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Training Tip #2 Cadence

I hope your training is going well. In our last article we mentioned that we would cover off how to develop good pedalling technique to help your hill climbing. So here it is.

One of the most effective ways to get the most out of your training for endurance events like C2K is to keep your cadence high. That’s maintaining your cadence around 90-100rpm on the flat roads while keeping it above 75rpm on hilly roads (where your gearing permits). By doing so you’ll help build your cardiovascular fitness and reduce the amount of fatigue you’ll get during this ride. This is first thing I get all my clients to do when they start my coaching program.

The physiological reason for a high cadence is very simple – as you increase your cadence you rely more on your cardiovascular fitness and your endurance muscle fibres (that are designed to work all day) to drive the bike. As you lower your cadence below 80rpm you rely more on your muscular strength using your strength muscle fibres. While these strength fibres deliver more short term power than your endurance muscle fibres, they also fatigue more quickly. So on your next training ride try to ride at a higher cadence. Building a solid cardiovascular base will help you climb hills better! When doing this focus on good technique and

You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll get when you start training yourself to spin at a cadence of around 90-100rpm. In just a few weeks you’ll be riding more efficiently and fatiguing less on the longer rides whilst building great cardio fitness.  This technique will also reduce the chance of injuring yourself.

Good luck with your preparation! The next article will discuss nutrition.

Written by David Heatley, Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach and Director of Cycling-Inform.