HR or Cadence?

When doing an endurance workout is it more important to stay within the targeted HR Zone or follow the cadence requirements?

I found while riding Crescendo video today if I followed the cadence I was well above the targeted HR.

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First welcome to the forum. On endurance rides I focus on target HR more than cadence. If you are riding in ERG, you may want to move to Level mode if you really want to keep both HR & Cadence at target. You may need to experiment a little to find the right Level but there is likely a choice that will get you directionally correct on both.

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There used to be a web page that mentioned all the main Sufferfest workouts and whether to focus on power or cadence. Power is the focus for the majority of the workouts. But really cadence is only important for the workouts where cadence is the main focus of the workouts like Cadence Builds for example. Otherwise you want to focus on power or HR.

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Been running sufferfest and other workouts with just HR and cadence for a long time
Bought a set of single sided power pedals a while ago, power measuring gives a whole new meaning to those short burst intervals
I know It is a lot of money

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If your HR is going through the roof, you might want to look at a tool like Training Peaks to see if you are overtrained. Your HR shouldn’t vary to extremes if you are in a good training state.

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FWIW: The way I look at it, cadence is part of the training load. Low cadence loads the muscles. High cadence loads the cardio system. Both train different neuromuscular adaptations. If cadence isn’t adhered to, the intended workout training stress isn’t being achieved. If I can’t hit the workout targets, I dial back the power to where I can.

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If you cannot hit high cadences, use Cadence Builds and Holds about once a week asxa Zone 2 ride. The idea is not power but crank speed.

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Yeah. I view some of the really high cadence targets in intervals designed to get you to your max and try to increase it to be more aspirational. Best I can do is 135-140. I’m expending a lot of energy but not putting any power into the cranks at that point.

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That’s why Elements of Style and Cadence Drills are essential. I can hit 150, but i have to continue to work on higher cadences.

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The cadence drills and targets have definitely helped me. I used to ride around 70-75 rpm’s. Now I regularly ride between 85-95.

I’ve hit 175 in the drills, but then I’m gripping onto the handlebars and pushing down on my saddle so hard that the nose ends up pointing down at the ground. So without a stronger saddle clamp or better technique I’m likely not going to gain any more rpm’s.

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Specifically why are they’re essential?

@Saddlesaur Those drills work on perfecting your fast twitch muscle fibers.

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According to the chart (which I made a copy of), the following workouts have cadence as most important: Cadence Builds, G.O.A.T., Power Station, Standing Starts, The Way Out.

Do As You Are Told and The Omnium, have Power and Cadence as equally important.

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Actually they train your brain to switch on and off the muscles that make your pedals go round in the ‘proper’ sequence for maximum efficiency. There’s a lot of articles on why you should extend your range of cadences.

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I do not think that switching happens at the brain level. You are training the ability of the muscles to respond to the stimulus applied to them. Now you may be training your brain to put up with the pain/suffering that results, but that is a different issue.

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There was a blog post from Sir Neal on why you should do high cadence and the effects on the brain and muscle usage at high cadences. Quite interesting as you do have a point that the brain will operate on automatic mode as cadences go higher. You still use your brain to fire them until it becomes ingrained.

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@jmckenzieKOS I think we are saying the same thing - drills for neuromuscular coordination that target the fast twitch muscles.

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Here are my 2 cents.
If we look objectively and simplify it, cadence is not affected by external factors but rider’s physical ability. On the other hand, HR affected by numerus factors( outside temperature, fatigue level, sleep, current hydration and so on).
So if you are following your workouts based on the HR and not target power it would not be the best case. For the endurance workouts, I would strongly suggest to use ERG mode, this way it keeps you exactly on the target and as the result (I’m skipping physical changes here during those rides), it would improve your HR. It is not fast improvement but let me assure you, after you done with your 12-13 week plan, you would see the difference. You HR would improve, you would handle much better those long endurance rides.
As per cadence, some guys already emphasized that if you want to be a good rider you need good cadence, meaning you need wide range of the cadence where you feel comfortable. Improvement of the cadence is continues work, if you stop working on it, it will degrade, no other way around, so as guys suggested, cadence drill workouts are MUST in my opinion, there are no shortcuts, again, by doing once a week it took me around 4 months to improve my ‘cruise’ cadence by 7-8 rpm and feel comfortable without affecting my HR.
Hope it helps,
Cheers

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