One of the most effective ways to get the most out of your cycle training for endurance events is to keep your cadence high. What I’m talking about here is maintaining your cadence around 90-100 rpm on the flat roads while keeping it above 75 rpm 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 your ride. This is first thing I get all my clients to do when they start on my coaching program.
Now, 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 80 rpm 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. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll get when you start training yourself to spin at a cadence of around 90-100 rpm. In just a few weeks you’ll not only be riding more efficiently and fatiguing less on the longer rides but you’ll also be building a great cardio fitness as well. Oh, and reducing the chance of injuring yourself.