Full Frontal 20 minute section

To break up the 20 minutes, does anyone mix up their cadence during this part of the test? I used to just keep it as consistent as I could but recently tried going to a harder gear and slowing my cadence like I’m climbing. I will do 5 minutes at around 90-95, switch gears and try around 80 for another 5 minutes. It does help me to keep my power up but I feel like I am cheating a bit. Do you think that there is a benefit to keeping the same cadence and gear the whole 20 minutes?


Not specifically planned but there is often a slower cadence section in mine. It’s not thought out though - simply a need to change things dep on how I feel on the day.

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Hey @eapatrick ,
Not cheating at all. You recruit more muscle fibers at the low cadence but sometimes that can feel like a break…do whatever works for you. A good workout to try is GCN Aerobic Endurance Ride. It’ll give you a feel for how your RPE changes with different cadences at the same power.



Less so in the 20mins but I have tried that in FF’s 5min MAP section. At 3.30 in, 30 seconds of high torque and low rpm gave my lungs a quick breather (pun intended) before attacking the last minute.

I don’t know if I really outperformed how I would have done otherwise, but the mental aspect felt helpful. Particularly because I saw it as only a 3.30 effort, a quick “rest”, then a final blast.

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I do a HM 4 days before to to establish a suggested 20 min power for the FF. I choose my gearing and level such that ~90 rpm results in the suggest power. I then try to maintain over 90 rpm (92-95) as best as I can for the full 20 minutes so that I’m maintaining more than the suggested power. By the end I’m in agony.

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Yes, even with a close ratio cassette ( 8spd 12-25 goes from 8.6% difference in ratio at the big end to 15.3% at the small end) I find that my optimum cadence is right between 2 gears. I aim for the power in my last Half Monty and if the gear results in a cadence that starts pushing my HR above my cTHR I change down to lower the cadence and keep the HR under control and then switch back again every 5 minutes or so. My 20m average cadence have been

Nov 2020 88rpm (83min-93max)
Feb 2021 84rpm (75min-95max)
Feb 2022 81rpm (76min-98max)
May 2021 86rpm (79min-91max)

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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the responses. I haven’t done Half Monty in a long time but am curious to see how it would compare. I agree about the mental aspect. It helps me block off the 20 minutes into smaller pieces. Interesting though that I am more inclined to go to a harder gear, slow my cadence, but haven’t yet tried the opposite direction. I’ll give that a shot next time.

For me, I have always been been able to find a combination of Level and gear that gets me very close to my desired cadence at a target power.

I do this regularly on both the 5 and the 20 minute portions. I use a 1x MTB on the trainer so the gearings are close, but not perfect. Too fast or too slow will tire you faster but if you let your body be your guide—ie only do it if it feels right—you’ll be fine. And it’s not cheating: absent edge cases, watts are watts