Tips to deal with high cadence efforts

Hey everyone,

Recently I did “Defender” and since I did not have a cadence sensor every other time I did this workout, I focused only on power targets. The two first sets felt rather comfortable and I was thinking it might be time to retest and update the numbers but then the 100 RPM effort got me gasping for air. I managed to do the first 2 minutes (MAP portion) at the target cadence but then my cadence fell to 80 and at some point 70 RPM. The trainer being in ERG Mode I was content to hold the power but I feel I’m loosing out on the benefits of this workout by not holding the high cadences.

Any tips on how to deal with similar high cadence efforts?


@Reynaldo_Lopez that is a good question. High Cadence is a learned technique and requires practice. Your MAP portion at the beginning of each effort increased your heart rate and then the FTP portion, slightly above and below, at the uncomfortable cadence continued to raise your heart rate. The discomfort remains due to the cadence level.

I would suggest working not only on Cadence but also on your Aerobic System. These play hand in hand when it comes to managing heart rate response. I have listed my recommendations for future training.

Happy Training!

Area of Focus #1

Cadence Builds
Cadence Builds and Holds
Cadence Drills, Builds and Holds (Single Leg)
Elements of Style
Before moving onto GOAT and Power Station

Area of Focus #2

The Chores
The Rookie
Hell Hath No Fury


Maybe build up to the cadence targets if they’re causing you to have to drop back before the interval is finished. Start at something you can uncomfortably sustain, and then see if you can build up as the interval progresses.

You’re not alone in finding that interval in Defender tough. The higher cadence really adds a sting to it.

Also, I find that my ability to hit higher cadence improves throughout a workout. When I do cadence holds, I’m often struggling at a moderately high cadence for the first one, but then can sustain 20 rpm more by the end of the session.


Thank you @Coach.Simon.B

I’m guessing the idea is to mix the two areas of focus during a training week ?


Ideally, yes! If you have time for a 3rd key workout each week I would make that a FTP/MAP focused workout such as FTP/MAP Builds: 8 x 3

Happy Training!