Low Cadence Baseline

Today’s ride was a choice between the Zwift Academy 2023 Workout #2 (Shorter) or SST. So I went with a third choice, two x 15 minutes at FTP efforts.

I figured the SST ride would be beneficial for sure, but setting a baseline as to how it feels to ride at FTP at a lower cadence would be more useful over the longer term. I didn’t feel I’d get as much value out of doing the Shorter ZA workout today.

As ever with FTP workouts, this one was pretty tough going.

In both efforts, the first 5 minutes or so was fine. After that it got harder.

I’m all too aware that I find lower cadence work to be far more tiring and taxing than the higher cadence stuff. I’ve spent ~3 years trying to work comfortably at 95rpm, only to find out recently that may have not been quite the best strategy.

The real challenge today was keeping that cadence down. In the first block I was aiming for 85rpm. And mentally I wanted to lower that in the second block to 80rpm.

I’d say I mostly succeeded at this. Certainly I found that there was a noticable difference between 83rpm and 82rpm on my turbo. It’s as though at that point, a sudden uptick in resistance kicked in. Fighting the urge to spin faster was an on-going battle.

I’m not sure if it’s simply because 2x 15m FTP intervals is tiring, or made more so because of the lower cadence, but I am definitely feeling it more in my legs even now than usual. Maybe I’m just paying attention to it.

Anyway, a good session. A challenge, for sure, but seemingly worthwhile and I now know I am more than capable of doing these repeat efforts at lower cadences. The next step is to try and crank out more power at these cadences. But one step at a time.

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