What does it mean: can keep power but not cadence?

Hello. Just finished the first Men’s ZS workout.

There were 2x 5min stints at FTP+2%, 100 RPM. I could keep the power, but my RPM was 85-90. Especially after the first ~45seconds, I could not keep 100 RPM.

What does this mean for me? Fitness wise, that is. Thanks!

I would not worry to much about the Cadence, some people spin high cadence and others lower.


The thought process during training is that a high cadence helps you to generate and maintain power while reducing fatigue. This is especially true when time trialling.
Imagine that you are producing a solid output on pretty flat ground but with a high torque/ lowish cadence of 75. You then encounter some small fluctuations of gradient. It would be easy to get bogged down in the gear on a rise.
By spinning a higher cadence it is possible to ride out a little gradient change while maintaining the same gear and this is seen as more efficient.

However, 85-90 is a suitable cadence for everyday cyclists so don’t worry too much.

Those higher cadence targets will help you work on your cardiovascular system whereas a lower cadence will put more stress on your leg muscles to work your strength. You can only do what you can do, but over time you will get better at holding either if you practice. As far as I understand it, 85-90 is fairly standard so I wouldn’t’ worry about it much other than as a training tool in your belt.

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