Low Cadence Strength Intervals During Build Phase


Currently on my 2 week trial and I set up a cycling training plan with an A event next June. Looking out to some build phases later in the season, I noticed there are still low cadence strength intervals. I am aware of these types of intervals being beneficial during the base phase, but haven’t really seen them used during the build phase. What is the rationale/science behind incorporating low cadence drills during this part of training/close to events? Would it be better to do some SS intervals at a natural cadence because this is a pretty typical zone for the gravel races I do.

Hi @louwaert_tcl,

These types of sessions are indeed also useful in the build phase. The rationale/scientific theory is that such SE training converts your larger fast twitch fibres into becoming more fatigue resistant. Dajo Sanders discusses here in this Training Science Podcast episode and a number of studies have show their benefit. Certainly SS intervals are also a good alternate for such a session as you describe and you may find that option in your Workout Wizard from time to time. You just won't get as much the pedal rate and high force component.



thanks @paul ! I’ll give the podcast a listen. I appreciate you sharing the resource.

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Hello @Louwaert_TCL, did you decide to stay with Athletica? I’ve been doing the big gear sessions for the past several weeks and noticed overall strength improvements. I tend to be a higher spin person and these develop more well-rounded muscle fibers.

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@SimpleEnduranceCoach I did stick with Athletica and have been doing the intervals using the Zwift climb portal which works pretty well. I tend to be a higher spinner as well so low cadence definitely feels like a grind. I’ve done them previous years very early on but was just surprised to see them so late into the training plan. The podcast definitely helped explain and willing to try something new :grin:


Glad to hear you stuck with it! You’ll notice a strength difference with the regular big gear work! And I’m glad you’ve listened to the podcast. I really learned that with muscular strength, we need to train at a variety of cadences to develop the muscle fibers to be more fatigue resistant.

I too am a natural spinner and always felt my cardio exceeds the ability of my legs to push it. Been doing the strength endurance for over a year now. Definite improvement in the endurance of the legs over many many hours. Plus if I run out of gears on a steep hill my legs are much better at taking it in their stride at low cadence now.

My sessions are once a week and I enjoy having it there in the mix. No training monotony complaints from me.