Work on weaknesses or consolidate strengths? (Cadence and endurance)


I’ve always been someone who loved to ride at high cadence, both on the flat and in the climbs, without realizing it, my body immediately adopted this pace. I am very rarely standing, I prefer to sit and spin. I am relatively new in the sport, I start my second year with a FTP of 4 + W / Kg. I tried to do the intervals with the cadence recommended by Trainnerroad (85-95), but I find it very difficult and exhausting, on the other hand I am able to reach the power at 95-105RPM. Should I accept a step back in terms of power to work on a more “normal” cadence and muscular endurance or just continue with what works for me and consolidate that “strength”.


In general, train the way you plan to ride/race. If you get stuck in lower cadences (from gearing or other reasons) and feel hindered at them, you should probably consider adding similar work to your training.

Make the transitions in small increments and short intervals at first. Gradually decrease the cadence and increase the interval duration (likely not at the same time) so you get down to the area you expect to need.

It may not be necessary in all cases, but broadening you cadence range is usually a good thing to do.

First, look at your needs in your actual events. Consider the cadence range and efforts you need to handle. If those include low cadence and higher effort, then you may want to include similar efforts on the trainer.

You need to be cautious and careful about implementing any low cadence, high effort work. Risk to the joints and connective tissues is real. If you go down this road, make small and careful steps to get to your goal. Avoid big jumps in the process that may well lead to injury.

Consider dropping your usual “slow” cadence 3-5 rpm for a minute or two during an interval, and then return to normal cadence. Repeat this and drop the cadence or increase the duration in manageable steps.

The other required statement in this case is that you should consider your bike’s gearing. Can you get into a lower gearing option that allows for faster cadence? It can be a good change to add more range on the low end.

Thanks a lot for the quick reply!!

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Thanks for sharing, I also was asking me how to adapt my training cadence for same reasons (climbing race, sometimes geared out and forced to spin below 85-95 region).
Just one more thought: are there specific workouts (zone wise) you would recommend for cadence adjustments as described? I think we can exclude everything from VO2Max and higher intensities (Anaerobic etc). Also Threshold with Over-Unders seem to be not ideal for cadence adjustments, so its probably Endurance, Tempo, SweetSpot and the steady Threshold workouts (like Raymond, Red Lake etc) where to apply your suggestions or are there any zone workouts which are especially beneficial for the cadence adjustments as per above? Thanks!

I do most of my cadence work below Threshold, just like you mention. Sweet Spot is likely my favorite. It’s plenty of power without being too demanding.

When I get into VO2 and above, I try to work my higher end cadence over 100rpm.