Cadence and combining Cycling and Running

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by AllanST, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. AllanST

    AllanST New Member

    Nov 10, 2005
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    I'm fairly new to cycling, only got back on a bike 6 months ago after a 15 year gap. So at the moment I'm still learning a lot.

    I'm also a fell runner, and also do a bit of road running, and am trying to combine both my disciplines together, having a mixed degree of sucess (there are advantages and disadvantages to doing both).

    I got myself into a habit of pushing big gears a while back, which worked wonders for my fell running uphills, but messed up my flat running, and lead to a few injuries, and a loss of overall speed.

    I was then advised by another runner, that I should use high cadence cycling, so I backed off for a while, and did just that. now I can turn 120-140 RPM in the easier gears and feel comfortable doing it for a long period of time (and it definitely helps my running). However I also want to push my cycling a bit more, and do the best in both disciplines I can.

    To what extent can I use my high cadence to my advantage when cycling(thinking of Lance Armstrongs example in the tour), and how can I ensure that I can push bigger gears (which since backing off I've found harder to do), and maintain the hither cadences I have (I know that if I spin high cadences, and build up momentum, I can still keep going at the same cadence in a bigger gear, however this all goes to pot when I hit a hill, and have to change down a gear).

    Obviously I want to strengthen my legs, and keep my leg speed at the same time, so how can I go about doing this?

    Anyone got any experience of combing the two disciplines?

    I'm curious, as a cadence of 120 - 140 RPM is described as excessive by some people? I know the recommended cadence is 90 - 100 RPM, but why would having extremely high cadences be a problem if you can sustain them? Are there any problems with having a very high cadence?

    OK I realise that if you use higher cadences, you need a higher aerobic fitness, but if you don't have problems with that, then what other potential problems are there?

    Apart from lack of use of bigger gears maybe making it harder to use them?

    Also if I'm going down the high cadence route, I also need to improve my aerobic capacity, any suggestions on doing this?

  2. huhenio

    huhenio New Member

    Jul 19, 2005
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    Build yourself a fixed gear conversion from a old ten-speed bike. It works wonders for your pedal form and cadence. I jog on the threadmill for an hour - 5 mph - to round up the leg muscle building. I am no racer, but I can tag along with the raddonneurs in lighter bikes.
    A little of everything is better than a lot of one thing.