Okay this doesn't read like a workout I can do in ERG

Got this workout from my coach…

Warm up. Do 3-4 x 8 minutes (2-minute recoveries). Shift between a hard gear for 30 seconds & a ‘normal’ gear for 60 seconds. Maintain the same cadence regardless of gearing. This should be closer to the low end of your ‘comfort range’ (about 85 rpm). Cool down.

I can’t think of a TR workout that translates to this off the top of my head. Not even sure if this is doable in ERG mode…

Help?

There are probably over/under’s that are 30 seconds over and 60 under in the library (or you can make it with workout creator). Erg mode should hold your cadence fairly constant.

It does require some interpretation as to what hard and normal gear means but holding cadence constant and changing gears is a backhanded way of saying high(er) power and low(er) power (indoors, anyhow).

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Overs are Threshold
Unders are Tempo

I’m looking at Granite and up the difficulty or Tunnabora. Not exactly what the coach is ordering, but falls in the spirit of the assignment.

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Your coach is a bit too vague for my taste, and I’d ask for clarification. When I first read it, I thought 3-4 x 8 minutes at threshold or sweet spot with 2-minute recoveries in between. Others read this as over-unders. I don’t quite read the instructions that way. But IMHO the instructions are too vague.

You can change cadence in erg mode by shifting, so that’s easy, too. Just make sure you are in a suitable gear to start with, which gives you enough gears to shift up/down. Alternatively, you can do this workout in resistance mode.

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I agree with you that it’s vague and I’m not exactly sure what the coach is asking for.

I’m not sure what you mean by changing cadence in Erg mode by shifting? When I’m in Erg mode, I just change cadence and Erg adjusts the tension so I hold steady(ish) power. Shifting would only change that for a few seconds, but then the power would adjust and I’d be right back where I started.

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The coach asked for very short-term cadence changes (30 seconds and 1 minute). When you lower your cadence, your trainer will need a bit of time to adjust to the resistance to the new power level. Even worse (in my experience) is if you then want to significantly increase the cadence: you have to “overpower” the trainer, which costs significant effort in my experience. You will have to overshoot your power targets significantly to change cadences that quickly.

It is much easier to shift. Yes, you will have to pay attention to keep your cadence steady and not let it drift back. But that’s just a skill you can work on.

Personally, I only use erg mode for endurance workouts. Sweet spot and up, I prefer resistance mode.

Interesting. I have a Neo and it doesn’t work like that in Erg. It would adjust to the shift within 5 seconds or so. What trainer are you on?

I’m on an Elite Suito. I can regulate how quickly the trainer reacts, and that is a compromise between not overreacting to small changes in cadence but reacting quickly enough to intended changes.

I’m a little confused when you write that your Tacx Neo doesn’t work like that: when you shift gears but keep power roughly constant, your trainer should not adjust resistance levels at all. Of course, you have to know how many gears to shift in order to keep the power output constant at a different cadence. Since I use resistance mode all the time, I have a pretty good feel for that.

Since all trainers work the same in this respect, I don’t think your Neo will react differently. Trainers react to changes in flywheel speed: the resistance level and flywheel speed determine the wattage. So if you shift your gears and adjust your cadence correctly, your wattage will stay the same.

I suspect you are not shifting into the right gear and/or your cadence drifts. The latter is quite common in erg mode when you haven’t trained for it. E. g. when I got the trainer new and wanted to alter my cadence from, say, 95 rpm to 70 rpm, I’d shift into the right gear, but my cadence would drift back up to 80+ rpm. It takes some getting used to, not least because higher cadence means higher flywheel speed, and your trainer promptly reacts by lowering resistance to keep power constant. That runs counter to how things work outdoors or in resistance mode: here, higher cadence (at the same gear) always results in higher power, not lower power.

Sorry, but I don’t follow you. When I am in Erg, it doesn’t matter what gear I am in or what cadence I am at, the power stays the same (or takes 2 or 3 seconds to adjust if I shift or change cadence). If the goal is 250 watts, the trainer is going to “force me” to put out 250 watts whether I’m spinning 60 or 120rpm and regardless of the gear, so shifting makes no difference after a couple seconds

You need to distinguish between steady state power and fast changes of cadence at the same power. You are right that I can be in my lowest or highest gear, and the trainer is able to adjust the resistance accordingly.

But if you want to change your cadence from 100 rpm to 60 rpm back up to 100 rpm, your trainer will need much longer to adjust to that. That is because if it adjusted too quickly, it would make regular riding during erg mode very hard and uncomfortable. It’d feel as if you are “pedaling into a wall” (near instantaneous and significant resistance increase) or “pedaling off a cliff” (near instantaneous and significant resistance decrease).

That’s why e. g. trainers are programmed to take 2–3 seconds to adjust resistance when you go from a rest interval to a work interval. This delay means that going from, say, 100 rpm or 110 rpm to 60 rpm would take a very long time, a significant share of the 30 seconds. On my Suito going from 100 rpm to 60 rpm would take over 10 seconds (at the current settings), 1/3 of the prescribed interval. During that period, I’d be significantly below my target power. And to go from 60 rpm to 100 rpm will likely take longer and will require me to go significantly above the prescribed power. In both cases, you’d need to adjust your power output to force the trainer to change resistance. With gear shifts I can make these adjustments pretty much instantly while hitting all my power targets.

When you shift and keep power output constant (at a higher or lower cadence), you don’t change the flywheel speed of the trainer, and so your trainer would not need to adjust resistance at all. Doing this takes some practice, you’d need to know how many gears to shift and roughly what cadence you need to shoot for in advance. And then you need to keep a lid on your cadence for there is a tendency to maintain the previous cadence.

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Interesting. I’m glad I don’t have that issue. Thanks for explaining. I’ll leave it at that so we don’t derail the OP’s topic further. :beers:

The workout doesn’t specify how hard the overall 8-minute block is supposed to be. I think it would be reasonably to say that the “normal” gear is roughly tempo and the “hard” gear is above-threshold.

If you want to maintain a constant cadence in ERG but change the force (hard vs. normal gear), that means you necessarily need to be changing the power.

So we’re talking 3 x 8-minute intervals of 30 seconds hard, 60 seconds less-hard where, in ERG mode, you try to hold a constant cadence.

That sounds like basically the structure of a criss-cross or over-under workout.

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Yep, I didn’t put full context in as the workout came from Training Peaks. When it loaded into TR, it was just confusing.

If I had more time I would have fixed it in Workout Creator.

Yeah, the cadence part is a red herring. This workout has nothing to do with cadence. It’s about different powers. I’m assuming Threshold or above (probably vo2max) for 30 seconds and endurance for 60 seconds. It’s impossible to maintain power and cadence and have a different gearing in the real world so that tips it off that this isn’t about cadence, it’s about power. Erg should actually be quite good for this and TR has a boat load of these types of workouts.

So it must have had a structured workout in TrainingPeaks, otherwise it won’t load into TR. What does that look like?

So 8 minutes with 30 seconds at threshold, then 60 seconds of tempo? Or vice versa? Either way its not undergeared or overgeared. Seems to be simulating pace changes in a 3 person pace line. :man_shrugging:

Regardless, cadence work is best done in sim or resistance or level mode.

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Yeah I’m going to have to talk to my Coach about this.

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From a power point-of-view it looks like 3-4 sets of easy-ish 8-min over/unders with 1:2 ratio. The cadence work is likely something specific for you, or going out on a limb its possible the “maintain the same cadence” is some weird acknowledgment to Erg (yes I see the gearing reference).