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Struggling to recover from big gear/low cadence workouts

In order to improve my ftp I started to do some low cadence sub-threshold sessions a few weeks back - something I've never done before (the low cadence/high gear bit, not the SST) - and find it really hard to recover from these. The sessions I've been doing are at roughly my sweetspot level for around 45 minutes of work in total.

I find the sessions difficult but not ridiculously so (I felt worse at the end of the 4x8 'Seiler' intervals I was doing the previous six weeks). After these I'm unable to ride the next day and even two days later I feel wrecked, whereas with the 4x8s I could comfortably complete 3 or 4 hour base rides on the following two days. I thought part of the point of these intervals was that you could get the same level of muscular stress on the body whilst not taxing the aerobic system so much (and indeed my hr is relatively low for an effort that feels this hard).

Has anyone had any similar experiences? Should I have just started off with a lower volume of low cadence work or is this amount of fatigue to be expected? I think I'm going to ditch them tbh as I lose too much time being unable to train the subsequent days, but would be interested to hear others' experience of these.

Posts

  • brundonbianchibrundonbianchi Posts: 689
    edited October 2020
    High power low cadence is a really bad move. It’s pretty much universally rejected as a training strategy now. It’s very bad for the joints and doesn’t bring anything to the party really. There are far better training strategies that don’t involve the joint stresses. It was something I used to employ, but I’ve seen / experienced the problems, and I’ve since ditched it.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,352

    High power low cadence is a really bad move. It’s pretty much universally rejected as a training strategy now. It’s very bad for the joints and doesn’t bring anything to the party really. There are far better training strategies that don’t involve the joint stresses. It was something I used to employ, but I’ve seen / experienced the problems, and I’ve since ditched it.

    It’s a pity you didn’t invent yourself again, then come back and apologise to all those you abused for pointing out that this was a dangerous way to ride. You even talked of advising novice cyclists about how good this was.
    You really are a piece of work.
  • if it doesn't work for you, ditch it...
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 854
    webboo said:

    High power low cadence is a really bad move. It’s pretty much universally rejected as a training strategy now. It’s very bad for the joints and doesn’t bring anything to the party really. There are far better training strategies that don’t involve the joint stresses. It was something I used to employ, but I’ve seen / experienced the problems, and I’ve since ditched it.

    It’s a pity you didn’t invent yourself again, then come back and apologise to all those you abused for pointing out that this was a dangerous way to ride. You even talked of advising novice cyclists about how good this was.
    You really are a piece of work.
    +1. You spent weeks if not months peddling that rubbish. Would it be too much to hope for you to recognise that pretty much all you say is just your opinion rather that gospel?
  • joe2019joe2019 Posts: 1,108
    I've always got on well with them, I've been doing them for 30 odd years.

    I don't imagine that cycling ever 'stress the joints' as such, as it's a low impact sport.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,070
    @OP, diet & rest are also components in recovery. Certainly 45 minutes of sweet spot should be fine regardless of your cadence if it’s within a structured program with sufficient recovery and quality calories at the right consumption levels

    For me slow cadence isn’t the trigger here, it’s either diet, rest or overtraining ( either one, two or all three!) which is compounded when you consider the accumulative stress you’ve put on your body over the summer which means you may want to press the reset button and introduce a rest week.

    The end of summer was always traditional for cyclists to back off the intensity for a month prior to restarting winter training.

    If you are intending to use structured training over the winter, the impact on your body is substantial and depending on your age your ability to out train a poor diet and recovery diminish with age.





    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • Thanks for the replies. A bit after posting this last night I realised the problem might have been that I was living in a much more humid place than usual when I doing these, which I guess both made the efforts harder and recovery worse. In any case I think Ugo has hit the nail on the head.

    To be clear though there are some very well respected people who advocate this type of training i.e. doing SST around 20 rpm lower than you might normally do so (rather than advocating a fixed cadence). There is a good fasttalk podcast on it if anyone is interested...
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,440
    edited October 2020
    I'm sure everyone here knows this already, but your low cadence is different to my low cadence.

    I often find myself 10 - or so - revs higher in any workout where any type of cadence is prescribed. Some will inevitably find the opposite.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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