Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spin, spin, spin your legs - cadence and Etape training

One of the more recent studies I've found shows that a cadence of 80-90 RPM has about the best efficiency rating on the flat. Most pros ride at between 70 and 90 in the hills. Froome holds 100 on climbs - bursting to 130 in sections of the last Tour. Top time triallists spin up to 120 and hold it.

I'm nowhere near that. Traditionally I've always favoured slower, with more power. It means I'm inefficient. During my bike fit my relaxed pedaling cadence was about 70 and my effort speed not a lot more than 90. The winter is a great time to work on this.

So for my first turbo session of 2014 I cranked down a few more gears than usual then tried to hold my heart rate in Zone 2 spinning my legs like a loon. My cadence was somewhere north of 90 - excellent - holding it there was a pain, but I was trying to get used to the rhythm.

The next thing I wanted to find out was the cadence I used during my commute on my single speed. Some maths later and I worked out a cadence of 90 equates to about 31.5kph.

Looking up some recent commutes, I was holding that sort of speed on the flat - which is good. But it hurt like a time trial effort - which is bad.

Hopefully a a couple of months of winter training I can get my riding cadence up as a matter of habit, extra efficiency might be all that gets me through Liege-Bastogne-Liege (a mere 93 days away....)

1 comment:

  1. I was being forced to do cadence training last year when my top ring got worn out. I wasn§t happy with that, but in the end it did good to my Etape training. Now I can 'easily' hold 90-100+ :)

    I still climb only with 50-70, but that's due to my gears choice :)