# I just increased my 20 min wattage by 30 Watts!

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Philsybob, Dec 27, 2006.

1. ### Philsybob New Member

Joined:
Jan 8, 2004
Messages:
28
0
For the last year I have been training for TT's (16k's) - looking to do a cadence above 100. The best wattage I have achieved is 300 watts. With my heart rate the highest I have ever seen (I am 41 and my HR got up to 206, the highest I had seen before was 204 in a race 10 years ago). I did a TT last week at 290, HR climbed to 204.

I have been doing interval strength work with much lower cadences and it seemed a lot easier, so, last night I undertook a twenty minute interval and produced close to 330 watts, with an average cadence of 70.

Having had a look at Michael Ferrari (of Lance Armstrong fame), on his website 53x12.com he explains

150 watts = 60 RPM
250 watts = 73RPM
350 watts = 82 RPM
450 watts = 100 RPM

For 300 -330 watts the ideal rate is funnily enough 70-80.

If you want to produce 450 500 watts then the ideal cadence is over 100 (ie a TDF pro. Which is why we are seeing all the guys on the TV riding like that.

Is this another case of it being different for the likes of us non-pro riders?
Is the ideal cadence for somebody like me much lower, as it seems such a dramatic change.

Cheers

Tags:

Joined:
May 17, 2005
Messages:
5,088
41
I think that cadence is a very individual thing and that your preferred cadence at a given power (e.g., 100%FTP) might be very different from mine. One can make power with cadence or torque. I tend to favor cadence and others favor torque. For example, my max power at a cadence of ~125rpm is >1100W whereas I struggle to get over 800W at a cadence of 70rpm. But, you might be the exact opposite. I do think it is worth experimenting to find one's preferred cadence at a given power and I think that is likely to be his/her best cadence whether on the flat or climbing.

3. ### SolarEnergy New Member

Joined:
Aug 15, 2005
Messages:
1,503
0
Something similar is happening to a time trialist I'm following. A 16k specialist too.

We didn't go down to 70rpm though.

I must disagree here but does it really matter?

The important thing is that Sergei Gonchar seemed to disagree with this too as I monitored his cadence as being more around the 85rpm mark during his victories over much longer distances in TDF 2006.

I still don't know though if *training* at a cadence that's over self selected is beneficial or not. I have much more data to gather before ruling this means of training out.

4. ### TiMan New Member

Joined:
Sep 29, 2003
Messages:
484
0

I don't understand your references above. Are those figures estimates for the top pro's doing TT's?

Fact of the matter is a great many of us produce best power at threshold around 95ish cadence. Some will produce more power at around 85-90 and some will produce more power above 95 and as high as about 103-105. Much of this depends on the environmental conditions during the ride, the recovery state of your legs and system in general, and even how you "feel" psychologically on any one day.
It also depends on the event ...in the hour record there is no forward acceleration and the cadences have usually been above 100 most have averaged over 100 rpm.

Now peak power at L5, L6 and L7 will be seen at higher cadence than 95. For example many find best power at L5 is around 105-110 rpm....but I am guessing your reference chart is something Ferarri made up for top pro's doing 40 K TT's.

As Rapdad said you have to fiddle around a bit to find where you fall in the cadence department, and that depends on your genetics(muscle fiber type) and what energy system you are targeting to name a few.

Not all top pro's ride high cadences like Armstrong's 105 (or even higher) in TT's or 90+ in climbing. The Kaiser Ullrich is an example....he does best at about 90 or perhaps a bit higher, and he knows damn well that he isn't a high spinning Armstrong type. So the reference chart above is not going to work for him.
Merckx, Hinualt and Lemond were not as high as Armstrong in the candence department either.

Higher cadences save a bit on muscle glycogen and may fatigue the legs less over long races since the average pedal force is lower.This is one reason why Armstrong switched from being a bit of a grinder to a high cadence man.....according to Chris Carmichael anyway...even though it was probably Ferarri that controlled not only the "juice" but the training

The reason we have seen a shift to higher cadences is because of Armstrong's success in climbing and in TT's.... many people are like sheep and are "copy cats" and even the pro's, and some of their coaches are guilty of this. They see Armstrong's success at high cadences and they think...gee...it must be better. But what they fail to really see is his genetics, his focus on only ONE RACE for the year, his great teams throughout the years, combined with flawless juicing science in the care of Dr. Dope... Ferarri.

