How to improve your cadence

Winter is the perfect time of year to focus your training on improving technique and iron out any bad habits. Team Struggle shares their top turbo session to help improve your leg cadence. 

Matt Mannakee and Glen Turnbull racing

Up your revs

Speeding up your leg cadence will help lower fatigue levels during those long hours of Struggle training and ensure that on 21st May you’ll hit those last climbs with looser legs.

Struggle’s Matt said: “As a racing cyclist it’s important for me to keep my legs as fresh as possible, especially throughout longer road races. I rely on my kick to counter any attacks in the last lap or for the final sprint.”

Dropping the gear and turning your legs at a faster rate will help avoid injuries and joint or muscle pain that could halt your Struggle training. A smoother pedalling style will also eradicate dead spots and inefficiencies in pedal stroke, making every revolution count.

Magic RPM

We’re not encouraging everyone to ride at Chris Froome Cadence. In fact, riding with an excessively high cadence can waste energy output and cause inefficient riding.

Practicing cadence drills during the winter can help you find your magic RPM (revolutions per minute) and stop you grinding the gears as you fight your way back to the Struggle finish line.

“I practiced  this session once a week during last winter. I transferred this increase in  cadence to the road during reliability rides and cafe runs. I managed to spend the summer road racing or riding chain gang in the little ring to keep my legs fresh for the finish; something I was never able to do before,” says Matt.

Cadence Drills

This turbo session is a low-intensity, low-stress session perfect for recovery days or if you’re pressed for time. You’ll need a bike computer with a cadence sensor or a Watt bike displaying RPM. Note the progressive pattern: +10rpm every 3 minutes with 1 minute recovery at -5rpm.

Warm up for 10 minutes with easy pedalling

2 mins at 80rpm
1 min at 75rpm
2 mins at 85rpm
1 min at 80rpm
2 mins at 90rpm
1 min at 85rpm
2 mins at 95rpm
1 min at 90rom
2 mins at 100rpm
1 min at 95rpm
2 mins at 105rpm
1 min at 100rpm
2 mins at 110rpm
1 min at 105rpm
2 mins at 115rpm
1 min at 110rpm
2 mins at 120rpm

Cool down for 10 minutes with easy pedalling

Practice this session once a week for six weeks and monitor the results. Let us know how you get on and if you see improvements in your riding below.

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