The idea is the same though; riding above race pace increases the rate at which metabolites such as lactate, hydrogen ions and ammonia are produced - during the periods below race pace your body must clear or 'buffer' these by-products. The better you become at this the more able you will be to sustain the higher intensity. Riding above 10 mile TT pace places you very close to VO2 max so you will also stress your oxygen delivery systems.   

Application for the Rider

This session will usually be prescribed to help you develop sustainability at race pace. Often it will follow on from a period of work aiming to lift your top end, either through VO2 max work or target intervals. If you struggle with the session, consider shortening the block above race pace to one minute and build up to the full session. Similarly you may progress by at first completing only 2 or 3 blocks and building up to 4 or 5. 

Practicalities and tips!

  • This can be a very demanding session operating so close to your VO2 max so ensure you are suitably recovered (and motivated) going into this session. 
  • Consider doing it on the turbo, as the adjustments in power from below to above race pace require quite subtle control
  • As with all sessions working on race pace, consider practising your race warm up to best prepare you for the session.
  • This session is an example of where training can trump racing to progress your fitness. The chance to work above your current race pace in controlled blocks gives you a much greater stimulus to move you on to another level. 

Evaluation of the session

  • Split each interval down into the alternating blocks - were each of these on target?
  • What was harder, the 'on' or the 'off' block? Many athletes find the 'recovery' time harder - this is the lactic acid moving from the site of production into the blood.
  • Was your HR getting chance to recover between blocks or were you starting each interval still carrying a lot of fatigue over from the previous?
  • Were you able to keep cadence similar in the 'on' and 'off' blocks and also between the first and last interval?