Finish intervals at low cadence, or lower % to keep cadence on target

Hi Folks,
So I am relatively new to TR (two months in). Finished Sweet Spot Base I with some slight mods, now on Base II. I use a Wahoo Kickr on ERG mode for these workouts. My question is this: I have completed what are (for me) tough workouts with several repeated intervals, like the six sweet spot intervals in Kaweah and the nine VO2 max intervals in Givens +1. But, to complete the workouts with each interval at 100% intensity, I have ended up very fatigued and ridden the last interval or two at lower cadence than they are pushing for in the prompts (like as low as 65-70 average rpm for a longer interval and ~60 rpm for the last 2.5 minute vo2 interval in Givens).

Is this ok? Is finishing the workout at 100% intensity but lower cadence preferable to lowering the intensity for the last few intervals so that I can keep the cadence on target? I am not having knee pain (which I realize would be on obvious red flag of unhealthy stress).

There’s no pride at stake here. I don’t care whether or not I finish whichever workout at 100% on any particular day. What I want is to see the most benefit for my time on the trainer.

Hopefully that all makes sense. Thanks in advance for any tips.


With hard VO2 sessions, it is about getting time at your peak O2 uptake.

To this end, I think if standing up will get you through the interval then do it. VO2 intervals are ugly and it is important to commit to the session and maximize your time in that zone on any given day (make your hard days hard and all that), because you will probably only have two of these sessions a week. As you said, you don’t have any knee pain so I don’t see any issues in gutting it out.

As you do more sessions, you will find that you will be able to stay in the saddle for a greater length of time.

  • For clarity, he never mentioned standing. All he said is that he is dropping cadence.

As to the basic cadence question, it may be OK, as long as you are using proper technique and accustomed to putting out higher levels of power. The major risk here is potential joint injury.

So, proper technique and a body with the durability to handle the increased loading is a requirement.

1 Like