March Training Article

Interesting article this month Phil, and its covered some topics that I have been discussing with a few others, so obviously we are thinking along the right lines.

One really interesting point is cadence. I like to turn a fairly high cadence, 90-95, and even upto 100prm fairly often, in a lighter gear. When I want to accelerate on the bike I spin the pedals faster rather than taking a bigger gear and pushing harder as some others do.

My question is whether my cadence is too high, or if that is just how I prefer to ride so to stay with it

  1. 18 Posts

    really interesting question here, martin.

    two important points : a) "how i prefer to ride".... : we all have our own style, and if you have tried & tested it and it works for you, then stick with it. of course one can improve technique with experienced advice, but the most important thing still remains the 'feels right' factor. especially regarding cadence, point b)

    b) cadence : high cadence is a more efficient way of pedalling, all the books seem to agree on this. BUT it puts more strain on your cardio-vascular system. so, if you are comfortable spinning a high cadence, and can even increase speed by an even higher cadence, then so much the better. I would love to be able to this, but just find myself more comfy pushing a bigger gear at a lower cadence à la Ullrich. (a so-much-better cheater than the high-cadence Armstrong!). But have you tested this technique over longer rides? Can you maintain your cadence even after 150kms? 



  2. I seem to be able to maintain that cadence for a long ride. I did 163k on Sunday and the average cadence looks pretty constant. I have taken a screen shot of the latter part of the ride to show my cadence and its showing still well up there

  3. 18 Posts

    looks good! keep spinning like that. Contador, Wiggins & Froome might even raise an eyebrow at that....

  4. I did a spinathon a few week ago and I managed to average 144rpm for an hour solid no stops. I peaked at what I worked out to be 165-170 (screens go blank at those speeds), my legs hurt in all kinda of strange ways for about 10 days after that thou, so I dont do that on the bike. 

    I seem to notice as well that my HR is a bit higher than others, which I guess is because I am working CV more than muscles, but then I am also pretty comfortable at 90% of Max HR (for moderate lengths of time). For example the ride at the weekend, my Average HR was 151 over 6¼ hours, so that is nearly 79% of MaxHR

  5. 1 Post

    Phil - what are you defining as a high cadence here?  And typically what sort of cadence would you say is high for doing long mountain climbs?



  6. 18 Posts

    rob : anything over 90rpm is high for me when climbing. This is all more about 'feel' than statistics, (peronsal opinion of course) since it will be different for everyone. The principle is, when trying to go for cadence rather than 'push', is to work out where you feel most effective. When climbing you should start pushing a relatively big gear (where you have to really push down on the pedals) and then change down a gear so that you are no longer conscious of pushing, but feel like you are putting more energy into spinning the pedals. There must still be some 'push', or you will start to look like a MTB rider (!), but you should feel less strain on your thighs and more strain on your breathing. A cadence of around 80rpm would be pretty good for most long climbs, roughly speaking. But, even when you have found this optimum, personal, cadence, you should then change up a gear or two periodically to change your position. A higher cadence allows you to sit comfy when climbing, which is the most efficient way, BUT you really should then do intervals of standing & pushing a bigger gear too. This will rest some muscles & work others; will help stave off risks of cramping; and will relax shoulders and teh upper body due to the change of position. Does this make sense? Phil

  7. Hi Phil, (i have had to create a new account for Bike Radar, hence the new user name).

    This is really useful and all makes sense. Thank you.



  8. <Penny Drops>

    'or you will start to look like a MTB rider''

    Maybe this is where I get it from. Although I wasn't really that good on my MTB, but that is where I started

  9. 18 Posts

    martin : we all have to start somewhere! i am glad you found The Light,and smooth tarmac!!

  10. I do wonder how I would do in an MTB race now. Was always Fat and slow before, now I am just not as fat and hopefully not quite as slow. 

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