Flywheel and short recovery intervals

When doing intervals with short recovery periods, I struggle to put out the right amount of power during the recovery even in level mode. Typically the flywheel is still spinning so fast from the “on” interval that I’m doing 0 watts if I’m easy spinning the pedals.

The other option is to keep going hard-ish and put out almost as much power as during the “on” interval. I definitely don’t want to do that, so I was living with the 0 watts. However, I was reading something recently that especially for VO2 Max intervals like that you want your body to still need some oxygen uptake during the “off” interval to be effective VO2 training.

So, any advice for how to put down the right amount of power with the Kickr in this situation?

Not sure you can do much, but I wouldn’t really worry - I think that as long as you’re still spinning your legs, your body is recovering from it.

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What’s a short recovery period? 5s, 20s. 1minute?

If you are in erg mode and there isn’t a huge cadence change the flywheel speed should be about the same and it should only take a few seconds for the resistance to drop?

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter. As long as you are hitting the targets in the work intervals.

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In ERG mode, typically it’s best to use a moderately low gear, like the small ring and middle of the cassette so that the flywheel isn’t spinning so fast and can change speed more quickly. Also, the trainer will also track commanded power changes more quickly and accurately with lower flywheel speed.

A “trick” I sometimes use in ERG mode when a big cadence change is needed is to shift. Usually you don’t shift in ERG mode, but if I need to quickly drop from, say, 100rpm to 80, I’ll shift to a higher gear by a couple of cogs or from the small to the big ring, which changes cadence without changing the flywheel rpm as much. Then, to go back to 100rpm, I just shift back.


I back off exerting power a second or so before the interval ends to trick the Kickr into increasing the resistance due to the dip in flywheel speed. This leads to a smoother transition into the recovery and no spinning out. It’s a bit like putting the brakes on while still pedalling: you slow down but you’re still working