Cadence Question

I just started TR this week. I am in my 2nd season of Triathlons and just started cycling. TR consistently through the workout asked me to increase my cadence in a workout. I normally spin at 103 - 108. During the workouts should I increase my cadence to 120+ during the VO2 Max efforts? I am guessing that a background in running means my cardio is better than my leg strength.




The reason it’s suggested is because at VO2Max powers it can feel extremely difficult to push the pedals at the lower cadences people typically use for endurance/sweet spot efforts.

Your natural cadence is already quite fast, so it’s up to you to find out if you need to pedal any faster to manage those intervals or not.

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Lower cadences at VO2Max power for too long time could also give you some knee issues.

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VO2 is a cardio function and higher cadence places more emphasis on cardio – the thing you are trying to train doing VO2 work.

At lower cadence, longer intervals or high-rep sets might cause too much muscle fatigue which could effect quality of workout. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some just to see how you react.

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Yeah, I think it helps push the aerobic engine where the intended stress is meant to go. It also can delay muscle fatigue a bit and keep you in the intervals for better overall compliance.

I did Red Lake +8 last night. Bottom end of VO2, and included some low cadence work, seated and standing mixed, to work on some higher force efforts. I think this works given my prior history of low cadence work and the lower relative effort of being on the low end of VO2.

But in general, I think a faster spin is often the right approach for most VO2 work, especially when you are working closer to the 120% of FTP side.