Is my cadence too low during the various workouts I am completing?

Hi TR crew,

I’m a fairly longtime TR member, must be 5-6 years I think.

I pretty much carry out 2-4 workouts week in, week out.

When I started on TR I had a cadence of maybe 75, and at that point followed the drills most of the time, and managed to get my cadence up to around 90 on average for most workouts.
Outside that equated to high 80s.

In more recent years I have found that my cadence seems to have dropped, possibly combined with my not really paying any attention to the drills, and just riding instead.

If I go for a fast ride out on the road, I tend to end up in the 75-80 range.

Likewise on the workouts, my cadence has dropped a fair amount.

For example, 3 out of my 4 most recent workouts are as below:
Endurance - 69 average (2.5 hours)
VO2 max - 76 average (1hr)
Sweetspot - 71 average (1hr)

And today I completed a 1 hour sweetspot workout, 6 X 6 minute intervals.

Cadence was:

I’ve seen a forum post that suggests if your cadence is going too low it can lead to injuries appearing, so I’m just a little concerned.



Low cadence itself isn’t a concern. Low cadence at high power output (ie, high pedal forces) are the potential concern. The warnings I recall about that is suddenly jumping in to a lot of high force pedaling; if you’re habitually accustomed to it I’d think it’d be less of a risk.

Those cadences look low to me but there’s a lot of personal preference involved. My own experience is that having a low cadence makes responding to surges much harder. If you’re not doing any mass start races than that’s not really relevant, though.

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It’s possible your muscle fibers have changed a bit and that’s why you feel different at those higher cadences.

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Thankyou both for your replies.

It’s certainly been a gradual process for me, and nothing I have consciously chosen to do, it’s just happened naturally, but I was wondering if I should try and concentrate to up it again.

If I’m hitting some VO2 intervals, I almost always go into those over 100rpm, try and hold that for 30-60 seconds, and then let it naturally come down to 90/80.

One thing I will add, is that my current turbo bike only has the use of a 50 outer ring, as opposed to the inner 34 I used to use - I’m riding a original Tacx Neo, so I don’t believe that would cause any issues, as it’s a smart trainer, so should in theory just control the resistance based on what gear I am in at the time.
I do have a pan to sort the turbo bike so the 34 can be utilised again.

I wonder if I should make a concentrated effort to try and complete some workouts at higher cadences, as much to spread the load if anything.

Due to weather, illness, and family commitments I have not managed a hard ride out on the road for probably 6 weeks, and due to ongoing commitments I won’t be able to get out for a further 3 weeks, but will be intrigued to see what my form is like.

Do you use ERG ? On long intervals harder intervals if I’m not on it (concentrating) it’ll drag my cadence down further than I would like. I’ve been making a bit more of a concertive effort of late to avoid that as I’ve had some low cadence howlers in the past but endurance workouts tend to be higher cadence for me regardless.

Outside I have a variable cadence depending upon the terrain, what type of ride and where I am in the ride etc.