Intensity - leave it alone or go up

I just finished Fletcher today, and at the start realized I could adjust the intensity to higher than 100%. So, that being said, when I am doing these types of workouts where concentration is on endurance and pedal efficiency, I find myself lowering my cadence to meet the target power. ex… power target 58 / cadence will be around 75 or so, power target 65 cadence around 80 to 85.

So my question is should I adjust the intensity higher so I am maintaining a higher cadence, and possibly putting more into the workout? This is also concerning because my next workout will be an FTP test, and I am sure I have raised it, just not sure how much so far.

Also, on a side note, which ring do you use during workouts…I have found the small ring on the trainer to be the best, but should I be in my large ring…ride a traditional 53 / 34. Thanks for any feedback in advance,


When you say power target of 58 or 65 do you mean that is the Watts target?

You didn’t say what your FTP is but those power numbers are rather low.

I always find that the rest periods between intervals are way under powered on some workouts. I just pedal through them at a higher power output whilst still being ensuring they are restful. I could be 20 to 50 watts higher than the requested power target. Then during the actual harder interval the power targets are more realistic etc…

colinio, yes Watts is correct, and my FTP was only at a 90 on the first FTP test. I have done the same thing where I have done the same.

My first FTP test gave me a 95, so I had the same problem. If your FTP is set correctly you generally want your watts to be on target even if you could do more, especially if you’re doing targeted endurance work like Fletcher. Can you shift to a smaller ring/bigger cog? You’re probably running into a power “floor” with your trainer for the gear you’re in, so it literally can’t go any lower. Are you riding in erg mode (the trainer sets the resistance for you) or resistance mode (you control the resistance with cadence and gearing)?

For the FTP test you’ll probably be fine, because the power will ramp up past the floor pretty quickly. Here’s my first one, when I didn’t even realize my power was off (or that cadence mattered):


I have a wheel-on trainer, and I usually use the small ring and a middle-ish cog. I don’t think there’s a “right” answer for this one (but search around, there’s been a lot of discussion on this forum about it). If the small ring feels good and you can hit your power targets, use the small ring.

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. With the help of you guys / gals, and a friend I am figuring this out!

You may not like this idea, but hear me out. Try turning off erg mode.

Sometimes when you’re tired, unmotivated, or just physically unable to power through power spikes to keep the cadence high, it’s better to just select the resistance where you can keep the power at the cadence you want, and then focus on keeping your cadence up instead of the power. That way you never get into the spiral of death and the trainer is more forgiving when you let up momentarily.

Once you have the resistance set to support your natural cadence at the target power you can be lazy(in a sense), not pay attention, and watch Netflix or whatever, just like in erg mode.

You may sometimes average under by 1-2% compared to erg mode, but in my mind it’s a win just to keep consistency.

I’m not very good at putting out consistent power above zone 2, and while that’s something I’m working on, the minor power spikes and dips make erg mode a nightmare.