14 Apr Leveraging Low Cadence Drills
The research on the efficacy of low cadence intervals for building leg strength on the bike is somewhat mixed. Nonetheless, exposing your body to different stimuli has multiple benefits including helping you become a more well-rounded cyclist. When we always incorporate low cadence work with caution, however, because it does require more force and more torque through the lower joints. We love to incorporate short segments of low cadence work at T Train rather than doing a whole class at low RPMs, and we tend to off-set those intervals with high cadence recovery. Training at a range of cadences allows us to improve pedal stroke efficiency and maximize fitness gains.
Keep the low cadence work to shorter intervals and never push through any knee or other joint discomfort. Adding some standing segments to your low cadence segments can help riders gain confidence out of the saddle and is great for changing position and stretching out the lower back.
Here is a suggested cadence workout that employs a range of RPM and some standing efforts.
Note: Do not do the low rpm intervals if you are experiencing any knee pain.
Warm up for at least 10 mins:
2 x 8min main set at 85% FTP with 1 min each at:
Shift your gears as needed to maintain approximately 85% FTP and spin easy for 2mins between 8min pieces at natural rpm
Cool down for at least 5 mins at natural or high RPM
Ride strong and enjoy the workout!