Any tips regarding easing into High Cadence workouts

Hello all,

I’ve just started out using Sufferfest, having done a 4DP test just last Wednesday, To Get To The Other Side on Saturday and a base ride on Sunday.

As today progressed I noticed a familiar feeling in my lower left leg, shin splints.
I’ve had them in the past so I’m sure they’re in fact shin splints.

I’ve been looking up how I managed to contract it as It’s typically something you get from running too much. The cause mentioned the most is riding with too high a cadence. I suspect the culprit is Saturday’s workout which involved a lot of High cadence work which I am not used too.

I was wondering if there are any tips to “ease in” to workouts that target a higher cadence If you’re not used to working at 100+ cadence and prone to shinsplints?

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Hey @Tycho,
Sorry to hear about your injury. You can make significant improvement by going just 15% above your optimal cadence range. Did you read @Coach.Mac.C article? From the Coaches: Why does cadence matter?
Doing the different cadence drill workouts will really help. Keep working at gradual increases and maintain good form.

Hi @tycho I’ve had shin splints too but never from cycling. Also, oddly, not usually from running either. I find I will get them when walking at an exceptionally brisk rate and I am sure it has to do with the odd gate I assume when walking that way as well as an excessive tightness in my calves. I wonder if it might be worth it for you to, in addition to listening to @Coach.Spencer.R’s advice, getting a proper and professional bike fit. I suggest that because, while the high cadence may be bringing the shin splints on, it might also be due to a seat that is too high, or too far forward or back, or possibly even cleat position and angle. My 2 cents as a rank amateur.

In any case I hope you get it sorted as I know first hand how debilitating and painful that can be. Good luck!!


Thanks for the advise! I’ve had a bike fit in the past by a professional but perhaps with outdated methods might be worth having one with some more modern technology allowing for scans etc.

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Thank you! Will check that out!

Does gradually increasing mean: do the prescribed cadence in steps?
For example for a giving effort where it asks go up to 130 cadence do the first few workouts at 100, then 110 then 120 etc? I just don’t want to run the risk of injury again when I can avoid it by working into it. Thanks!

I’ve never had shin splints from cycling, but I used to get them when running a lot on the road.
I found compression calf sleeves prevented them completely, might be worth a try.

I find that I have to gradually ramp up the cadence during a workout. I’ll start out at something like 110, and then go to 115 on the next interval. I can usually hit 130 by the end of a session (although not for very long!), but there’s no way I could go straight to that number after a normal warmup.

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Yes, but you don’t have to increase each workout. For example, you can keep it at 100rpm til it feels easy then go to 102, 103, etc. Think small steps. If it’s not feeling right, then back off. Also check out the Elements of Style workout and practice good form. Hope that helps.

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Thanks all for the good advice!

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