5. ### Philsybob New Member

Joined:
Jan 8, 2004
Messages:
28
0
The numbers quoted are taken from a graph here

http://www.53x12.com/do/show?page=article&id=27. Supposedly more efficient (whatever that is supposed to mean).

I like the concept of me being a big unit 187cm's, long legs and 83kg's that I can crank a big gear using torque and not cadence.

I want to specialise in short distance TT's. So recovery (fast twitch vs slow twitch) etc is not necessarily a problem.

I have noticed that when the cadence gets above 80 rpm, then hr goes through the roof.

I will experiment in this range for racing, but will probably still utilise higher cadences as part of my overall program.

I agree that if I ever wanted to sprint (or even cover a break in a road race), this cadence is not overly friendly.

Cheers

6. ### TiMan New Member

Joined:
Sep 29, 2003
Messages:
484
0

EFFECIENT?.....thus is a big topic. Low cadences(like 60) are actually more "efficient" according to studies. However you have to consider more than this....you have to consider issues such as muscle fatigue and stress, joint movement, and even muscle fiber recruitment.

You will see top IronMan Tri winners grinding along at about 80 rpm.In Long Tri events efficiency is really important...efficient use of O2 for example, so maybe this is why they are grinders.

My guess is that dear Dr. Dope's conclusions would annoy exercise physiology/ science men.

For you ...try grinding away at 80 for an all out effort on the flats of 16 K.....then when well rested again try 85...then try 90...then try 95 and maybe even 100.
Heart rate is a non issue, unless you mean you are "blowing up". It is your power output that counts.

7. ### frenchyge New Member

Joined:
Apr 3, 2005
Messages:
4,687
4
Sounds to me like you've been letting the HRM limit your performance. I'd bet if you didn't look at your HR you could produce 330w at lots of different cadences.

It's well documented that higher cadences produce higher HRs, however if there's any correlation between cadence and power, it is not well documented.

8. ### Philsybob New Member

Joined:
Jan 8, 2004
Messages:
28
0
I have been taping over my SRM in TT's. So I haven't been looking at it. When I try the higher cadences heart and lungs can't keep up.

9. ### TiMan New Member

Joined:
Sep 29, 2003
Messages:
484
0
Well, it's probably because your power is higher too....and you are above your 16 K time trial power.

10. ### frenchyge New Member

Joined:
Apr 3, 2005
Messages:
4,687
4
Is there a reason you're trying to raise your TT cadence? If heart and lungs can't keep up, is there some other benefit you're hoping to gain?

11. ### bikeguy New Member

Joined:
May 31, 2004
Messages:
655
1
Just to add to this cadence discussion, I've found that I get much more chest and lung discomfort the higher my cadence gets and prefer grinding away at 75-80 rpm.

-bikeguy

12. ### rmur17 New Member

Joined:
Oct 5, 2004
Messages:
1,066
0
Few questions:
1. Same power meter? Zero-offset confirmed?
2. Same bike and position?
3. Same conditions? Outdoor and same terrain? Not one on the flats and the other up a long hill?
4. How high IS your TT cadence? You mention over 100 but how much over?

Ultimately power is what gets us down the road - no disputing that.

13. ### musher New Member

Joined:
Feb 21, 2006
Messages:
124
1
I like big gears on the flat ( 75/80 rpm) or on the climb's 60/70 rpm) ,those are my confortable cad. ,where i can produce a higher power .
But when a do L4-L5-L6 Int. i vary cad.(L4: 1 X15' X 110 rpm.- 1x15' x95 rpm- 1x15' x85 rpm- 1 x 15' x75 rpm)... Musher

14. ### Philsybob New Member

Joined:
Jan 8, 2004
Messages:
28
0
1. Same power meter? Zero-offset confirmed?
2. Same bike and position?
3. Same conditions? Outdoor and same terrain? Not one on the flats and the other up a long hill?
4. How high IS your TT cadence? You mention over 100 but how much over

Answers to questions - yes SRM. Zero offset done every time.
2. Yes same bike and position
3. Yes flat, (different courses, TT course is dead set flat with very smooth roads).
4. TT cadence is 100 +/-5 (starts at 105, drops to 95 at end).

15. ### rmur17 New Member

Joined:
Oct 5, 2004
Messages:
1,066
0
sounds good then. Low(er) cadence is probably best for you

Joined:
Jun 2, 2004
Messages:
50