So, yesterday on my bike ride I tried something different. I’d been reading about cycling cadence – sort of equivalent to the amount of “spin” at which you are pedaling – and how maintaining a higher cadence is ideal because you burn fat (rather than muscle energy), fatigue slower and recover quickly.
Resistance Builds Strength, Doesn’t It?
The thing is, it doesn’t feel natural. Everything your body learns about exercise is that the greater the resistance you feel the better workout you’re getting. When lifting weights the larger the weight, the larger the resistance, the more you feel like you’re building muscle. And when it comes to propulsion exercise like running, the harder your push against the resistance of gravity and wind, the faster you travel.
Higher Cadence Gives You More Gears
Then again, I suppose that proper cadence is closer to the “light weights/high reps” type of workout. If you really want to learn more about the finer points of cadence, this is the article I read (and the site www.beginnertriathlete.com is full of great info for swimmers, cyclists and runners).
80RPM Down, 8-15RPM to Go!
So, using my CycleOps PowerTap (hey, you never know, maybe I’ll get a kickback if I mention the little computer by name), I watched my cadence and kept it to a minimum of 80RPM. It felt like I was pedaling way too fast for a mile or so but then I started to get into it and realize how much gear I had left to go. Before I was pedaling harder and slower, and while I could get my speed up in short bursts I ran out of places to go. This time I was able to sustain speeds of 21mph or more for a while and it really wasn’t very difficult. I went further faster, got a great workout and felt better than ever after I finished.
I’m looking forward to my next ride and trying to get the cadence up a little more. The article I referenced above says that a cadence of 88-95RPM is ideal. It might take a few rides to get in that range consistently, but I know I can get there.
Six weeks to go until the Tri-Jax Challenge! Hope my documentation of my training will help you out or at least make for some interesting reading. Thanks for listening!