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  1. #1
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    Very low cadence intervals

    I was reading a magazine that recommends an early season trianing regimen of doing very low cadence, 50-55 rpm, high gear intervals, interspersed with an overspin period between the intervals.

    Has anyone tried these and what do they think? Effective training technique?
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  2. #2
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    I do that during the winter as part of my strength training. No way to know if it helps or hurts, but I do it. Friel recommends this exercise, too, in his training bible.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    They seem to work. I did one of those Wednesday night on my trainer. It is a good bit of resistance trainer, and leaves you a little sore. Soreness usually means you did some good work.
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  4. #4
    Killing Rabbits
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    It's just strength training for the most part. You might be interested in reading this as it relates to your question (quadrant II training)
    http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/quad.asp


    Does anybody actually do quadrant analysis of their training/racing?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    It's just strength training for the most part. You might be interested in reading this as it relates to your question (quadrant II training)
    http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/quad.asp


    Does anybody actually do quadrant analysis of their training/racing?
    yeah, I did that some last season for my races and then compared the results to selected workouts.
    I ended up making some changes to my cadence based on what I saw. It was a pain to set up though
    so I didn't do it very often.

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    I tried them this morning and wow, do they ever feel wierd. Pedalling hard at 50 rpm is just wrong! I can definitely feel my quads, and to a lesser degree, my hamstrings.

    Is a 53/13 too small a gear for these intervals, or am I doing them wrong? I was getting into the 70's really easy.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
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  7. #7
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    I was reading a magazine that recommends an early season trianing regimen of doing very low cadence, 50-55 rpm, high gear intervals, interspersed with an overspin period between the intervals.

    Has anyone tried these and what do they think? Effective training technique?
    I intersperse VLC into the century rides I do this time of the year (for base) on the weekends. The group I ride with are not particularly fast, so there's lots of opportunities to do VLC work.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

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    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    I tried them this morning and wow, do they ever feel wierd. Pedalling hard at 50 rpm is just wrong! I can definitely feel my quads, and to a lesser degree, my hamstrings.

    Is a 53/13 too small a gear for these intervals, or am I doing them wrong? I was getting into the 70's really easy.
    It's tough to say what gear is right, due to variances in trainer resistance. If we're going by heartrate, I'd say keep it in Zone 4 or below (going by Friel's zones)
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Carmichael also mixes in low cadence work in his climbing DVD. I have been doing them for the past few months and find it useful. If you're spinning 70rpm in the 53x13 gear, your trainer isn't at full resistance or is faulty or you're a monster. I put mine (traveltrac mag) on full resistance and can hold 50-55rpm in 53x18 right at LT. When I focus right, I can really feel the hamstrings and calves getting a good workout.

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    http://home.earthlink.net/~acoggan/s...ing/index.html

    a counterpoint from BF poster andrew coggan

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    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    http://home.earthlink.net/~acoggan/setraining/index.html

    a counterpoint from BF poster andrew coggan
    for some context, Andrew isn't just a BF'er. Andrew Coggan, Ph.D. and exercise physiologist.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I do them VO2Max pace for hill repeats around here. 55-60 rpm for 4 minutes at 380-400W each repeat. I do them at 50-55 rpm occasionally as well (39-21 @ 8%-13.5% grade).

    Lance did similar workouts on the same hills here (low cadence steep hill repeats)

  13. #13
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    I do them VO2Max pace for hill repeats around here. 55-60 rpm for 4 minutes at 380-400W each repeat. I do them at 50-55 rpm occasionally as well (39-21 @ 8%-13.5% grade).
    Is this before, or after, you bonk?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Quote Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
    Carmichael also mixes in low cadence work in his climbing DVD. I have been doing them for the past few months and find it useful. If you're spinning 70rpm in the 53x13 gear, your trainer isn't at full resistance or is faulty or you're a monster. I put mine (traveltrac mag) on full resistance and can hold 50-55rpm in 53x18 right at LT. When I focus right, I can really feel the hamstrings and calves getting a good workout.
    Monster I am not, I wish. I'm doing them on the road (live in So. Fla.), flat with relatively no wind. Maybe an 11 is in order.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    I tried them this morning and wow, do they ever feel wierd. Pedalling hard at 50 rpm is just wrong! I can definitely feel my quads, and to a lesser degree, my hamstrings.

    Is a 53/13 too small a gear for these intervals, or am I doing them wrong? I was getting into the 70's really easy.
    These are better done from a stop as "stomps" (insert stupid Carmichael TM). Once you get on top of the gear, stop and start again.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    http://home.earthlink.net/~acoggan/s...ing/index.html

    a counterpoint from BF poster andrew coggan
    Thanks for posting that.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bullseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    These are better done from a stop as "stomps" (insert stupid Carmichael TM). Once you get on top of the gear stop and start again.
    I can't remember what a "stomp" is [I feel cheesy even mentioning it], but it seems like doing the seated accelerations would give the most benefit [at least in the seated position, instead of the standing-sprint position].

    -bullseye

  18. #18
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    These are also known as "Extreme Knee Pain Intervals" or EKPI as Carmichael calls them.

  19. #19
    cmh
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    I ride a fixed gear in the winter. This makes every hill a VLC interval on the way up, and a VHC interval on the way down.

  20. #20
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    my coach has me do these all the time. i like em more that high cadence drills

  21. #21
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    Is this before, or after, you bonk?
    That's low man.

    To be clear, I did bonk after yesterday's hill repeats. It's a 30 minute ride from the hill back to the office, and I bonked about 5 minutes from the end. The worst of it was inside the building trying to get to my lunch.

    These repeats were 60-64rpm though (shallower, longer hill).

  22. #22
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    I ride a fixed gear in the winter. This makes every hill a VLC interval on the way up, and a VHC interval on the way down.
    +1. And it's hilly as crap here.

    Az

  23. #23
    Senior Member barryflht's Avatar
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    Here's a Joe Friel workout that I'm doing.

    10 Minute warmup in an easy gear and 80 - 90 rpm
    10 Minutes 53 * 15(for me) you may want a 12 - 13t 50 rpm HR in Zone 3 - 4
    5 Minute recovery in and easy gear and 80 - 90 rpm

    Repeat 4 times, substituting the last 5 min recovery with 10 minutes of cool down 80 - 90 rpm

    1hr and 15mins ---- Pretty good workout for a cold rainy or snowy day inside.

  24. #24
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    I saw in pez or something that some pros were describing big gear low heartrate workouts. An ex-pro (in Europe) that I know told me about these workouts soon after he started riding there (early 90s). I figured that they were sort of like "weight lifting on the bike". My cynical side thought that perhaps with the PEDs they were using, the workout would show vast improvements in strength (sort of like how "innovative" lifting techniques showed massive increases in muscle size when in fact it was the steroids everyone was taking).

    Nevertheless I tried the workouts and incorporated them into my riding. It's mentally easier for me, it forces me to focus on pedal stroke, and it works muscles that I found I neglected. I found I neglected them because after races I'd be sore, the same way I was sore after these big gear workouts.

    Take it easy if you feel your knees complaining.

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    I do them once a week at around 60rpm and think they are useful. Some argue that you should do them in the gearing you would normally use if hill climbing.....
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

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