Liz’s High Cadence Indoor Bike Training Session

Cadence – the cyclist’s pedal rate measured in revolutions per minute (rpm), is one of the two components of power generation on a bicycle, with the other being gear size. The higher your cadence, in a specific gear combination, the greater your power output (i.e., more watts generated on the bike). While you can increase gear size to boost power, there are several advantages of pedaling at a higher cadence.

  1. It reduces the stress placed on the leg muscles and allows you to ride for a longer period before you “crack.”
  2. It allows you to save your legs for near-term events. e.g. the run leg in a triathlon
  3. Pedaling at a higher cadence places greater stress on your cardiovascular system (as opposed to your leg muscles), which enhances fitness.
  4. You can develop the ability to pedal a relatively high cadence more quickly than you can improve your ability to push big gears.

Click Here to See Liz in Action Indoors on Her Time Trial Bike

Here’s an indoor training session which will help you improve your cadence.

Time = 1 hour

Requirements = Indoor Bike Trainer (Power Trainers are best but any old trainer will do just to keep you active when it rains outside); Your Normal Bike, Lots of Water, a Cooling Fan, a Towel

Warm Up = 12 mins
4 min easy
5 mins of one legged cycling (30 sec right side pedal, 30 sec both pedals, 30 sec left side pedal)
3 min easy

Main Set = 36 mins

Set off in Base gear – 90 rpm easy resistance

Increase resistance to comfortably hard so you can maintain cadence of 100-110 rpm without bouncing and without too much leg stress – go hard for 15 sec then 15 sec easy (15 ON / 15 OFF)
30 ON / 30 OFF
45 ON / 45 OFF
60 ON / 60 OFF
45 ON / 45 OFF
30 ON / 30 OFF
15 ON / 15 OFF

Rest 4 mins

Repeat 3 times

Warm Down = 12 mins
5 mins of one legged cycling (30 sec right side pedal, 30 sec both pedals, 30 sec left side pedal)
7 mins of spinning down the gears and cadence until last 3/4 mins are easy

Get off and stretch

Liz is an accredited Cycle Australia coach and has 20 years experience over time trial, triathlon, endurance and Ironman cycling events. She coaches cyclists at all levels from her indoor studio at her home in Dee Why and in the beautiful Kurringai National Park. To find out more about cycling with Liz check out her website or click here to find out about indoor cycle sessions, beginner outdoor sessions or more advanced options.

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