Derek Rush's Pain Cave Challenge

These workouts, which range in intensity from difficult to downright brutal, are designed specifically for cyclists who already possess a high level of fitness, those pedal pushing savages that aren't truly having fun unless they're storming the fiery trenches. So if you think you're beast enough and up for the challenge, let's fuel up the tank, prime those legs, and prepare to enter the Pain Cave.


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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 56m 40s

Stress points: 152

Zone distribution

Z1: 56m

Z2: 6m

Z3: 3m

Z4: -

Z5: 32m

Z6: 19m

48%
5%
3%
0%
28%
16%

Author: Derek Rush

VO2MAX/AC Intervals of decreasing duration but increasing power. As the power ramps up so should your cadence. By the time you hit the 10/10s you really want to be going for max rpms. This is one that takes you way outside your comfort zone, and keeps you there for the duration. After all, what better way to improve your sustained threshold power than to train above it?

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 52m

Stress points: 151

Zone distribution

Z1: 41m

Z2: 8m

Z3: 40m

Z4: -

Z5: -

Z6: 22m

37%
7%
36%
0%
0%
20%

Author: Derek Rush

2 x 20 30/30 Strength Reps @ 140%. Target cadence for these is 70-75 rpm. All movement from the hips down; push with the glutes, pull with the hammies. Concentrate on smooth pedaling form. Stay seated and grind it out. After a short break, we move on to 8 consecutive sets of 5 minute Tempo Zone Waves, each ramp culminating with a 15 second out-of-saddle effort at 175%. Again, maintain a controlled cadence, focusing on smooth transitions from seated to standing and back again. This one will hurt!

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 49m 40s

Stress points: 124

Zone distribution

Z1: 46m

Z2: 47m

Z3: 2m

Z4: 1m

Z5: -

Z6: 14m

42%
43%
2%
1%
0%
13%

Author: Derek Rush

The focus of this one is leg speed. Stay seated and wind out that cadence on each rep. We've got 3 sets of 20 micro bursts. Each rep is a short 10 seconds in length, set at 200%, and you want to be shooting for a cadence of 120+rpm. Soft pedal for 20 seconds between each. Follow this up with 45 minutes of endurance zone with 15 second bursts, seated or standing, your choice.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 50m

Stress points: 163

Zone distribution

Z1: 56m

Z2: 3m

Z3: 3m

Z4: 40m

Z5: -

Z6: 8m

51%
3%
3%
36%
0%
7%

Author: Derek Rush

4 x 10 minute Sweet Spot Muscle Tension Intervals @ 60-70rpm with 2' breathers. Once fatigued, you'll be going into 10 x 15/45 Maximal Seated Power Reps right into 10 x 30" Standing Form Drills. Dig deep! This one is going to hurt.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 39m

Stress points: 140

Zone distribution

Z1: 34m

Z2: 7m

Z3: 4m

Z4: 40m

Z5: -

Z6: 13m

35%
7%
4%
40%
0%
13%

Author: Derek Rush

4 x 10' blocks at 100% of FTP, each followed up with Russian Steps of 20/40, 30/30, 40/20, 50/10 and 1 minute at 130%. Five minute rest between sets.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 30m 30s

Stress points: 148

Zone distribution

Z1: 31m

Z2: 4m

Z3: 3m

Z4: 1m

Z5: 1m

Z6: 51m

35%
4%
3%
1%
1%
56%

Author:

A relentless VO2Max interval session of 50 x 1 minute reps at 115% of FTP on a limited 30 seconds rest. Don't feel bad if you throw in the sweat soaked towel. Not everyone can endure this degree of brutality.

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