Instructors should understand the very real risks of high resistance/low cadence pedaling, and know when to provide options for their riders. This article covers the physiological reasons behind why very low cadence is not beneficial either indoors or for cyclists outdoors. I also present ways to address a rider who is resistant to taking your advice and continues to pedal too slowly in a big gear.
In 2002, I presented a session at WSSC called “Rolling Hills and Switchbacks.” Prior to that date, these techniques weren’t a big part of Spinning® (or any indoor cycling program for that matter). I want to give you my handout from 2002, for free! I’ve changed a few things in how I coach these and will be sharing those coaching techniques very soon, but much of this still applies for realistic simulation of riding rollers and switchbacks.
It is always great to see the response of our cycling instructor and coach community. A number of questions arose after I published the last Ask the Expert article on “Healing the Pedal Stroke.” The focus was solely on the practice of pushing down or dropping the heel below horizontal during the pedal stroke. In addition to my response to questions and feedback, I created a video using footage from the 2013 USA Cycling Pro Challenge to demonstrate the technique. Hey, pictures are worth a thousand words, right?