Optimal Cadence?

I’m new into TR or any structured training. I’m only into cycling for a year now. Been doing TR for few weeks now and most of the advise cadence is to spin at least 85rpm.

I don’t have any problem spinning to 85rpm as my average cadence on most workout is between 92-100rpm per session and on outdoor I usually average 85-90rpm.

The problem is holding my power at certain cadence. It tends to be very erratic. For example holding my cadence at 90-95rpm on 95% FTP. Suddenly I see my cadence is jumping into 105+ so power is overshooting the target which causing me to get tired easily on sustain efforts.

Then one of the workout I tried this morning advised me to lower down my cadence at least 10rpm of my normal cadence so I tried to drop it further to like 65-70rpm and to my surprise the power that I’m struggling to hold on my normal cadence is fairly easy to hold on slower cadence.

Now I’ve been thinking which should I go with going forward?

unless the workout specifically mentions low cadence (60 or something) for strength training, use the 85-95 rpm GUIDELINE. If you favor a slightly higher of lower cadence, that is fine. Just make sure to not be grinding always.

Do you have a smart trainer? Maybe use a different gear combo. I often hear people using the small ring (on a double chainset) and somewhere in the middle of the cassette.
Keep power on target and if the power target is high, a higher rpm is a good thing. just make sure to keep op power.

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You will get better at this as you get more experienced with training. I had a similar experience to you and now a couple years later I don’t even think about it. Stick with the higher cadence.

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Conveniently enough, the podcast touched on the cadence topic this week: