“When it changes segments is shows something like this “90-100 keep your cadence”. But my Watts would be like 75, so when I get my cadence up, I get the red number and says power down. What is more important to stay within the Watts or do what it says on the 90-100 cadence. This is so confusing between cadence and watts. Help please.”
Just to elaborate a little on what David said above…
If you are using a ‘classic trainer’ (e.g. cycleops fluid2, mag trainer, etc) and overshooting your power target, then you need to downshift into an easier gear as you increase your cadence into the prescribed range. From experience, I know that certain cadence/power targets can be very difficult to hit exactly because you won’t always have the ‘right’ gear available (i.e. you’ll have to spin a slightly higher gear at the low end of the cadence range or the next lower gear at the high end of the RPM range.) With time and some practice, you’ll learn which gears work best for a given power output and you’ll be able to jump back and forth easily as the intervals change w/o thinking too much about it.
If you have a controllable ‘smart’ trainer, it’s a very different scenario. You don’t need to shift gears at all - because the trainer will do the work of varying resistance for you. However, there’s always a bit of lag (how much depends on your specific trainer). If you’re using one of these, do not worry about the ‘decrease power’ messages. Just keep pedalling at your target cadence (RPM) and the trainer will reduce the resistance until your power is in line w/ the prescribed level for that interval.
General points to remember:
In any given gear, power increases as your pedaling cadence increases.
If power is maintained at a constant level (smart trainer ERG mode), the resistance you feel increases as your cadence *decreases* and vice-versa.
i.e. The slower you pedal, the more work you have to do w/ each pedal stroke to put out the same number of watts. This continues until you reach the point where you can no longer turn over the pedals (the oft-referred to ‘downward spiral of death’).
- ERG mode won’t allow you to produce significantly more or less watts than what is currently prescribed in your workout, but it can (and does) allow some drift that might cause you to fail a segment if you’re shifting gears or changing your cadence often. The more you do these things, the more the trainer tries to adjust resistance up or down in an attempt to keep power constant. In ERG, it’s best to quickly settle in at a comfortable cadence and stay there.
Just keep riding and you’ll get a handle on these things soon enough!