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The athlete can benefit from widening their cadence range, a bit like expanding the number of tools in their toolbox. Being more familiar to cadences over a bigger range allows not only preparation for racing over varied terrain and handing gear choice in different race scenarios; but also, helping the body to recruit a wider selection of their muscle fibre pool.

We are often asked why we encourage the athlete to adopt higher cadences, and we offer two reasons. Firstly, if we consider power as the product of cadence x muscle torque, if we increase cadence we can reduce the need for high muscular tension - something we all know brings on fatigue. Secondly, training our fast twitch fibres to fire (and then making them efficient as the two step process below outlines) enables the athlete to access higher power outputs - we can only increase power output by recruiting more force capable fibres.

The sessions in this section start a two stage process:

  • teaching the body to access the muscle fibres available
  • sustaining work using these fibres and improving efficiency

Aim of Session

Low cadence blocks performed on a gradual climb or in a big gear (road or turbo trainer)

fast-pedalsAim of Session

To introduce the rider to high cadence work, enabling the recruitment of new fibres and  the development of a smooth pedalling stroke

 

 

cadence-pyramidAim of Session

To increase the fluidity of the pedal stroke at higher cadences whilst also bringing awareness of how cadence and power interact to deliver exercise stress

 

high-low-repeatsAim of Session

Blocks of high and low cadence within an endurance ride

hill-revsAim of Session

A hilly ride (zone 2) encouraging higher cadences to improve sustainability of the effort and therefore fatigue resistance

Aim of Session

A turbo session with one legged-pedalling for fixed intervals