Low cadence block

Been doing my current plan all at a lower cadence and ignoring the workout text (sorry Nate :smile:) My natural cadence on the road is around 80 but been working at around 60-65. My goal is a long distance tri in July of next year.

I find the low cadence easier and, I think, I am improving my pedal stroke and building leg strength.

Currently half way through SSBLV2. I’ve done everything from endurance to VO2 at this low cadence for the last few weeks.

What are the pros and cons of such an approach?

To improve power you need both leg speed and strength. By doing all low cadence work you’ll have the strength but not the speed.

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I would really try to work on the leg speed.

I put out more power at 85 rpm for a given heart rate. I can’t hold that due to the fact my legs start burning.
Try bumping it up to mid 90’s and to make that easier try doing warm-up at a 100+ cadence. After that it is much easier to keep up the higher cadences.

With you wanting to do a long tri I would recommend to load your aerobic system more then the muscular system. But that is with only cycling experience, never did a tri.

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See this post from Chad:


I also recently learned that some top-end (i.e., WorldTour) sprinters use low-cadence drills at varied power outputs, even ones well above FTP, to stimulate endurance adaptation in fast-twitch fibers. This threw me for a bit of a loop at first, having never considered this potential benefit of slow-force work. If I understood correctly, the aim wasn’t to improve the power of the sprint so much as to increase the endurance capacity of otherwise high-force muscle fibers. But don’t quote me or take any of this too seriously as I’m following up with the coach and hope to have a better understanding in the near future. I’ll update this thread if/when I hear back.


To get a bit more specific, what would be classed as “low-cadence” here? 50-60 rpm?


Exactly. That’s commonly what I’ve seen used, and that’s the range these particular sprinters were using too.


My recent rides have been in the snow, including some long sustained climbs over an hour. Riding at 3mph means low cadence, and I find after these rides I feel more fatigued than a normal cadence ride (I don’t have a power meter on my fat bike, but at the same HR, similar TSS, to a MTB or road ride, the low cadence on the fat bike is harder).

For me to sustain riding over the winter, I’ve modified my planned routes to be on flatter terrain, as riding up the ski mountain at low cadence each time I think would put too much stress on my body.


I’ve discovered that low cadence workouts between 60-75 RPM is the only way for me to improve my climbing abilities, especially steep hills.

In addition, training for climbing when your bike is level is almost completely useless as the position does not simulate the hip/leg angles. So I raise my front wheel to simulate a slope of at least 8% whenever I do a workout to train for climbing.


Wondering, any updates?