Recovery period in intervals

First time TR user. I love it so much more than the other program I was using - gorgeous rides, but no training!

Stupid question from a newbie - when doing the recovery areas during intervals, are your legs supposed to be moving almost cartoonish fast? I feel as if I am almost spinning out. Is that right?

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What is your cadence during the recovery interval? Most workouts have recommended cadences. Most 85-95 rpm range. During the recovery interval I’m closer to 85rpm.

I have a dumb trainer, so I get to choose my cadence and power.

With that disclaimer, I usually spin at a lower cadence (say 80 +/- rpm) at a power near the target ( typically a few watts below). My understanding with recovery intervals is to drop the heart rate, clear lactate if needed, and recharge for the next work interval. Spinning like I’m in a cartoon would not work for me.

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Thanks, I didn’t think so. I just try to meet the goal that TR has for each segment. I should be in a higher gear, I guess.

If you are on a smart trainer in ERG mode then the SW and trainer will adjust the load so you just spin along at whatever cadence suits you. There’ll be a bit of “overshoot” as the flywheel in the trainer spins down so you might not actually apply any force for the first ten to fifteen seconds.

If you are using resistance mode or on a dumb trainer then you need to figure out the appropriate gear to match your cadence and the target power. I used the warmup to figure this out, usually the starting power target is the same as that in the recover intervals so whatever works then should be good. Ideally you use the big ring for the efforts and just switch to the small ring for the recoveries.

Are they “supposed” to move cartoonishly fast?


That said, it is normal for your cadence to increase once the resistance is lightened, especially if you didn’t expect the interval to finish.

Essentially, you are used to pushing with a certain force, and as soon as the opposing resistant force lightens, the system and flywheel will accelerate, increasing cadence until you have sort of reached equilibrium in the system again.

I’d try to avoid being cartoonishly fast and losing form, but am never worried when my cadence goes from like 89 to 97 or something like that.,

Me personally my default is to drop to about 60rpm between intervals, But the smart trainer controls the power, I just move my legs up and down.

I’m on the lower cadence end of things, I really have to “try” to be above 80rpm, it’s not natural for my heavy legs (like literally heavy, they’re the size of a small persons waist). Once they are moving quickly I can feel their mass shifting which is…. Odd

Use both programs. A perfect combination.

Imo, recovery is for recovery. Do what feels right to you (within reason, you’re still doing a workout).