Sprints targets + Level mode

I did the workout “Seated Sprints: 2 sets 5 x 10s” and switched to Level mode as advised in the workout notes. During the sprints the target power was 482 W, and the target cadence was set to 110 rpm.

For the first set I tried to match power and cadence, however I felt that that was leaving a lot in the tank. In the second set I aimed to match the cadence but put out the maximum power. I did manage to deliver more (see above), however matching the cadence to the right gear was definitely not easy and I could have dug even deeper if I allowed my cadence to go into the > 130 range.

How seriously should one take the power and cadence targets in a sprint-based workout?

Re power, ignore the power target, just go all out. Try to hit a new record.

Re cadence, that’s there to help you pick the right gear, not to hold you back.

There is advice on screen re cadence. It tells you something along the lines of: If you exceed xx rpm, use a bigger gear next. If you can’t reach yy rpm, pick a lighter gear.


For sprints it’s just an all out effort, power and cadence are a guide but just go for it. If you’re riding in level mode for a ‘normal’ workout then you should (most the time) worry about power first, and cadence is secondary. It’s hard to get the right gear and level to give you both things are the same time. The exception to that is when you do a drills session, such as cadence builds where you are targeting cadence first and power second.


When attempting my last FF I contemplated a little on the matter of sprinting in level mode. Basically, there are som physical limiters in going from 170 W to 1000+W in an instant while maintaining a high cadence.

Ergo, you need to either accept starting your sprint at a sub-optimally low cadence and increase throughout the effort, or you have to start your sprint at a higher intensity/wattage to enable a better cadence throughout. I would expect the latter to be closer to a real-world sprinting scenario.

The ideal solution on the trainer is perhaps somewhere in between, and may involve change of level as the sprint interval starts, but that then involves taking your hands off the handlebars which again is not ideal. Guess it works better for seated sprint than standing though.

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All excellent points. Interesting point about changing the level during the sprint. This is basically what ERG mode is trying to do, but it doesn’t know what you are planning to do in terms of cadence or gear changes. I have thought about using a media controller like the one below to simulate the required key presses to increase/decrease the degree of level.

I agree ERG would help in that respect, but then again you would be locked to a fixed intensity. Too low and you don’t get to use your full potential and may perhaps not aquire the desired adaptations, too high and hello spiral of death.

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If I recall correctly @Coach.Neal.H advice for the sprints in FF, is to find a level and gear that equates to 90rpm at FTP, settle into FTP at 90rpm before the sprint, sprint from this baseline up to a peak of 120-130rpm. If I find I’m spinning out I change up a gear until I’m at peak rpm at the end of the 5s NM test.


Its not realistic to be able to increase resistance during a sprint, you can’t change gear in a sprint outside when putting out big watts, well you can if you don’t like your chain…

Even in the real life circumstance when the gradient increases towards the line, you can’t change gear under full power. But is suppose you could increase the resistance from the braking unit in the trainer but it would have to be continuous the steps between levels are too great, it would be like riding into a kerb rather than feel like the road was rising up.


Been there, done that.


What works for me is being in the small ring and middle cog, then, to start the sprint, shift to the big ring, accelerate as hard as I can, then shift to a smaller cog each time I get to around 110-120 rpm. I don’t ease off for rear single cog shifts. During a sprint I always also pull up as hard as I can with the rear foot.


Looks to me you crushed that second set. For max sprints, level mode is best, and it takes some experience to find the ideal gear combo so that you are hitting the appropriate cadence.

Keep up the good work!


Thanks Coach Corey! Your encouragement means a lot! :grinning: So would you advise to ignore the power target, but still try to hit the target cadence?

Let the Power Target serve as a guide. Start off conservatively with nailing your target dead on. If you are feeling out of this world amazing and can do more, do just a little more each subsequent interval, so that you can sufficiently finish the workout at or above the intended Power Target.

Make sense?

Yes that makes sense - thanks!

My NM value needs updating anyway, but I haven’t been able to set myself up for a successful FF for a long time. It would be great if there were an alternative way of calculating NM and AC like Half Monty does for FTP and MAP. Can one just take the 5 second power form one’s power curve for NM, as that part of FF is unfatigued?

Tbh your plan for NM sounds reasonable bc as you say, that part of FF is unfatigued. Do a couple of 5 second max efforts and you should be gtg.

For AC I can think of two options:

  1. Do the AC workouts on level mode and for the intervals, go at the hardest power where you can complete the workout. It might take a little trial and error and it’ll be easier for the simpler workouts (like 30/15s), but that’s how folks used to pace those intervals back in the day and it still works (at least it’s how they paced if they knew what’s up, I’ve seen some plans prescribe those off %FTP which makes 0 sense).

  2. This one is just a theory but what about doing The Trick, in level mode, going max for each interval, and take your average power over the final 1 minute interval? It’ll be ugly but maybe pretty close? Then you can fine tune based on how the workouts go.

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You absolutely can, you just need to manually adjust the value in your Athlete Profile


And @devolikewhoa suggestions for AC is pretty spot on. My only variation would be aim at 90% or 95% of your perceived all out, and incrementally increase from their in order to sufficiently complete the workout :wink:

You guys rock! Keep up the awesome work!!