Cadence and Intervals

I have a question about fluctuating my cadence between intervals. When I’m doing intervals, I often adjust my cadence from one interval to the next. For example, if I’m doing 6X4 minute intervals at 325 watts I will do a couple at a cadence of 95 and then adjust my gearing and do a couple at a cadence of 85 and then finish up the last two at 95.

Does this change to focus of the interval session? Am I not getting the same benefit I would have gotten if I had done them all at the same cadence? Doing this seems to help me get through tough intervals but is it something I should be doing?

Hi Chris. Great questions…

Your body will naturally vary cadence to find that which is most efficient for the given task. You can override this by forcing a lower or higher cadence but if left to choose, you’ll most likely always choose a gear that’s most efficient. Practicing finding that gear is more valuable than learning to pedal at a variety of cadences. Only caveat is if you are forced to pedal in a tall gear (like climbing a steep climb and you don’t have enough gears) in which case practicing a slower cadence can help.

There could be subtle changes to the focus if you vary cadence too broadly. Pedaling in a wrong gear for too long can impede your ability to get a breakthrough for example. At this current time, we don’t account for cadence in the calculation of MPA or Focus although it is something we may introduce as an advanced feature in the future.