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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cycling Cadence II

Today I rode my 35k route with the goal of keeping my cadence at 90rpm.

Things I noticed straight away:

- Uphill (even gradually uphill) I tend to settle in at 75-80rpm and push too high a gear.

- Everywhere else (downhill & flats) I'm naturally gravitating to 90rpm. A few exceptions where I chose to downshift today when I normally wouldn't have, but pretty close.

So today's word of the day: DOWNSHIFT!

And it made a big difference straight away.

Normal average speed: 30km/h on a really good day, pushing hard
Today's average speed: 31km/h on a rainy day, pushing not so hard

My normal average for the first half (mostly uphill) is around 25km/h, today it was over 27km/h... clearly that's where I saw the biggest benefit straight away. I think I was slightly faster downhill and on the flats as well. Today's effort normally would have given me about a 29km/h average, so I was able to find an extra 2km/h. Over an hour of riding, that's about 4 minutes, over 7 hours it's almost half an hour!

I think the key here is that I've been pushing wrong. Instead of upshifting, I should be trying to spin faster. Using lower gears is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of intelligence and maturity! :)

I'll keep training at 90rpm and get more used to it, I think there's still more speed to be found just from this one change to my riding style.

1 comment:

Darren said...

Hey Jono.. A couple things:
-in regards to swimming. You'd be suprised how fast you can up your distance. The body recovers pretty fast from such a low impact sport. So if you feel like you can do more - do it!

-cycling cadence @ 90rpm is a good thing. Running at 90 strides (180steps) per minute is considerbly tougher - but is def something to shoot for.

Grats on the lowering of the BMI! I don't think you'd qualify as a couch potato anymore.. carrot, maybe.