Typical cadence and power

New to Zwift and biking. I’m training for a duathlon in 16 days. I am doing the 6 week FTP builder. The workouts have cadence and power changes that seem to require gear changes for me to match the requested combo. For example, cadence of 100 for 100 w. It’s impossible for me to have a power that low with that cadence. For lower cadence I can gear up and achieve the cadence but usually the power will also be over. Lastly, the cool down cadence is 85 rpm. I personally find a more relaxed cadence around 75-80. I had planned on doing the race based on cadence and HR to make it (as well as pace with running). Is my comfortable cadence lower due to inexperience? Thanks

I should also like to add if I should use the erg mode or have erg off?

What sort of trainer are you using?

If you want to use Zwift for interval training you should do a ftp test on Zwift first.

comfortable cadence for me is 85-90, as soon as it drops below 80 my legs set on fire, it’s different for everyone ;D (i know lots of riders who prefer grinding it out at 60-80rpm seated which just blows my mind).

are you saying it’s impossible for you to hit 100rpm @ 100w in your easiest gear on ur current setup…? you do still have to change gears a bit with ERG mode enabled to reach the highest/lowest wattages.

anyway warmup/cooldown is typically done at high cadence with low resistance so as to not stress your legs.

I hit the power target and shift to the gear that gets me closest to the cadence.
You will get XP points for the power target.
The cadence is more of a suggestion.
I view the cadence outside my comfort zone as good training.

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I did the ftp test first and then wasn’t happy with it so I’m doing the 6 week beginner ftp workout.

I can hit a cadence of 100, but my power will be 120-150 and the workout is asking for 100w. I was thinking that it might be because I don’t have a larger gear to go to. I find it uncomfortable to pedal with little resistance. I would rather have more resistance and a slower cadence which can produce the same power.

Erg mode should be on, then the trainer will set the resistance regardless of gear or cadence. My wife rides around/under 100W quite easily when it’s called for.

If your trainer supports erg mode then it should be on. If it does you should not touch your gears in the workout (unless it tells you to, I think there are rare free ride sections in some workouts where the erg mode is temporarily turned off). I usually put my bike in the big gear at the front and around the middle of the cassette on the rear.

ERG mode works by adjusting the resistance of the trainer to get you to the specified power output. So if it is asking you to do 100W and you are doing 120W it will reduce the resistance to get you to 100W, conversely if you were only doing 80W it would increase the resistance to get you to 100W. If you change gear whilst the trainer is also adjusting the resistance you’ll never end up getting there.

When in workouts I find I just look at my cadence and get that to where I want it to be (either because that is what the workout asks for or what I want to do) and let the trainer do it’s thing and get me to the power I need to be doing.