New(ish) TR User

Hey I am new(ish) to TR, started in late March. While I have for the most part aimed for consistency and definitely have been able to double down on that more recently, I am realizing through the Podcast and through some of the topics here regarding my cadence selection and wanted to understand better if I am losing out.

All in all, no races, just started into structured training, nothing really ‘planned out’ in terms of a event goal, there was this city tour event but with C-19 thats out of the question I think and have kept it there as the target point of the training plan (Nov).

So the question stems from I have foolishly (I think) ignored the recommended cadence ranges at time, thinking spinner faster is equally better, normally always staying between 90-100 (now a days more at 100, guessing its become easier to spin).

However outside I don’t - probably due to my outside rides being mostly group based where they’re not spinning very high (80-90) and speed isn’t very high (sub 30kmh). When I do ride with stronger riders my cadence doesn’t go that high sitting between 85-95 depending on the gear to maintain the speed.

Am I impacting myself from developing further my FTP or building muscular capacity by not adhering to the recommendations? When I hear pedaling efficiency across a range, are we talking about keeping a god pedal stroke through that cadence range or is there more to it?

And if I do spin more inside than outside, do I lose any performance gains or developments as I transfer outside or is there anything else I am overlooking/missing?

For context: LV plan, weekend outside unstructured rides and at this stage I have started throwing in an endurance session on the Monday (condensed the plan to T-W-Th; leaving Friday for do nothing recovery).

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Will it affect your FTP? Probably not.

Will it limit your overall abilities as a rider? Yeah.

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Thanks for the feedback. Just hoping I didn’t derail the overall progress. Just gotta finish this plan now following the cadence recommendations and then kick start a new one later with open eyes.

Scientific literature indicates that there is no ‘optimal’ cadence:

Best guidance is to train indoors in the cadence range(s) you will be riding in outdoors - be it in group rides or competition. If you are gearing limited in climbs, train at low cadence. If you want to win the bunch sprint to the finish line or the town sign, train at high cadence. Otherwise, for best efficiency, train at your ‘natural cadence’ which would seem to be 85-95 based on your initial post.