Outside Workouts - inconsistent watts at high rpm, maybe more consistent lower rmps?

I love taking my TR workouts outside, but one problem I’ve noticed is that the watts can vary widely, as much as 100 watts, even when using a consistent cadence. I try and keep it above 85 to 90, as Coach Chad teaches (and I personally prefer that cadence for less perceived effort.) When I focus on my form, the watts will bump up for a bit, but don’t stay there for long. Overall today, my watts averaged 18 watts less than the workout called for in the intervals.

But on today’s Kaiser +2 workout, I also tried lowering cadence to 75-80 and my impression is the watts were more consistent with fewer wide swings. Has anyone else noticed this issue? I’m wondering if there is a potential trade-off of lower cadence/more consistent watts that worth using outside.

(FYI, I’m using Assiamo Duo PM.)

It’s individual. For some it’s easy to to hold low cadence & relative high torque to say hold 300W v. high cadence & relatively low torque to hold 300W. For some it’s the other way around. It’s a muscle fiber make-up and inertia thing.

If you are new to power outside try smoothing power to 3 seconds. Power is the direct (primary) indicator of performance and cadence, speed etc…are all secondary. Try to not fixate on power even though it’s primary . Apply pressure, see where the watts are, make very gradual small changes in pressure to bracket. You’ll get really good at knowing with out looking where power and cadence are by feel after some practice.

Once power is stable it can be helpful to cross check speed and cadence even at 3s smoothing as those are less stochastic.

In the end I just stay on top of the gear no matter the interval. Shifting as needed to keep power. Sometimes that’s lower sometimes higher cadence depending on fatigue, climbing, length/intensity of interval…

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Yes, although on outside vo2 workouts I’m often spinning at 85-90rpm. On sweet spot and threshold its often 75-80rpm.

Science is not conclusive on optimal cadence. Do what works and feels natural.

My bike computer displays 10 second, lap power, and 1 sec. My focus is on the 10-sec and lap power fields. Experiment! You may prefer 3 seconds or 30 seconds.


Thanks. I’m fairly new to PM’s. I will try a longer average and see how that goes. Since the TR workout populates its own screen, that’s what I’ve been watching, and i"m not sure if you can edit that screen like others on the Elemnt. The lap power would be most helpful to know if you’re hitting the called for watts.

I do my outside workouts mostly on hills. Sometimes there’s no way I can match the recommended cadence. I just pay attention to power and keep as close as possible to the power range being displayed.

I have a 7 mile flat loop that I use just so I don’t have to start/stop to hit the numbers.

i have the default workout screen, and then next to it i have another screen that i primary use.

i use the garmin 830.

i leave it on the TR workout screen, see what watts i need to hit, then flip off it to my other screen,

on that screen, i have 4 fields, ave power, cadence, HR and then taking up the majority of the screen space is a power slide

i prefer to use this as it is cloured and rather than fixate on a number, i know the if i look down and see green, then i am nailing the SS/Threshold report (yellow for v02)

it stops the numbers getting in your head as you just need to see the colour

i should also add that i am on a powermeter for about 5 years, so even without looking down, i can feel it in my legs already where i am at with watts, and that only comes with time