RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - General


Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )


Cruise intervals(5 posts)

Cruise intervalsRom12_1
Feb 6, 2003 9:30 AM
I am a bit of a masher and have problems maintaining a spin in the 90-100 range. During my cruise intervals, I have been rotating b/t intervals in the big chain ring with cadence around 80-84 and small ring with cadences in the mid 90s. These intervals all with hrs in zone 4 to 5a. My question is should I focus on one or the other cadence wise? It seems much more difficult to do the more difficult gearing intervals in spite of similar hrs. Also, what specifically will cruise intervals improve if done appropiately?
re: Cruise intervalsJon Billheimer
Feb 6, 2003 10:00 AM
Cruise intervals build muscular endurance, the ability to work at a relatively high intensity for longer periods of time. As such they will increase your power at or near lactate threshold and improve your cycling economy. Since strength gains only apply at the specific velocity at which they're trained for you should adopt the cadence and gearing specific to your training or racing goals. Generally a higher cadence, i.e. over 90 rpm, is preferable because you're recruiting fewer fast-twitch, anaerobic muscle fibres at higher cadences, therefore your endurance abilities will be much improved. Over a period of time a neuromuscular adaptation will occur and you'll then find that you can increase gearing and power in your targeted heart rate zone. So stay in the zone, reduce your gearing, and increase your pedalling cadence.
Thanks Jon...Rom12_1
Feb 6, 2003 6:59 PM
So, use the higher cadences and as I improve increase the gearing. Can you expand on "Since strength gains only apply at the specific velocity at which they're trained for you should adopt the cadence and gearing specific to your training or racing goals."
Thanks Jon...Jon Billheimer
Feb 6, 2003 8:07 PM
If you train at a 90 rpm cadence, for instance, you'll get stronger at that cadence due to the neuromuscular component of the aerobic power equation. However, if you increase your cadence to 100 or 105 rpm, for instance, a good portion of the strength you gained at the lower cadence won't transfer to the higher spin rate. So if you want to increase your strength/power for longer efforts such as long time trials, races, or century rides it's best to start training at higher cadences. Eventually, your co-ordination at these cadences will improve which will result in lower heart rates, increased gearing, etc. (As an aside, you actually want to work in a large cadence range in your training in order to handle variable terrain.)

This lack of "transferability" is the principle reason why strength gains in the gym seldom transfer across to an actual athletic movement. If they did, body builders would be champion cyclists:)- The neural component of strength is underestimated by most people. This is what the principle of specificity means in a training or athletic context. So, as Eddy Merckx said, "ride your bike"!!
Got it!! Thanks!! nmRom12_1
Feb 7, 2003 9:40 AM