Cadence Drop during recovery minutes between intervals

Coach Chad normally suggests to maintain a cadence between 85 - 95 RPM during workout. Will an below-average cadence during recovery minutes negatively impacts the workout quality if I could still finish all other required intervals?

I am now coming to the week 5 of SSB LV2! I notice the workout intensity has come to a new level since Mary Austin -1. This morning, I barely made through Spencer +2 without reducing the intensity. However, after those 3-minute 120% FTP intervals with a suggested high cadence between 95 - 100 RPM, I have had no more energy left during those recovery minutes. My cadence immediately dropped to 65 - 70 RPM and it roughly took me another 3-4 minutes before I could pick up the 85 - 90 RPM cadence again.

Any insight will be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

  • Not likely to be a problem at all.
  • In some workouts, Coach Chad even mentions taking back pedals for short periods of time to aid in recovery.
  • The main point of continuing to pedal in the recoveries (forward or backward) and instead of stopping pedaling all together is to keep the systems in your body working in an effort to reset from the prior work, and in anticipation for the pending work.
  • Differences can come into play with specific workout types and possibly short recoveries, but there is not much sacred about the pedaling cadence in recoveries.

Everything McNeese said, plus Coach Chad also said that it’s good that your workouts later in a training block feel pretty tough. It means you have your FTP probably just right. IIRC, you are in the last work week of your training block and next week will be recovery. That makes it the toughest week. The difficulty escalated from week 1 to 5 then drops quite a bit for week 6. Then repeat with the next block.


No. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you can give your best during the next interval - the important bit. Taking a 10 sec backpedal straight away followed by a dropped cadence puts me in the best place, physically and mentally for the upcoming work.

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Thank you all for the reply!

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