Spinning out on interval transitions

Hey folks, wondering if anyone has 0.02c worth on this minor issue I encounter.

When I am working on intervals with large increases and decreases in power, I always seem to get some issues ‘spinning out’ at the end of each interval. In the example below, I’m at 127% for the work, then for the recovery it drops to 40%.

When the work finishes, I try to carry my cadence over from the work interval. However, when ERG drops the resistance, I find I’m spinning out for a couple of seconds, then I’m wrestling with ERG to get back on target for the start of the next interval.

Mostly I manage to get back on target for the work, but for short intervals it’s a challenge. ERG seems to lag a little, then I find I’m sometimes off target at the start of the next interval - sometimes too low, so I’m chasing, sometimes too high, so I’m working too hard.

On longer intervals (5,10,20…) I don’t care about this, but on shorter, intervals I’d like to tighten things up if possible.

It was bugging me today, so when I completed the workout I did a factory spindown on the Kickr and decided to throw it out on the forum.

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It’s the same for me. I did Bluebell this morning which is similar. 1 minute on then 1 minute to recover.
There are a couple of tricks that I find help to limit the 5-10 seconds of overspinning. As a MTB rider it reminds me of the feeling you get when you drop into a downhill section in a low gear. It sucks and leaves you stabbing away at the pedals with no form.
Trick number one is to use a lower gear on the Kickr. It gives the resistance unit a much better chance at reining you in.
The second trick is to slow down your cadence as the interval ends. Again, the resistance unit gets a bit of a helping hand. Although it can clamp down quite hard if you’re not careful.

I don’t think it’s really a problem if I end up stabbing away for a little while. I’ve never hurt myself because of it so I just try to ignore it.
I figure it’s similar to what would happen if I made you lift 20 or so buckets full of water and then gave you an empty one without you noticing.
It’s as much your legs fault as it is the trainers.

331 FTP. Oh man, have I got a way to go.


Thanks for chiming in, I’ll definitely look into anything that people throw out.

As for the FTP, it’s just a number and it’s from a stages, so it may not be 100% accurate but it’s my number. Anyway, I still get my ass handed to me by riders with lower FTP :joy:

No probs. I figure as long as your not hurting yourself, it’s nothing but an annoying glitch.

Another thing you can do is slap it up a few gears. Which kinda defeats the awsomeness of using erg mode.

Gotta love the various power outputs by all the different power sources. My Stages has me at around 280 vs the Kickr at 250. I’m beyond trying to compare figures. I just hate it when people pass me easily on the climbs. :sob:

Turn off ERG mode?

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Dumbing down my smart trainer would probably work, but that’s a last resort :joy:

Edit… Or would it work? I imagine the outdoor scenario, going along, 100rpm, 127% FTP and then I want to suddenly drop down to 40% whilst maintaining my cadence. Using gears isn’t going to be an immediate transition?

As @Rosscopeco has already mentioned, I adjust my cadence slightly. That said, my TACX FLUX is pretty good at assisting me with what feels like the minimum of lag.

My cadence rarely gets above 100+RPM as I don’t usually do sprints on the trainer. Around the 90RPM mark and I find that dropping my cadence down to 86-87RPM ten seconds before the interval ends really helps reduce spinning out. In reverse, I find myself steadily winding up the RPMs 10-15 seconds before the interval starts. This also helps me control any cadence drop off as the workload increases.

Hope this makes sense and helps.

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Outdoors, you would probably coast a little if the resistance dropped while changing gears.

To be honest, I find the very short intervals (under 30s) difficult on the trainer. Maybe it’s because I have a simple wheel-on type, but I just can’t ‘stomp’ as much as I’d do outdoors, there’s wheels slip and a resistance lag. I don’t worry about it, I do the best I can, and do very specific sprint/starts etc workouts outdoors.

Indoors is better for longer intervals I find, it’s hard to keep the power constant outdoors with traffic, rolling roads etc.

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I’m not a fan of ERG mode and never use it for anything I do in terms of structured sessions but that’s not to say I can’t see it’s purpose. What I will say though is that I believe some sessions are more suited than others, I guess you will know better than me what those might be. Try experimenting with and without ERG.

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