Pyramids: Doing pyramids are a great way to do a pre-race day warm-up, race day warm-up and Time Trial warm-up. The structure is based on taping into certain zones in a particular order and for allotted times best suited for the event the next day or that day. Having the time and recovery time preset also help you to stay focused on how many sprints you are doing and to also feel like you are warmed up enough, but not too much. This eliminates the randomness of your warm-up. Some days you will need more or less and you can tailor make your plan to fit how you are feeling. The more you stick to the plan the better you will know how your body is feeling. To read this plan I want to explain that “on” means full speed in normal sprint cadence (approximately 95+ rpm’s). A full sprint is different from a spin-out in that you shift gears as your speed increases in your big chain ring as opposed to the small ring spin-outs. Just take off standing in full sprint, shift gears to accommodate for the faster pace, sit down to find your rhythm for the amount of time, and stand up again the last 10 seconds to finish in a sprint. “Off” means you are still pedaling, but you will shift back down to an easy gear and keep your legs moving and catch your breath before starting the “on” time again. Each pyramid is named for the maximum amount of time you will be sprinting (the top of the pyramid). For example; a 2 minute pyramid means you will work upward in “on” time to a max of 2 minutes before moving back down the pyramid. Recovery time between sprints is the longer amount of “on” time you are sprinting.

Different Pyramids Intervals

Mini Pyramids
ON 15” – 30” – 15”
OFF 30” — 30”
1 minute pyramid
ON 15” – 30” – 1’ – 30” – 15”
OFF 30” — 1’ — 1’ — 30”
1:30 minute pyramid
ON 30” – 1’ – 1:30’ – 1’ – 30”
OFF 1’ – 1:30’ — 1:30’ – 1’
2 minute pyramid
ON 30” – 1’ – 2’ – 1’ – 30”
OFF 1’ – 2’ – 2’ — 1’
3 minute pyramid
ON 1’ – 2’ – 3’ – 2’ – 1’
OFF 2’ — 3’ — 3’ — 2’
5 minute pyramid
ON 1’ – 3’ – 5’ – 3’ – 1’
OFF 3’ — 5’ — 5’ — 3’

*Suggested Pre Race Warm up: 2 x 1’ pyramids

After warming up for at least 20-30 minutes begin your first 1’ pyramid. Then ride back to the car to finish your race preparation; pin numbers, go to the bathroom, take off your extra jacket, fill your water bottles and get a bite to eat. Now you can start warming up again for about 10 minutes before you begin your second pyramid. You want to time your pyramids so that you will finish them about 10-12’ before the start of the race. Keep rolling around until the start and you will be ready to start the race!

Pyramids are used during the week in training. You can use them on flat terrain to practice sprinting or on hills for hard interval (timed) efforts. The time difference between the intervals helps teach you how to pace yourself to go at your Max effort given the amount of time. You will have a much different pace going hard for 15” than your would for 5’ on a hill. Always be sure to get a good warm-up and cool-down when doing intervals so your muscles are ready for the harder exertions.