Build Me Up Cadence

I’ve just started using swift and gone straight into the Build me up Training plan and am looking for some tips on how to manage Cadence from high to low and still be able to put out the watts required by the program.

High cadence to achieve the watts isn’t a problem, but when I’m required to spin at 60, I can’t for the life of me hit the watts. It’s either way too much or too low. I’ve tried switching gears with ERG mode on and this just seems to make it worse.

It’s particularly bad when doing the Over/Unders and by the time I’ve got it close I’ve run out of time.

if I had hair I’d be pulling it out! Please help a newbie get to grips with this.

Many thanks.

Concentrate on the wattage target and just use the cadence as a guideline. You won’t lose any stars by missing cadence targets

I don’t know what trainer you’re on, but a smart trainer should be able to adjust the resistance to let you meet the wattage target if you keep your cadence steady and don’t change gear. But if it won’t play ball, see above.


Thanks. I’m using a tacx flow.

I’ve discovered that if I move to the big ring when req to have cadence of 60 to deliver 195w it sort of works, then I flick back to the smaller ring to spin , there is no way I can do 60 and deliver 195w without doing so.

Also a newbie question. What gear should I start my workout in if the trainer is controlling resistance - does it matter?

Most people tend to find it works best if you use the big ring up front, and then one of the middle gears (roughly) at the rear. Just wait for the trainer to adjust the resistance to match the power target (some trainers adjust more quickly, some take a bit longer), and resist the inclination to pedal faster to produce more power.

ERG mode is counter-intuitive at first because when you’re riding outside then if you pedal faster then you produce more power. In ERG mode if you keep changing your cadence (forgetting cadence targets for a minute) then the trainer keeps chasing the necessary resistance and you can get the impression that it’s not working properly.


Thought you may also enjoy this chatty thread on the BMU workout as you go through it…

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I agree that ERG mode is not good for dropping to a low cadence from a spin - at least on an H3. I strategically do hilly routes ( Surrey Hills, Mountain 8, Metropolitan, etc) so that I can stop ERG mode in a pinch and have the trainer take on the resistance of the uphill. That slows the flywheel quickly and I can get back to generating better power at lower cadence before putting the ERG mode back on again…

When you turn ERG off the Workout goes to incline mode it does not stimulate the course profile in incline mode. You can manually adjust the incline on the companion app. So you don’t need to be on a climb.

I did the build me up plan a few months ago. Around the cadence targets I found that I just concentrated on hitting and holding the cadence target and let the trainer figure out the power.

How long are you giving the trainer to adjust? For mine (tacx neo) it takes 1-2 seconds from the interval change for it to start changing the resistance. From there it depends on the change, a small change (30 of watts) it will take another couple of seconds till everything has settled down and my power is constant. If it’s a big change (going from recovery to a sprint say) then this whole thing can take 15 seconds as the trainer increases resistance, it tends to overshoot, then it backs off so I oscillate around the power target for a bit.

Also are you displaying your 3 second power (default in Zwift) since if you are then after a change in power it’s going to take at least 3 seconds for the display to match your new power assuming you changed instantly from putting out a constant x watts to putting out a constant y watts.